by Sandrone Dazieri
Okay, before we say anything else, I need get something off my chest: that cliffhanger ending…was so rude. SO. SO. RUDE.Honestly, how dare you, Signore Dazieri. How dare you. I feel so betrayed. I trusted you — probably shouldn’t have, but I trusted you, and you just pushed me off the cliff in the last page.
I am distressed.
Keep in mind, though, this a good(?) distress. This is the distress of high anxiety that results from one or more of my favourites being in serious danger and Dazieri giving me no solace as to whether or not they are anywhere near the edge of the realm of “okay.”
If I had to guess: they’re not.
Kill the Angel is the highly-anticipated follow up to Dazieri’s previous novel, Kill the Father, which introduced us to snarky, neighbourhood badass, Colomba Castelli, and her unlikely partnership with the ever-strange and yet strangely delightful, Dante Torre. They were a seemingly mismatched pair that worked together so wonderfully both as an investigative team and as a duo of highly damaged people attempting to heal and function within every day life.
Something I highlighted as one of my favourite aspects of Kill the Father was that both Castelli and Torre suffer consequences of significant trauma in the form of PTSD-related panic attacks, claustrophobia, reckless and potentially destructive behaviours, et al. and yet none of these things feel like “quirks” slapped onto them for the purpose of being able to claim their haunted. These issues cause Castelli and Torre a significant amount of trouble throughout Kill the Father as well as here in Kill the Angel.
We see through their struggles how the road to recovery is not a simply slope up, but a convoluted road that winds around and how, sometimes, characters can also still “regress.” Castelli and Torre suffered significant trauma, and their issues with the aforementioned panic attacks, calustrophobia, and potentially harmful behaviour still plague them, yet in an wholly understandable and believable way. These are not behaviour put on them for the sake of shock or to make them “haunted when convenient” — so they can sit around a table and share their stories, yet never suffer consequences from their trauma-related issues — but things which even still cause them inconvenience or difficulty.
This book features all the great twists and turns that Dazieri brought in Kill the Father, including conspiracy theory elements, chases, explosions, terribly devious and intelligent antagonists, and more small glimpses into the past of just who is Dante Torre. Where I think this book stumbles in comparison to its predecessor is the pacing. It certainly starts off with a great bang, much like the first novel, but seriously languishes in the middle. I often found myself skim-reading large portions of the novel in order to move it along, which is something I definitely didn’t experience while reading Kill the Father.
Once the novel picks up again, however, it really picks up, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be yelling at Signore Dazieri for that ending until you’re metaphorically blue in the face before weeping that you’re probably going to have to wait a while for the third instalment.