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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Destroying Angel

Copyright 1992 by Richard Paul Russo

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

Sadly, I can't remember when I read this book.

In a near future San Francisco, a serial killer is on the prowl. His particular methodology is to bind his victims with silver chains. But the silver chains he uses aren't just tied around the bodies. No, these chains are bonded to their flesh. When he finishes his ritualistic murders, he dumps the bodies in rivers and lakes around the city.

Tanner used to be police officer and still maintains links with the Force. He has received some unusual information about the killer and he's reluctantly working with Carlucci, his old Police boss, to verify it.

To get that verification, Tanner will have to meet Rattan, a cop-killing drug-dealer, hiding in the Tenderloin. He's not a very nice person and the Tenderloin is not a very nice or friendly place.

Rattan's reveals that the serial killer lives in the Core. And that's where Tanner will have to go. The Core in the centre of the Tenderloin is worse by far than its surroundings. The Police have no authority and maintain no patrols. there is no longer any authority or control.

Meanwhile the charming Snookie, a thirteen-year old runaway, has taken and interest in our hero. That may serve to keep Tanner alive amidst the dangers of the Tenderloin but no one is looking after Snookie. That's sad because she's going to need all the help she can get very soon indeed.

This is a police thriller chasing a serial murderer in a punk future. As a thriller it's not bad, it's the sort of book I'd happily read on a long place ride. As SF how ever it doesn't make it and the combination of the thriller and near-future SF simply doesn't add anything interesting - it could be placed in the present without any significant change in impact.

I'm pleased to say that Richard did much better with a later book "Unto Leviathan" and the very enjoyable "Ship Of Fools".

Loaded on the 16th December 2006.
Cover of Destroying Angel

Reviews of other works by Richard Paul Russo:
Inner Eclpise
Unto Leviathan
The Rosetta Codex