Alice Quentin, a psychologist, is back in A Killing of Angels, the second book in this series, the first being Crossbones Yard.
In the middle of a stifling summer in London a banker from Angel Bank is killed, and with his body is found a white feather and a picture of an angel. Detective Inspector Don Burns, now in a new position following his previous case, calls on Alice for assistance in profiling the killer as he fears the perpetrator is not going to stop at one killing; he is right. Alice is reluctant what happened previously had put her off working with the police, but Don Burns is persuasive, and she relents.
This book is firmly rooted in the banking crisis where money means more than life. The pictures of angels also introduces the reader to renaissance art, the juxtaposition of biblical angels with more modern aspects of the media is exceptionally well executed which just adds a feeling of reality to the complexity of the plot.
Kate Rhodes handles the pace of the book with aplomb. The twists are brutal and compelling. Alice’s personal life living with her bi-polar brother gives the story a domestic edge as the realities of her relationship with her mother and brother are explored without detracting from the main plot. As well as her work with the police Alice has a case-load of patients which just adds to her stress levels which she relieves by running through London. There is no doubt in the books setting, the author brings the streets of London to life with her descriptions.
This is a very satisfying sequel where the protagonist is struggling with the aftermath of the previous case. The change is noticeable and it is interesting to have a story arc where events have a profound effect on the character, this isn’t the case for Alice and she makes some errors of judgement which to me only served to feel that she is ‘real.’
I am looking forward to the next in this series, The Winter Foundlings published later this month.