Saturday, October 11, 2008

Death Angel by Linda Howard is not a heavenly read

SPOILER ALERT: I did not like this book and I give away plot details as I explain why.

This is a story about a woman called Drea, who spends 2 years being a ditsy bimbo girlfriend of a drug dealing thug all the while hiding an impressive intelligence. The only guy to see through her façade is Simon, an assassin hired by the boyfriend. He asks for 5 hours alone with her as payment for a contract he’s hired to do. After neither very little persuasion nor asking Drea what she thought of the idea the thug agrees. After her initial fear she succumbs to Simon’s gentle touch and they have sex for 4 hours. (They stop early because Simon doesn’t trust Rafael not to walk in on them). This doesn’t seem like such an impressive feat except Simon never loses his erection for the entire 4 hours. (This is beyond fantasy and is now a sign of a bad Viagra side effect). She is so overcome by the multiple orgasms she impulsively asks him to take her away. He says “No, Once was enough.” She realizes after an afternoon of mind blowing sex she has been selling herself short as the thug’s bimbo girlfriend. Obviously, Rafael, the thug wasn’t as good in the sack. She decides to leave said thug and teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget. She pulls off stealing $2 million from him. Surprise! Then Rafael hires Simon to catch her and take her out. He offers the $2 million she stole as the contract price. Simon tracks her down in Kansas. He debates taking the contract since he admires her guts and the smarts she displayed in stealing and running. (Yeah, right. I think it was that 4 hours). She realizes she has been found and during an escape over some curvy roads she runs her car into a tree and is pierced in the chest by a branch. He stays with her as she gasps her last breath and calls 911 so she won’t be left to the elements of Kansas.
Here is where a so-so story took a turn for the worse. Drea dies from her injuries. I think that is totally reasonable given the branch in her chest. She goes to the here-after and meets several people who mean nothing to her but are very kind and in the midst of the group a young man appears and she knows this is the baby she lost when she was 16. The miscarriage was mentioned in a sentence 5 pages in and now this one sentence character declares she should return to life for a second chance because even though she was an opportunist and not a very nice person she loved him and that makes her good at heart and worthy to try again at life. 911 shows up and after an hour on scene and packing her into a body bag one of the EMT’s hears her gasp back to life. Not only does she come back but she is now gifted with psychic powers. WHAT! Come on Linda! You are a much better author than this.
Wait it gets better. Simon decides to follow up on the accident with the intention to make sure she is buried properly with headstone and all. He realizes she meant something to him after all and he wants to take care of her in death unlike in life. As he is looking for her obituary he discovers, miracles of miracles she is not dead. She is recovering in a hospital and called Jane Doe since she won’t or can’t speak. He pays her hospital bills and begins watching over, (stalking), her while she gets a job waitressing and building a new life. (She has recovered her speech).
Meanwhile she is filled with the experience of meeting her son and longs to do right so she can return to where-ever he is and feel that joy again. She uses her new psychic abilities to warn her doctor, co-workers and select diner customers to take better care of themselves and decides to give the $2million to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She also decides that Rafael is too bad a guy to let stay on the streets and plans to return to New York and offer herself as a witness to help “bring” him down. Simon shows up and she flips out thinking he is still out to kill her. He breaks into her house and convinces her he is on her side.
I think you all know how this is going to end and you would be right. It was as if Ms. Howard, who is a great author, couldn’t decide what this story should be; paranormal, suspense or just a romance novel. I won’t stop reading her work but I will be expecting more of her in the future.


Alice said...

I personally thought that her best novel has been "Cry No More" but then again, I am not an avid LH follower. I've read several of her books and wasn't too impressed.. I wasn't a huge fan of this either.

memejain said...

Thanks for stopping by Alice,
I have enjoyed some of her earlier works, mostly the Mackenzie series which is a more traditional romance genre. I think I have read her more recent stuff expecting a good combination of her romance and with suspense and so far it isn't working for me.
Have a great day!