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Demolition Angel by Robert Crais
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Demolition Angel (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Robert Crais, Lorelei King (Reader)

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1,008128,471 (3.62)23
Member:InigoMontoya
Title:Demolition Angel
Authors:Robert Crais
Other authors:Lorelei King (Reader)
Info:Orion (2000), Edition: Abridged edition, Audio Cassette
Collections:Your library, To listen
Rating:
Tags:Main, Audio, Fiction

Work details

Demolition Angel by Robert Crais (2000)

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Carol Starkey died in the bomb explosion, but she was resuscitated. A bomb technician for the LAPD she has been asked to head a team searching for Mr. Red, a very sophisticated and clever bomb maker who targets specific bomb experts hoping to one day make the FBI’s top Ten Most Wanted List. She’s haunted by the explosion that almost killed her, and, because her partner and lover had been killed in the explosion that almost took her’s. The problem is that she discovers evidence that leads her to believe a copycat killer is trying to emulate Mr. Red and take credit for his work. Jack Pell, an ATF agent who has been seeking Mr. Red, links up with Carol and despite her initial reluctance, afraid she might lose the case to the “feebs,” they join forces.

All is not what it appears, however, and Starkey’s sources tell her that Pell is a rogue agent. He had been injured in the first bomb blast attributed to Mr. Red and because his retinas had become loosened he was gradually losing his sight and he had sworn to get the bomber on his own. Carol and Jack use a computer chat room populated with bomber wannabees to contact Mr. Red. Mr. Red is upset that his bomb technique is being emulated because he believes it will hinder his getting on the Most Wanted List. Carol discovers that the copycat bomb was identical except for one small detail that was not known to the police, so she begins to suspect that her partner had been murdered by someone in the police department who had had access to the specific details of Mr. Red’s bomb construction.

Crais is the author of the Elvis Cole detective series, books that I have enjoyed very much. This one is very different and perhaps a little less satisfactory, although it’s hard to say why, perhaps I just miss Cole’s wisecracks.

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
### Amazon.com Review

**Penzler Pick, May 2000:** Like many authors with ongoing characters, Robert Crais has taken a break from his famous private eye. After eight novels featuring Elvis Cole and his loyal sidekick Joe Pike, Crais has created Carol Starkey, a bomb squad veteran now doing time as a Detective-2 with LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the detonation that killed Carol's partner and lover, but she is still severely scarred both mentally and physically. She can't bear to look in the mirror, and she hasn't been with another man since David Boudreaux left her bed that last morning he went to work. She gets through the day with the help of Tagamet and alcohol.

When a bomb call takes the life of another colleague, Carol begins to investigate a series of explosions that seem to be designed to exterminate bomb technicians. She soon realizes that she's "the one that got away." With the help of an FBI agent whom she loathes professionally for interfering with her job but finds attractive anyway, Carol must track down one of the most frighteningly brilliant killers of the modern age.

This edgy thriller's protagonist is one that the reader at first may have difficulty liking, but she's got a background and history that make her truly three-dimensional. One hopes that Crais, one of the handful of young crime writers capable of writing consistently luminous prose, will continue to give us characters like Carol Starkey to star in his always powerful portraits of modern-day Los Angeles. *--Otto Penzler*

