Friday, October 10, 2008

Linda Howard: Death Angel

Death Angel: B
Drea Rosseau

A striking beauty with a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau is more than content to be arm candy for Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord who deals with betrayal through quick and treacherous means: a bullet to the back of the head, a blade across the neck, an incendiary device beneath a car. Eager to break with Rafael, Drea makes a fateful decision and a desperate move, stealing a mountain of cash from the malicious killer. After all, an escape needs to be financed.

Though Drea runs, Salinas knows she can’t hide–and he dispatches a cold-blooded assassin in hot pursuit, resulting in a tragic turn of events. Or does it?

Left for dead, Drea miraculously returns to the realm of the living a changed woman. She’s no longer shallow and selfish, no longer steals or cheats or sells herself short. Both humbled and thrilled with this unexpected second chance, Drea embraces her new life. But in order to feel safe and sound–and stop nervously looking over her shoulder–she will need to take down those who marked her for death.

Joining forces with the FBI, supplying vital inside information that only she can provide, Drea finds herself working with the most dangerous man she’s ever known. Yet the closer they get to danger, the more intense their feelings for each other become, and the more Drea realizes that the cost of her new life may be her life itself–as well as her heart.

This was a most interesting read.
Very interesting.

When I read it a month ago, I gave it an A-. Now I'm obliged to give it a substantially lower grade.

Drea is the girlfriend of really-bad-guy Rafael Salinas. Coming from an impoverished background, she's done whatever she could to provide for herself... and she's done pretty well for herself in terms of material wealth. However, Salinas doesn't give her the love and acceptance that she so yearns for in her heart.

When she meets Salinas' go-to man (aka assassin), they share an incredible experience and crazily, (seriously, crazily) she wants to turn to this man for comfort, knowing full well that he wouldn't be able, or willing to, care for her.

In realizing this and in realizing the shittiness of her situation with Salinas, she makes a run for it, taking $2mil of Salinas cash with her.

He, of course, finds out and is furious.
He dispatches the hit man to go after her and effectively take her off the radar.

She runs from everyone and through a car accident, dies. (it says left for dead - she actually dies) Miraculously (and ever-so-slightly touching the paranormal realm), shed is given another chance at life... and she is a changed woman.

When she and the hit man meet again, they try to put an end to the bad Salinas.

I don't mind paranormals, dying, and etc etc. However, I do mind relating to the hero and heroine. I understood and sympathized (somewhat) with Drea. But I could not relate to the hero.

Similar to Diaz from Cry No More, the hero is hard to read, closed, distant, cold-blooded, and... well... what you would expect hit-men and assassins to be.

However, unlike Diaz, our hero remains distant to the end of the novel. While he changes - albeit slightly- for Drea, I still couldn't understand how Drea could have possibly loved him. He was stoic. He didn't talk. He just.... he just... I don't know... just... was there. It was apparent that he cared for her, yet I felt something was missing.

As for Drea caring for hero - she kind-of fell into love with him the moment she met him, so she just... loved him. BUT, I can't relate to how she came to feel safe and wanted and cared-for in his arms, as Howard wrote.

It's this strange mesh of incomprehension that I'm left with, even at the end of the story.

I think that Ms. Howard might have taken her uber alpha hero a bit too far.
If you're going to have someone fall in love with a sniper/ assassin/ killer-dude, make him somewhat ...human?

Other than this, the story was interesting to read. I'm not sure if I truly recommend this or not. I say GO FOR IT - but borrow from your local library before purchasing this baby.

1 comment:

memejain said...

I just finished this book too and felt really disappointed. I agree with you that the safety Drea feels in Simon's arms doesn't make much sense. I also had a problem with a woman who had as much smarts as Drea was willing to play bimbo for a creep like Rafael for 2 years. If you want check out my blog for my full review.