Angel and the Actress by Roger Silverwood

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Angel and the Actress by Roger Silverwood

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Category: Crime
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A very easy read - not for those who liked their brains to be taxed by police procedurals.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 224 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Robert Hale Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0719816154

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Joan Minter, award-winning actress, was murdered in front of a gathering of her closest friends, but no one saw who did it - or could possibly have been the one who did it. Inspector Angel and his team of detectives were called out to her home, at the foot of the Pennines, in Bromersley. Angel was going to be kept busy though. A young man was found murdered in his home. His wife hadn't expected him to be there - and nor could she explain the new vacuum cleaner which had appeared since she left for work that morning, or the fact that the fridge door was wide open. Then there's the theft of a handbag, which leads to a family's two cars being stolen. And just to top it off, Angel's wife is away visiting her sister.

This is the twenty-third Inspector Angel book, but only my second foray into the series. My last experience was marred by editing issues and I was keen to see if I would like the series better this time around. The plot is interesting, but without any great complexity. I was mildly surprised to discover the identity of the murderer although this was probably more to do with the fact that I had read a reasonably engaging story but my brain had never really started to work out who had done what. I don't think it cared! The characters are a little better than two dimensional, but Angel himself doesn't strike me as a modern policeman. He belongs to an age when men wore hats and other men were referred to as chaps. For a while I wondered if the story was set in the fifties - until someone produced a mobile phone.

My main problem with the book is that the dialogue is wooden: I never had the feeling that I was listening in to real conversation, but almost as though I was listening to a sanitised version being read out of a notebook. Real people don't ask What is your name?, they say What's your name? There are dozens of similar examples and each time it happened I was pulled out if the story.

If you're looking for an easy read - almost 'cosy crime' - then this book might appeal. There's no sex (you get the feeling that no one would dare...) and the violence is reported rather than described directly. If you're looking for a police procedural which will tax the brain then this book is probably not for you. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more Yorkshire crime we can recommend Peter Robinson's Chief Inspector Alan Banks Novels. For Yorkshire crime set in the nineteen twenties you'll love Frances Brody's Kate Shackleton Mysteries.

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