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Fallen Angels by Connie Dial

Fallen Angels

by Connie Dial

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3821428,887 (3.38)2



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I enjoy Connie Dial's LAPD crime novels, and Fallen Angels is no exception. The story probably dragged on a bit too long and got a bit too over-complicated, but very gritty and lots of intrigue -- both criminal and political. ( )
  Randall.Hansen | Jan 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dial writes with the knowledge and procedural minutiae of the insider she once was. And she bolsters her novel’s feminist credentials (not to mention the integrity of the storytelling and plot) with another strong realistic female protagonist, Lt. Marge Bailey. Authentic, well paced, and deftly written, this is a great addition to the police procedural crime fiction subgenre. ( )
  rfowler | Nov 21, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Imagine my surprise, buying and reading the second Mike Turner book from Connie Dial so that I could read her third book and not miss anything, only to learn that [Fallen Angels] introduces a new character and story altogether. This Dial book, while still focused on Los Angeles Police Department, tells the story of Josie Corsino, a captain in the Hollywood Hills Division. Josie rolls out to a crime scene where an underage, B-movie star is found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. The stars death eventually uncovers a web of corruption that runs through the LAPD and through Josie’s own staff.

Three strikes and you’re out! This is my third Dial book and they have all featured relatively solid writing matched with overly sensational stories and thin, stereotypical characters. Where should I start?

Hmmm. If I drank half of the liquor consumed by just one of these characters, my liver might crawl right up my throat and run screaming down the street. Honestly, these characters are adrift on seas of alcohol that Charles Bukowski or Hunter S. Thompson might blush at.

And the corruption. LAPD doesn’t have the best reputation, but Dial’s version of the agency make the Gambino crime family look like rank amateurs. By the time Dial gets done cleaning the ranks of her fictional LAPD, they are going to need a serious new recruitment push.

The final straw for me was that Dial finally tried to flesh out a more rich and complex inner life for her main character, but only succeeded in creating confusion. Complex and conflicted characters are one thing, but these folks are downright psychotic, saying one thing in one paragraph and doing the opposite the next paragraph. One cop gets married and begins an affair within the space of 36 hours. I couldn’t keep up.

Bottom Line: Dial is not a bad writer but is undisciplined in creating believable characters and stories. Her background, which should be an asset, ends up being wasted.

3 ½ bones!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Sep 21, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Fallen Angels is a police procedural mystery by Connie Dial that focuses on Captain Josie Corsino of the Hollywood precinct and her officers' investigation of the murder of an aspiring actress. Clearly the author knows the procedures well, having served in a similar role herself. They are written in fine detail, perhaps almost too much detail for my liking. However, if you're into that sort of thing, then you'll probably enjoy reading this book.

Complicating the plot is the "mid-life crisis" of Josie's husband, a prosecutor who has quit to go into private practice, and her young adult son who is somewhat involved with the people being investigated. I found those aspects of the storyline interesting, yet somewhat under-developed (and unresolved) in the book. Perhaps a sequel is in the works, but it would have been a more interesting book to the general public if those aspects had been addressed a little more.

The book clearly shows how a police supervisor, such as the protagonist, can become so involved in the day-to-day aspects of police work that they lose sight of the rest of their lives. The plot was believable, yet a bit slow for my liking. It was pretty obvious who was at fault, yet seemed to take awhile to put the pieces into place. I have to admit that I struggled to finish the book. About chapter 16, the pace picked up and it seemed easier to keep going until the end.

For those who like police procedurals, I'd recommend this book. For the general mystery fan, I'd give it a so-so rating, particularly for the abundance of procedural detail and lack of depth in the plot. ( )
  catlinp | Jul 10, 2012 |
FALLEN ANGELS by Connie Dial: Captain Josie Corsino is a good detective who has turned into a good supervisor: "She hadn't been to roll call for a few weeks, and she knew the uniformed patrol officers liked to have her there so they could find out what was going on in their division, especially on mornings like this. Besides, a few minutes with them always left her energized. Half an hour later, she had answered every question she could about the morning's events and made a mental list of all the officers' complaints, including those problems she couldn't solve. It was important to make contact because their lives were tied to her." Out of the trenches since promotion, she stays connected to her subordinates, but a challenging case calling into question whom she can trust will push her further into danger than any captain should be. When a troubled young actress is found murdered in a well-known party house, Josie faces pressure from above to keep a councilman's son out of it, though he is at least indirectly involved. Hints of corruption leave her with few officers above or below her rank to trust, and she skirts the edges of procedure to solve the murder with its tentacles reaching into organized crime, off-duty cops, and local politics before those involved can undertake a cover-up.

Josie has been promoted as high as she wants to be: "Any rank above captain had nothing important to do except create meaningless projects and audits, or find other ways to annoy cops with real jobs." Her personal life is falling apart, her husband going through a midlife crisis and her twenty-two-year-old son tangentially involved in her current investigation. She can trust almost no one at work or even at home. Her balance of family and police work makes her a compelling character, and when the two come into conflict, her resolution rings true.

Dial uses her extensive experience in the LAPD to inform and ground this novel and give the fictional department a well-rounded feel. I've enjoyed her Detective Mike Turner novels, INTERNAL AFFAIRS and THE BROKEN BLUE LINE, and Josie, as a captain and as a woman balancing family and police life, brings a fresh perspective.

Source disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher. ( )
  noranydrop2read | Jul 6, 2012 |
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To Paula and Patricia Milazzo
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Captain Josie Corsino stood near the open door and studied the dead girl's face.
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Captain Josie Corsino has seen plenty of dead bodies during her twenty-one years with the Los Angeles Police Department, but the discovery of Hillary Dennis's beautiful smiling corpse begins one of the most unusual and dangerous investigations of Josie's career.-jacket.… (more)

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