Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 23 September 2014
Format: Paperback, 368 pgs
Source: ARC from the publisher
Jessica Blackwood was five when she first started learning magic from her grandfather. She came from a family of magicians but decided to leave the glamour and her past behind after a performance almost got her killed when she was twenty. It was also the same time she decided to leave her family and be on her own.
At present, she volunteered to teach magic tricks as a form of therapy at a children's hospital since college and continued all the way through her career in the FBI. She was in forensic accounting, not really an adventurous job but she took pride in her work and had managed to crack a few cases through her persistence and observations.
However her careful constructed world was turned upside down when the FBI wanted her expertise when someone called himself 'Warlock' had hacked into their network and left them a code, which led them to a body. Jessica wasn't into homicide, but the FBI thought maybe she could help unravel the mystery, given her name as a magician years ago.
Now the mysterious part is the victim, Chloe McDonald's body is only hours old in the spot where they found it, but the fact is she was already dead for two years. What made it so horrific is Chloe face was filled with horror and her body was still half buried in the ground; it appeared she was trying to crawl her way free of the earth where she was buried. The creepiest part? Her coffin was empty.
While Jessica managed to make an explanation about what happened is a clever and elaborate combination of illusions, the team is wondering if it's the same killer who murdered the real Chloe, since the other Chloe appeared to have the same wounds at the exact location.
While they were speculating, another bigger and unexplainable case dropped onto their lap, this time round is an airplane which was claimed to be an original Avenger bomber which was believed to be lost in the Bermuda Triangle in 1945. Would it be the Warlock's work, again? After all, the pilot who was perished in the missing plane was found too.
As the FBI struggled to piece things together, Jessica feared that more victims would die under the Warlock's hands if they didn't find and stop him in time. But the Warlock seems to be a step ahead of them, and this made Jessica more determined to catch this man who thought himself a god through the "miracles" he conjured.
I really enjoyed reading Angel Killer. Aside it's an action thriller, I liked it that it's also packed with a magic theme and this made my reading experience a different one from the rest as I felt myself like an eager audience, watching those magic unfold in front of my eyes, except that it's on paper instead of in a theatre. It is no wonder the author could write it that way, since Andrew Mayne is a famous magician himself and is the star of A&E's magic reality show Don't Trust Andrew Mayne.
Written from Jessica's perspective, I found the writing style to be appropriate and convincing as Mr. Mayne takes his readers into her magical world and see how her mind works as she tried to "see through" his tricks and lead them to the clues he left behind. I liked Jessica as a character, but what really intrigued me is another character whom I felt is another great mystery to this story. Damian is Jessica's ex-boyfriend and he is charming and appears to be very devoted to her. But she broke up with him after knowing that he had deceived her with his multiple identities. Is he delusional? Or does he has something to hide? Jessica never knew, but she knew he's always there for her whenever she's in danger. Damian even left a few clues to her regarding the Warlock's works, and this made him a suspect.
Like Jessica, I don't know if I trust Damian but yet an instinct told me that he might not be a bad guy, even though he could be dangerous. I hope my instinct is correct. Although the identity of the Warlock is revealed, the ending gave the readers the hope of a sequel. I definitely want to read more of Jessica, and Damian as well.