“An engaging detective series finale with a superbly animated cast.” Kirkus Reviews

Full Review:

THE ANGEL WORE BLACK

BY C. MACK LEWIS ‧ RELEASE DATE: JUNE 6, 2021

An Arizona private eye with a sordid past deals with missing persons and vicious homicides in this last installment of a trilogy.

It seems private investigator Jack Fox’s bed-hopping days are behind him. He’s trying to be a good father to 18-year-old college student Enid, the result of a one-night stand, and baby Katherine. Enid struggles with anger management and trauma from an ordeal in which she was forced to kill in self-defense. She’s on constant, almost paranoid guard, though her unease over Katherine’s mother, Eve Hargrove, makes sense. It hasn’t been that long since Eve escaped from prison, where she had been serving two life sentences for murder. Meanwhile, Jack takes a case for his ex-wife, a dominatrix who’s genuinely worried about her suspiciously absent “best Sub.” This has an unexpected connection to an unsolved murder from a couple of years ago—a homicide that crops up in other detectives’ investigations as well. As these cases clash, there’s a good chance Eve is involved. But whoever it is, someone more than willing to kill has cast Jack, his daughters, and others in a twisted, lethal game. Lewis, as in the earlier series volumes, loads her tale with grim melodrama, which takes precedence over the detective story. Mystery is fleeting; private eyes’ investigations take them either to people who adamantly withhold information or right to a killer’s door. Characters, nevertheless, practically burst with personality; they’re eccentric, flawed, and endlessly intriguing. And though the narrative is dark and sometimes brutally violent, it also flaunts a surprising amount of humor. Jack’s rival, gumshoe Dana Goode, is particularly memorable. She hilariously bickers with her office manager and takes fanatical glee in upsetting Jack. After a bleak but entertainingly over-the-top final act, the novel offers a solid series ending. Still, any of these characters could ignite a worthy spinoff.An engaging detective series finale with a superbly animated cast.

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