Blood of Angels
by Reed Arvin
Category: Fiction / Mystery
288 pages; ISBN: 0060596341
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Blood of Angels
HarperCollins, Jul 2005, $16.95, 288 pp.
Davidson County, Tennessee Assistant District Attorney Thomas Dennehy successfully prosecuted the state execution of teenager Wilson Owens for the murder of grocery manager Steven Davidson and sixty-eight years old customer Lucinda Williams. However, Lucinda was alive when EMT Charles Bridges on methamphetamine stuck an air tube down the wrong hole. Thomas prosecuted with Charles spending time in prison for negligent homicide.
Case closed – wrong. Kwame Jamal Hale, with Professor Buchanan of the Justice Project at his side, confesses he did the homicides setting up Owens, for the fall, and he claims he has the proof. The media is in a frenzy that Thomas, who convicted two separate independent individuals for that crime, may have hung the wrong guy. This interferes with a death penalty prosecution of Sudanese immigrant Moses Bol, accused of raping and killing with his DNA all over the crime scene. A “credible” witness, Presbyterian pastor Fiona Towns insists Moses was with her at the time of the homicide. Adding to Thomas’ doubts that he can find any juror to support capital punishment at this time, someone is stalking him.
BLOOD OF ANGELS is a fabulous legal thriller that takes a close look at capital punishment from various perspectives including the prosecutors, the criminals, the Justice Project volunteers, and a much divided community. Thomas is an interesting protagonist who struggles with how infamous robbery-murder impacts on his current homicide case while anti-death-penalty demonstrations and race riots engulf Nashville. The personal threat to Dennehy is not as effective as it could have been if the stalker had been an anti capital punishment zealot conceptually similar to an anti abortion person killing the “enemy”. Still this is a gripping tale.
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