Book Review: Dark Angels by Grace Monroe

Dark Angels is the first novel by Grace Monroe to feature Brodie McClennan.

Brodie McClennan, a lawyer on the up-and-up, is appointed to defend Kailash Coutts, a well-known prostitute accused of the murder of one of Edinburgh’s most celebrated lawyers, Alistair MacGregor.  It’s not a case that Brodie wants to take on, put she is put under pressure to do so from the bosses in her law firm.

The outcome looks clear, and as Brodie attempts to build a defence case, all she seems to find are riddles and questions she can’t answer.  Even her client doesn’t seem to be co-operating.

However, this case is much more than it seems.  Somehow this murder ties in to a number of unsolved cold cases and the further Brodie delves to uncover the truth, the more dangerous things get, and not just for her.  Powerful people are involved and are doing their best to cover up the past and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

As her friends close ranks around her in attempt to protect her, Brodie realises that only when finds the answers she is looking for will she be safe.

When I first started reading this, I did wonder whether I would finish it.  (It’s not often that I can’t finish a book).  I struggled to connect with both the story and Brodie – though this might have had more to do with me having a cold than anything else.  However, I persevered and I am so glad that I did.  About thirty pages in, I suddenly couldn’t put this book down.  This very dark and disturbing thriller is gripping right to the very end.

Once the story gets going, the pace is immense.  There are so many twists and turns in the storyline, some you might expect, others that you might not.  The atmosphere conjured by Grace Monroe (the writing partnership of Maria Thomson and Linda Watson-Brown) is dark and evocative as we are taken to the extremes of life in Edinburgh.  The characters we meet along the way are memorable and the addition of a historical conspiracy to the novel only further enhances the mysteries that need to be solved.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of dark thrillers, and I am looking forward to reading the second Brodie McClennan book, Blood Lines.  I am intrigued to find out where Brodie goes from here.

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