Title: Angel Killer (Jessica Blackwood #1)
Author: Andrew Mayne
Narrator: Jennifer O'Donnell and Fred Berman
Publisher: Bourbon Street Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Acquired Via: Personal Collection and ALA
In this self-published bestselling e-book by a real illusionist—the first thriller in a sensational series—now available in paperback, FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she has successfully left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her ... until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers puts her talents to the ultimate test.
A mysterious hacker, who identifies himself only as “Warlock,” brings down the FBI’s website and posts a code in its place. It hides the GPS coordinates of a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground ... as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.
Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star—until she turns her back on her troubled family, and her legacy, to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes’s discovery of an old copy of Magician Magazine will turn Jessica’s carefully constructed world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to seemingly achieving the impossible.
The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock’s series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to embrace her gifts and stop a depraved killer?
If she can’t, she may become his next victim.
Before the review, I have a little story. For the library, we are doing something called "Super Reads" to promote our summer reading program. We (the staff) were asked to share something about a book that we were planning to read this summer. Since I have my review for Name of the Devil coming up on Thursday, I knew that I needed to read Andrew Mayne's first book in his Jessica Blackwood series, Angel Killer. I also wanted to have something as kitschy and nerdy as possible attached to my name for the library. Here's what I said:
"I plan on reading Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne because I’m curious to see whether there’s magic in the famous illusionist’s debut thriller."
Want to know a secret? There is magic. Oh. My. Bob. Is there magic.
I'm not really one who is into thrillers or mysteries because of the tension. (I know that I complain about that a lot.) However, I never felt the urge to flip to the end of Angel Killer because I was enjoying getting to know Jessica and following the case too much to ruin it all. I also didn't want to put the book down for anything other than eating, sleeping, or seeing to the needs of those who were bothering me way too much while I was reading it.
Though I am not a former magician, FBI agent, or dark-haired beauty, I found myself being able to really relate to Jessica. She has a lot of the same problems that we all have in the workplace - fitting in, feeling confident about our job, overbearing bosses, etc. There is also a stalker/ex-boyfriend that really brought back some memories for me. I think showing so much of the human side of her life made Angel Killer so much more interesting than if it had just been the race and chase of the case.
Despite my every effort not to, I found myself really liking her aforementioned stalker, Damian. He is an honest-to-goodness sociopath that I would like to say that I would not wish upon any woman in a million years, but I kind of like him for Jessica. I feel awful for saying it because stalking is so wrong, but he's just a damn dreamboat. *sigh* I'm so ashamed of myself.
As a lover of magic and tricks, I thought the little insights into the "magical" world would be the best thing about Angel Killer, but it really was the writing. I was so happy that I finally read the book, and I'm even happier that I have Name of the Devil ready to be read.
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
Indiebound | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a free signed, advance copy of the novel from the publisher the ALA National Conference in 2014. It has in no way affected the outcome of the review, as I read the audiobook copy that I purchased. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.