Guest Review: Angel of Death by Ben Cheetham

Monday 5 January 2015
Title: Angel of Death
Author: Ben Cheetham
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 8th May 2014
Pages: 352
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Would you break the law to see justice done? A former prostitute turns to murder in order to take revenge on the men who abused her.

Sheffield: a bankrupt businessman has murdered his family. It seems like an open-and-shut case: a desperate man resorting to desperate measures.

Middlesbrough: a woman named Angel is heading south. She is a woman alone. A prostitute. Now a murderer. And she has only one thing on her mind: revenge.

Two crimes, a hundred miles apart, but a terrible secret connects them. And although the courts may not agree, DI Jim Monahan has all the proof he needs to bring down justice on a group of particularly vicious criminals...

Reviewed by Gordon (

Angel of Death explores what happens when people in different walks of life reach the end of their tether. A policeman, his marriage over, facing retirement and no longer believing the law can fully extend justice where it may be required. A prostitute, sick of her dependency upon drugs, of being used and abused by clients and of her perpetual cycle of misery. A businessman who has a dark secret and is facing bankruptcy who decides to end it all.

The action kicks off right from the start of the story and Ben Cheetham does a great job of keeping the pace flowing. We follow Angel, a prostitute with a drug dependency. She is concerned that a girl, new to the streets, may have taken a potentially dangerous client to a remote part of town. Angel persuades one of her clients to try to find the girl before she comes to harm, however, she arrives too late to save the girl from receiving a beating. In an act of retribution Angel kills the girl’s client before taking the injured girl to hospital. From this point on Angel is on course to taking a degree of control back in her life.

While Angel is struggling to regain some independence the story switches to a struggling businessman who has decided that suicide is the only option he has left. Before he can end his own life he has a few loose ends to tie up first – the resultant fall out comes to Angel’s attention when it is reported on the news. For Angel, seeing the businessman on the news, one of her worst memories resurfaces and she decides to visit old haunts with a view to settling old scores.

Cheetham has created an attention grabbing thriller which kept me reading well into the wee small hours. Angel is a flawed character yet believes she is following the correct path in her attempts to punish those who have taken advantage of her. She is aided, indirectly, by DI Jim Monahan who is prepared to put his career on the line to see ‘justice’ done but he does not believe that the due process of the law will be able to punish the guilty. Can Monahan use a vengeful prostitute to bring down a few corrupt individuals? If he does then what may the consequences be? All becomes clear as the plot unfolds and, in keeping with the tone of the book, there are not always happy endings to be found.

On the strength of Angel of Death I would be more than willing to read more from Ben Cheetham. This was a well written and action-packed read. Great characterisation and more than a few unexpected twists kept me entertained to the end. I would award Angel of Death 4/5 and add Ben Cheetham to my list of authors to watch out for.

Thanks to Head of Zeus for the review copy, and to Gordon for the review.

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