Monday, September 1, 2008

Review: Death Angel

Title: Death Angel
Author: Linda Howard
Genre: Contemporary

My first impression of Drea Rousseau is: "What a cold hearted bitch." This is because the book opens with Drea sitting with her lover, Rafael Salinas, while he is meeting with a hired assassin. The assassin has just completed a job for Rafael and they are discussing the completion of it. Drea feels uncomfortable looking at the assassin so she is contemplating her toe nails. She regrets her choice of nail color because it clashes with her outfit. As it turns out the self-absorbed attitude is merely a pretense Drea maintains as a form of self-preservation.

Drea is the girlfriend of drug lord Rafael Salinas. She is there to make Rafael feel good and give him what he needs. In return he gives her money and a luxurious life-style. Rafael thinks very little of Drea beyond what she gives him, a beautiful woman in his bed. He thinks of Drea as a woman with all looks and very little brains. Drea, on the other hand, is simply playing a role.

When Rafael cruelly uses Drea as part of a business deal she decides she has had enough and leaves. She takes two million of his dirty money with her in order to teach him a lesson and give herself a new start in life. When he discovers what she has done he calls upon the assassin to hunt her down and kill her.

After a terrible accident where Drea is thought to be dead she is able to start a new life. Months later Drea and Simon, the assassin, are brought together again and the strong attraction that they felt in the beginning is still there. Drea, who is now known as Andie, decides to go to the FBI and try to put Rafael in behind bars. She wants to do the right thing and stop looking over her should.

Drea and Simon are anything but the typical hero/heroine. Drea's instincts are to look out for herself first. She trusts no one and leads a very isolated life. She spends her time shopping, watching pay-per-view and going to the library. Not close to her family, no real friends, she really has only herself.

Simon is an assassin. He doesn't apologize for his profession or make any excuses for what he is. His targets may not be upstanding citizens but he is still a killer for hire. He does seem to have his own ethical code but still looks as what he does as a job.

Both main characters go through some major changes in their outlook on life. They don't suddenly become philanthropist but do start to question their past actions. How those actions have gotten them to where they are now and what they need to do to get them to where they want to be.

Drea and Simon are not the most likeable or relatable characters but they are interesting simply because they aren't the typical hero/heroine. As the story evolves I'm curious to know what happens to them and how they will end up together. I'm not desperate for their HEA but still maintain the interest. They don't spend a lot of time together but when they are together there is a definite connection between the two.

Death Angel was a solid read. Not much in the way of romance and not one of my favorite Linda Howard novels but worth the read for Howard fans.

Rating: B

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