“Crais is at the top of his game, and Demolition Angel delivers the goods. With a bang. . . . It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Speed. . . . Crais knows how to press all the right buttons in keeping the story line taut and the action, well, explosive.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Carol Starkey is struggling to pick up the pieces of her former life as L.A.’s finest bomb squad technician. Fueled with liberal doses of alcohol and Tagamet, she’s doing time as a Detective-2 with LAPD’s Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the event that still haunts her: a detonation that killed her partner and lover, scarred her body and soul, and ended her career as a bomb tech.
When a seemingly innocuous bomb call explodes into a charred murder scene, Carol catches the case and embarks on an investigation of a series of explosions that reveal chilling intentions. The bombs are designed expressly to kill bomb technicians. Now, as the one tech who survived the deadliest of blasts, Carol is in for the most perilous fight of her life. . . .
Praise for Demolition Angel
“Terrific . . . explosive . . . [a] high powered thrill ride.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Gripping . . . Crais piles on plot twists . . . gathering the separate threads at the end and igniting them like a string of fireworks.”—People
“A powerful, self-contained novel of suspense that has the compactness, velocity, and effectiveness of a well-aimed bullet . . . This is a thriller that works on every level, a pivotal work from a crime novelist operating at the top of his game.”—Los Angeles Times
“Fascinating and frighteningly believable . . . Starkey is one of the toughest characters to grace the crowded field of thriller books in a long time.”—USA Today
“A flammable techno-thriller with the kind of force that knocks out windows.”—The New York Times Book Review
"Packs an explosive punch. Though the pace of the book moves like a quick-burning fuse, Crais still takes the time in Demolition Angel to sketch out some memorable characters: Starkey, haunted and hollow-eyed, covering up her pain with a Bogart-tough demeanor; and John Michael Fowles (aka Mr. Red), a sociopath who gets all sorts of information from the Internet without breaking a sweat. . . . Crais keeps things wound so tight that readers will be getting paper cuts in their rush to finish this one.”—The Denver Post
Acclaimed for his Elvis Cole mystery series (L.A. Requiem, etc.), Crais deserves further garlands for this stand-alone crime novel. The book features one of the most complex heroines to grace a thriller since Clarice Starling locked eyes with Hannibal Lecter, a deliciously spooky villain in the person of a mad bomber known as Mr. Red, and an aggressively involving plot. Carol Starkey was a rising light in the LAPD Bomb Squad until, two years back, a bomb blew up in her face, maiming her and killing her lover/partner. Now Carol's a bitter, chain-smoking alcoholic with the LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section, who gets drawn into a literally explosive conspiracy when a bomb kills Charlie Riggio, one of her former bomb squad colleagues. Forensic evidence points toward the bomb being the work of John Michael Fowles, aka Mr. Red, a coldhearted young bomber-assassin-for-hire and master of disguise. Much of the narrative concerns Carol's pursuit of him, most excitingly on the Net through a secret mad-bombers' site, aided by a saturnine federal (ATF) agent, Jack Pell. Intercut are scenes of Mr. Red's various mad plottings, which take a hairpin turn when he learns that the cops think he killed Riggio: for in fact he didn't. That murder pans out as a copycat crime for personal gain, and now Carol must pursue both Riggio's killer and Mr. Red, who in turn has taken an intimate interest in this bomb-savvy female cop. The subsequent pas de deux between Carol and Mr. Red is too reminiscent of the dance between Starling and Lecter, but otherwise this novel gets high marks for originality, and even higher ones for suspense and, above all, for multidimensional, wounded characters who give all the excitement a rare depth. BOMC and Literary Guild featured selection; Mystery Guild main selection; author tour; film rights sold to Columbia/Tri-Star.