Katie Shaw hasn’t seen her brother Chris in two years. She used to be his protector until an unspeakable event happened which altered his life. Now married and with a young daughter, Katie is still grappling with the guilt of that day. When her mother calls to say that Chris is missing, Katie instinctively knows that something terrible is happening. Detective Laurence Page was there the day of Chris’ accident and is now investing the murder of Alan Hobbs, a retired psychology professor. Alan’s death seems to have nothing to do with the events of Chris’ accident, but as Page continues to investigate a book stolen from Hobbs might just be the answer to everything.
I’m not going to go into detail about the story, because there is such a risk for spoiliers but just know that The Angel Maker is a complex story. I’m generally good at keeping track of multiple stories and characters, but I had a hard time following the story initially. I kept having to stop and refocus on where we were in the story, as it jumps around from character to character, and time period to time period. I ended up losing a bit of interest and actually took a 3 week break, before deciding to pick it up again and even then, I felt the story was a slow burn. Around 60% in, is when the storylines start to converge together and the pace of the story finally takes off.
Character wise, North does a fantastic job of creating a diverse set of characters. A few characters in particular he’s created so well that you can feel the ‘evil’ radiating off the pages of their story.
Alex North has certainly delivered an intricately woven story. I’d say this one is creepier than his previous 2 novels. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 just because I think North is incredibly talented to be able to weave such different storylines into one. But the slow beginning, the added philosophical theories, and one unresolved subplot keep this from being a 5-star read for me. I will say that the audiobook was excellent, and that really helped me to get back into the story, so highly recommend that.
The Angel Maker comes out February 28, 2023. Huge thank you to Celadon Books for my advanced physical copy and Macmillan Audio for my audio copy. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.