Meet Detective Zaniel Havelock, a man with the special ability to communicate directly with angels. A former trained Angel speaker, he devoted his life to serving both the celestial beings and his fellow humans with his gift, but a terrible betrayal compelled him to leave that life behind. Now he’s a cop who is still working on the side of angels. But where there are angels, there are also demons. There’s no question that there’s evil at work when he’s called in to examine the murder scene of a college student—but is it just the evil that one human being can do to another, or is it something more? When demonic possession is a possibility, even angelic protection can only go so far. The race is on to stop a killer before he finds his next victim, as Zaniel is forced to confront his own very personal demons, and the past he never truly left behind.
I am one of the many readers who adored the Anita Blake series until I didn’t. As a result, I avoided Laurell K. Hamilton books for quite a while. But I saw this one at the library and the synopsis intrigued me. Since borrowing a book from the library requires very little actual commitment, I gave it a go.
Long story short, I really liked this. I did think it dragged in the middle (really more like 2/3 through), with quite a few info drops. But I also realize it’s a first book in a series that needs to do some extra work in world-building. I adored Zaniel and appreciated that the ‘romance’ (if you want to call it that) was him trying to fix a broken marriage. Pretty much all the cops made me laugh and I’m interested in learning more about the College of Angels and the people Zaniel left behind.
I also liked that Hamilton legitimized basically all religions. There were gods, angels, spirit guides, spirit animals, messengers, and more. True, Angels were give prominence in the story, but I didn’t feel that was Hamilton prioritizing one religion over another. If the story (or any future one) was from different characters’ POVs different deities could be the prominent ones. Plus, the cast was as diverse as the pantheons.
All in all, a win for me. I’ll be looking for book two.