Mike Ripley






Allison and Busby, this edition 2008
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill

Roy Angel is a private investigator. He is the token male at an all-female agency. His wife, a successful fashion designer, has recently given birth to their first child. But thereís a fly in Angelís blissful ointment. The Agency is insisting he is not entitled to extended paternity leave and his mother has descended upon them to ďhelpĒ with the baby. Angelís mum is a bit eccentric. Sheís a hippy with a penchant for trouble and has the maternal instincts of a doorknob.

Angel takes on the job of searching for a missing script writer. The bank financing the film is getting jumpy because the final draft of the script is past due and the writer hasnít been seen in nearly two weeks. The investigation takes Angel out of his comfort zone of London into the wilds of Yorkshire. He is aided by fellow PI Ossie Oesterlein, a very large man with an even larger appetite, who lives at home with his mum and is into line dancing in a big way.

So just how does a search for a missing man end in a murder hunt with Angel staring down the barrel of a loaded gun contemplating his own death? And what does a Polish porn star have to do with it? The story is told from Angelís perspective. As the narrator, Angelís voice is highly amusing, particularly the banter between himself and Ossie. These two are about an unlikely a pair as youíll ever come across. His wifeís increasing exasperation and annoyance at Angelís extended absence from the martial home is also very entertaining, as is his motherís antics.

The author, Mike Ripley, deftly changes both the tempo and mood of the plot as what begins as a routine missing person case and a jaunt to the north becomes a matter of life and death for Angel. ANGELS UNAWARE is a light-hearted detective yarn with a somewhat dark centre.

I was surprised to learn that ANGELS UNAWARE is the fifteenth in the Angel series. I must look out for more. Mike Ripleyís Roy Angel has slipped under my radar until now. Donít let it slip under yours.

Nov 2008 review originally published on Murder and Mayhem


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