### From Publishers Weekly

Acclaimed for his Elvis Cole mystery series (L.A. Requiem, etc.), Crais deserves further garlands for this stand-alone crime novel. The book features one of the most complex heroines to grace a thriller since Clarice Starling locked eyes with Hannibal Lecter, a deliciously spooky villain in the person of a mad bomber known as Mr. Red, and an aggressively involving plot. Carol Starkey was a rising light in the LAPD Bomb Squad until, two years back, a bomb blew up in her face, maiming her and killing her lover/partner. Now Carol's a bitter, chain-smoking alcoholic with the LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section, who gets drawn into a literally explosive conspiracy when a bomb kills Charlie Riggio, one of her former bomb squad colleagues. Forensic evidence points toward the bomb being the work of John Michael Fowles, aka Mr. Red, a coldhearted young bomber-assassin-for-hire and master of disguise. Much of the narrative concerns Carol's pursuit of him, most excitingly on the Net through a secret mad-bombers' site, aided by a saturnine federal (ATF) agent, Jack Pell. Intercut are scenes of Mr. Red's various mad plottings, which take a hairpin turn when he learns that the cops think he killed Riggio: for in fact he didn't. That murder pans out as a copycat crime for personal gain, and now Carol must pursue both Riggio's killer and Mr. Red, who in turn has taken an intimate interest in this bomb-savvy female cop. The subsequent pas de deux between Carol and Mr. Red is too reminiscent of the dance between Starling and Lecter, but otherwise this novel gets high marks for originality, and even higher ones for suspense and, above all, for multidimensional, wounded characters who give all the excitement a rare depth. BOMC and Literary Guild featured selection; Mystery Guild main selection; author tour; film rights sold to Columbia/Tri-Star. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
ok
  jenny.whitman | Apr 9, 2012 |
This is about a member (currently reassigned) of the L.A. Bomb Squad who was critically injured when an earthquake interrupted the defusing of a bomb, killing her partner/lover. Very interesting information about bomb builders, bomb making, how bomb squads work and a mysterious bomber who is a folk hero to his kind. This features a very flawed heroine, but makes for a very interesting read. ( )
  PermaSwooned | Dec 12, 2010 |
Crais is best known for his series of novels featuring Elvis Cole but I haven't read any of those. This is the second novel I've read by him, the first was Hostage and that was a great page turner, just an excellent story. This one's a page turner as well. Detective Carol Starkey, still recovering from a bomb blast that killed her (for a couple minutes until she was revived), is investigating another bombing. Someone is targeting bomb technicians. About halfway in comes the first big plot twist and from there it rockets along with several new twists thrown in. Naturally things end with a bang. Fun story. This was an excellent crime novel diversion. ( )
  woodge | Nov 20, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Crais tightens the screws to the max in this white-hot crossover thriller about a cop on the trail of a serial bomber. ... [the author] spikes this predictable, foolproof yarn with so many surprises and such a masterly command of pace that you’ll find yourself checking the clock every ten pages. Make sure it’s not digital.
added by Roycrofter | editKirkus' Reviews (Mar 15, 2000)
 
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Epigraph
To be disrupted: when the human body is blown apart; as by the pressure force of a bomb. -- Gradwohl's Legal Medicine
Dedication
For Jeffrey and Celia
First words
Code Three Roll Out.
Bomb Squad.
Silver Lake, California.
Charlie Riggio stared at the cardboard box sitting beside the Dumpster.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 034543448X, Mass Market Paperback)

Penzler Pick, May 2000: Like many authors with ongoing characters, Robert Crais has taken a break from his famous private eye. After eight novels featuring Elvis Cole and his loyal sidekick Joe Pike, Crais has created Carol Starkey, a bomb squad veteran now doing time as a Detective-2 with LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the detonation that killed Carol's partner and lover, but she is still severely scarred both mentally and physically. She can't bear to look in the mirror, and she hasn't been with another man since David Boudreaux left her bed that last morning he went to work. She gets through the day with the help of Tagamet and alcohol.

When a bomb call takes the life of another colleague, Carol begins to investigate a series of explosions that seem to be designed to exterminate bomb technicians. She soon realizes that she's "the one that got away." With the help of an FBI agent whom she loathes professionally for interfering with her job but finds attractive anyway, Carol must track down one of the most frighteningly brilliant killers of the modern age.

This edgy thriller's protagonist is one that the reader at first may have difficulty liking, but she's got a background and history that make her truly three-dimensional. One hopes that Crais, one of the handful of young crime writers capable of writing consistently luminous prose, will continue to give us characters like Carol Starkey to star in his always powerful portraits of modern-day Los Angeles. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Carol Starkey is struggling to pick up the pieces of her former life as L.A.'s finest bomb squad technician. Fueled with liberal doses of alcohol and Tagamet, she's doing time as a Detective-2 with LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the event that still haunts her: a detonation that killed her partner and lover, scarred her body and soul, and ended her career as a bomb tech. When a seemingly innocuous bomb call explodes into a charred murder scene, Carol catches the case and embarks on an investigation of a series of explosions that reveal chilling intentions. The bombs are designed expressly to kill bomb technicians. Now, as the one tech who survived the deadliest of blasts, Carol is in for the most perilous fight of her life...… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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