Saturday, November 22, 2008

Review: ANGELS UNAWARE - Mike Ripley

Publisher: Allison and Busby
This edition published: 2008
ISBN: 9780749080839
398 pages

Roy Angel is a Private Investigator. He is the token male at an all female agency. His wife, a successful fashion designer, has recently given birth to their first child.. But there’s a fly in Angel’s blissful ointment. The Agency is insisting he is not entitled to extended paternity leave and his mother has descended upon them to “help” with the baby. Angel’s mum is a bit eccentric. She’s a hippy with a penchant for trouble and has the maternal instincts of a doorknob.

Angel takes on the job of searching for a missing script writer. The bank financing the film is getting jumpy because the final draft of the script is past due and the writer hasn’t been seen in nearly two weeks. The investigation takes Angel out of his comfort zone of London into the wilds of Yorkshire. He is aided by fellow PI Ossie Oesterlein, a very large man with an even larger appetite, who lives at home with his mum and is into line dancing in a big way.

So just how does a search for a missing man end in a murder hunt with Angel staring down the barrel of a loaded gun contemplating his own death? And what does a Polish porn star have to do with it?The story is told from Angel’s perspective. As the narrator, Angel’s voice is highly amusing; particularly the banter between himself and Ossie. These two are about an unlikely a pair as you’ll ever come across. His wife’s increasing exasperation and annoyance at Angel’s extended absence from the martial home is also very entertaining, as is his mother’s antics.

The author, Mike Ripley, deftly changes both the tempo and mood of the plot as what begins as a routine missing person case and a jaunt to the north becomes a matter of life and death for Angel. ANGELS UNAWARE is a light-hearted detective yarn with a somewhat dark centre.

I was surprised to learn that ANGELS UNAWARE is the fifteenth in the Angel series. I must look out for more. Mike Ripley’s Roy Angel has slipped under my radar until now. Don’t let it slip under yours.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind words but you really must upgrade your radar!
Still, only 14 earlier "Angel tales" to catch up on.
For latest gossip, check out my "Getting away With Murder" column on


Sunnie Gill said...

So many books, so little time. That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mike.