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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,140177,179 (3.64)30
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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A member of the Los Angeles police department bomb squad is killed inspecting a suspicious package and detective Carol Starkey is assigned to investigate. Starkey, introduced in two earlier Elvis Cole novels, was formerly a member of the bomb squad who was “killed” three years earlier in an explosion. She is suffering from posttraumatic stress syndrome; she drinks heavily and has difficulty relating to people.

Starkey is hoping to be reassigned to the bomb squad but is so psychologically damaged that it is difficult to imagine her even holding on to her job as a detective. Her heavy reliance on gin and smoking to manage her stress make it unlikely that she will be able to function again as a healthy member of society. Those problems also made it difficult for me to identify with her as the protagonist. I found her compulsive smoking to be particularly distasteful. Nevertheless, I found myself warming to Starkey despite her flaws.

A serial murderer known as Mr. Red is the suspected bomber but he is an enigma; his motivation is unclear, his identity is unknown, there are no known pictures of him, and his whereabouts is a mystery. The FBI and ATF believe that he sells his services as an executioner when it pleases him but several of his bombs appear to have targeted members of various municipal bomb squads for unknown reasons.

As Starkey investigates the case she finds evidence that makes her question the identity of the bomber. The mystery is further deepened by the presence of an ATF agent who appears to be hiding something.

“Demolition Angel” poses a multifaceted mystery that leads to a number of surprises. The ending is a bit too melodramatic but most readers will find it to be a compelling read. ( )
  Tatoosh | May 25, 2017 |
From Amazon:

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.

My Thoughts:

It wasn't my favorite Robert Crais book and I don't want a steady diet of it ...but a very readable offering none the less. The characterization was rather thin, and Carol Starkey is a very difficult character to like. Many of the supporting characters are barely fleshed out. Maybe the author doesn't intend to keep them around although several are in Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels. The romance between two characters is underdeveloped and unconvincing. But it was a quick read with loads of action with things blowing up. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
This is one of Crais' rare novels that does not have Elvis Cole of Joe Pike as the main protagonists. Carol Starkey is a bomb squad expert who is still suffering from the emotional and physical affects of having survived a bombing. In fact she was dead for a couple of minutes before being revived by first responders.

Her current case puts her up against a truly powerful and sick bomber plus she is fighting off her attraction to a federal agent who she sees taking over her case. Crais includes a great deal of detail about bomb making, bomb effects and police procedure in bombing cases. He does explain in his introduction that he has not included in everything.

My one criticism would be the lack of humour that one has come to expect in Crias' novels. It always pacifies the often grim and violent scenarios he comes up with. Starkey is often a very unpleasant woman and difficult to warm up to although one has to consider what she has gone through in the previous three years. ( )
  lamour | Jan 25, 2016 |
( )
  msphotogirl | Oct 19, 2015 |
I miss Elvis. Actually, a really good book despite the new protagonist, Carol Starkey. The love story didn't quite ring true, but overall a good read. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:22 -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 7 descriptions

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