Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Harry Angel Goes to the Devil

Reading Mike Ripley’s monthly “Getting Away with Murder” column in Shots is similar to eating Cracker Jack: It’s a consistently tasty treat, with at least one surprise somewhere inside.

Take Ripley’s October contribution, for example. It’s filled with his usual personal recollections as a longtime crime-fiction critic (his introduction to Dick Francis, his experiences at the 1990 Bouchercon in London, etc.), plus mentions of new books (among them Ian Rankin’s A Song for the Dark Times and Charles Cumming’s Box 88). It also includes as well his endorsement of an early Peter Dickinson novel, A Pride of Heroes (1969), which he proclaims is “absolutely fabulous and I am kicking myself for not reading it before now.”

And the surprise? Word that William Hjortsberg, the New York City-born Montana novelist who died in 2017, has a brand-new book—Angel’s Inferno (No Exit Press)—due out in Britain at the end of this month. Ripley notes that it’s “a long-awaited and unanticipated sequel to his very spooky Falling Angel from 1978, which was filmed as Angel Heart by Sir Alan Parker.” Amazon goes on to describe the book as “a mind-bending thriller blending hard-boiled detective fiction, supernatural horror, and metaphysical noir that takes readers on a macabre journey into the occult, from the East Coast to Paris to the Vatican, as private investigator Harry Angel, seeking both answers about his true identity and revenge, hunts down Satan himself.”

That news alone made investigating Ripley’s column worthwhile.

1 comment:

Gram said...

Peter Dickenson's books have different titles here in the US. That one was
the Old English Peep Show. But since I haven't read the Pibble books for a long time, I think it's time for a re-read. Thanks for reminding me. I hope they stand up as well as I remember.