Angel Baby by Richard Lange
Mulholland Books | 304 pages
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Adult Fiction | Crime | Suspense
4 out of 5 Stars
I’m a big fan of novels that start fast and can sustain the pace relentlessly until the very end. Such is the case for this book. If you’re like me, a reader that takes home books like strays every week, this is a must. If I have any hopes of making a dent on my to-be-read pile, then reading books that consume my undivided attention is definitely a necessity. It also helps that I’ve a newfound appreciation for pulp fiction and Richard Lange’s book fits the bill exactly. This book is absolutely riveting. It will have you flipping the pages, frantic to get to the end.
On the run from her abusive, drug lord of a husband, Luz will unflinchingly and ironically kill those who stand in her way to get away from a violent life. From Tijuana to California, and aided by a terminally depressed Malone, she would move heaven and earth to get to her daughter whom she hasn’t seen in years. But with a corrupt border agent and a convict on their tail, getting to her will not be a walk in the park.
This book may not be the usual genre that I normally enjoy, but, golly, it had me by the nose as early as page one. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy read, but Richard Lange certainly did his best to make it as palatable to non-readers of this genre as possible. Expect a lot of violence and gore, for sure. However, the author didn’t make it so they’re gratuitous.
This shows exactly how corrupt and how easily illegal immigrants can cross the US-Mexico border for the right price. In this case, all you needed is a border agent with a gambling habit desperate enough to ignore the law and the job he’s supposed to do.
I think the one character here that I enjoyed reading about is the convict, Jeronimo. Basically, Rolando (the drug lord husband), held his family hostage until Jeronimo brings Luz back to him. He’s dead set on keeping his nose clean for his family but like any gang member who’d like to turnover a new leaf, Rolando made it hard for him. You’ll see a lot of remorse from Jeronimo, but none directed to those whom he thought were not worthy. He had no problem killing the corrupt but he agonized when it’s defenceless people.
Malone is also another interesting character. He’s on a suicide mission, and I’m not talking about helping Luz escape her deranged, lawless husband. He’d been suicidal before that. His story is heartbreaking, to say the least. But then again, there’s heartbreaks everywhere in this book.
This gritty novel is a lucid representation of how I envisioned this life would be. Though, I’m sure there are others more violent than this one, it’s the only level that my stomach can pretty much digest. Let’s put it this way, when I watched Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in the cinemas many years ago, I felt as if I had hangover for the next couple of weeks. It’s also one of the reasons why I can’t get through any horror reads of true crime novels for that matter. I just have a weak stomach for violence and gore.