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Demolition Angel

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,486 Ratings  ·  260 Reviews
Carol Starkey is a bomb squad veteran now doing time as a Detective-2 with LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section. Three years have passed since the detonation that killed Carol's partner and lover, but she is still severely scarred both mentally and physically. She can't bear to look in the mirror, and she hasn't been with another man since David Boudreaux left her bed that l ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 3rd 2001 by Ballantine Books (first published May 16th 2000)
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Silvi Definitely! That's the reason I have continued reading Robert Crais.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichDeath on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Best Detective/Mystery Series
488th out of 1,476 books — 1,745 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Detective Fiction
189th out of 805 books — 938 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Dec 13, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
An LAPD bomb squad technician is blown up on the job and Detective Carol Starkey, former bomb squad tech, is on the case. Can Starkey overcome her past and bring the bomber to justice?

I first heard of Demoliton Angel last year at Bouchercon when Robert Crais mentioned working on it in secret after LA Requiem. It sounded okay but I wasn't in a hurry to read it. After Carol Starkey appeared in a couple Elvis Cole books, I knew I had to check out her story. I was not disappointed.

At the beginning o
Nov 24, 2012 Kemper rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery, 5-0, 2012
Bomb technician Carol Starkey got blown to hell. Then she came back. Actually, that’s not right. Starkey got blown up, died for a couple of minute, was revived and her life has been hell ever since.

Three years later and Carol has never emotionally recovered from the blast that temporarily killed her and permanently killed her partner/secret lover. Working as a detective in the LAPD’s Criminal Conspiracy Section, Carol is trying to convince the bosses to bring her back as a bomb tech, but she’s d
Anthony Vacca
Mar 20, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Demonlition Angel starts with a BANG! and this review starts with a lame pun.

What looks like a routine defusing of some gangbanger’s pipe bomb left in a dumpster turns into a showering of body parts when the explosive ignites suddenly, completely annihilating a bomb squad technician. Carol Starkey is the detective assigned to the case, which quickly turns into a pissing contest with a self-aggrandizing lunatic who calls himself Mr. Red, and who wants to blow up enough places and people so that h
Maria João Fernandes
"O Anjo da Destruição" é um thriller interessante, que entretém, mas que falha em trazer algo de novo ao género. Robert Crais apresenta-nos uma personagem principal do sexo feminino, traumatizada por acontecimentos do passado, que se vê envolvida num novo caso que lhe desperta a memória e sentimentos antigos.

Carol Starkey é uma confusão da cabeça ao pés. Ela fuma, bebe e queixa-se em excesso. É solitária e frequentemente mal humorada. Contudo, apesar de tudo o que a vida lhe trouxe de mau, ela l
Cathy DuPont
Jan 13, 2012 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Crais Fans or Not. Stand alone (maybe) character.
Shelves: noir-favorites
Been reading Crais in order and just love Elvis Cole and Joe Pike so I wasn't anxious to read a stand alone. Didn't think it would live up to my expections. Boy was I wrong.

The last hundred pages or so, there were so many surprises for me...all unexpected, all supported by previous events. No loose threads at the end, either.

His main character, a woman, Carol Starkey, is flawed, flawed to the hilt. She's not a character I thought I would end up really liking but as I got to know her, the more I
Joyce Lagow
Apr 13, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing
A stand-alone as opposed to his Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, this book rankswith Crais' best, and that is saying a great deal, considering L.A. Requiem, which I consider one of the finest books in the entire genre. Demolition Angel introduces Carol Starkey, a very tough, very different heroine, who will segue into the Elvis Cole series; however, this can be read totally independently of those two series. But this is Starkey's book, and it tears along with plenty of plot twists and surprises and a ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 23, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
The synopsis or the synopses of this book usually start out telling you about Crais other series. Then they rhapsodize about the action and thrills in this book...

Well, I think that's a little misleading. I mean it's as good as Crais' other books (and if this is a series I plan to follow it). On the other hand it's not a wall to wall to wall action thriller. That's not a bad thing and as you see i like the book. I plan to recommend the book. Just don't go into it expecting a thrill ride that doe
May 21, 2009 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Noir lives!

Taking a break from his famous Elvis Cole protagonist, Robert Crais breaks out female bomb squad detective Carol Starkey. Everyone in this book is broken in some way. Carol survived a bomb explosion that killed her lover. Several years later, she is the lead investigator in a bombing that killed her colleague. Enter Pell of the ATF, who insists that this bomber is a serial killer called Mr. Red. As the case unfolds, often based upon persistent gumshoe work on Starkey's part, she suspe
Kirsty Darbyshire

Where do I start? I want to like Robert Crais. I don't think he writes badly. I don't think he plots badly. I don't think his characters are bad. But none of them are good enough and every aspect of his work seems endemically infected with stereotypes.

I picked up the Elvis Cole series on the eighth book and I thought the ending was lousy but I reckoned that it wasn't written for me. It was the kind of ending a long time series reader could live with. After eight books you can forgive your heros

Jul 22, 2009 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Standalone thriller of a woman on the bomb disposal detail nearly killed(her partner was).
Sep 09, 2015 Marge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
Carol Starkey is damaged, mentally and physically, because of the bomb which nearly killed her and killed her lover. I got tired of just how damaged she was, but she still had dogged determination to do her job right.

Many reviewers complained that the love story was tacked on. I can see where they're coming from but to me it was more like Crais wanted to concentrate on the suspense, but also give Carol a reason to live at the end. The ending was not all sweetness and puppy dogs, but it lightene
Jul 19, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it
She is an LA cop who was on the bomb squad until she was killed in an explosion. He is an ATF agent looking for Mr. Red, a serial bomber. They work together, but at cross purposes since neither trusts the other. She is vulgar, chain smokes and appears to be on a diet of gin. He is so involved in finding Mr Red he refuses to acknowledge any evidence that is contrary to his mindset. The plot, like most of Crais' is complex and will capture your interest at once. There is lots of action and the int ...more
Tom Swift
Apr 19, 2016 Tom Swift rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Robert Crais for a long time. Elvis Cole is a great character to check out. This is a stand alone novel about the bomb squad in LA, really good.
Dewayne Stark
Jul 13, 2014 Dewayne Stark rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan McChesney
Jun 23, 2014 Susan McChesney rated it really liked it
A very good mystery and fair mini-romance book by Robert Crais. Carol Starkey has been in several of Crais' books but has never been the main character. An interesting villain by the name of Mr. Red is introduced. The book is mainly about bombs used as weapons, but something that I had never considered, also used for specific targets as small as even for one person. Carol Starkey used to be a bomb technician for the police department. While involved with deactivating one, she was blown up, died ...more
Apr 20, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it
My Robert Crais #2...equally fascinating. Way to take me into another world!!! No Elvis Cole here, but a great female character I know I'll see again, Carol Starkey. His works would not have been in a favorite genre of mine, but maybe I need to rethink this! Fast moving, twists and turns...greatly constructed tales. I have a couple more here to get to thanks to my collector husband, but based on what I've found under his name, I could keep busy with Robert for some time!
May 28, 2015 Nancy rated it it was ok
This was a pretty grim book, since the heroine, Carol Starkey, is a tortured-soul bomb investigator for the LAPD, and she "died" in a bomb case that actually did kill her partner. She was revived and deals with the scars and demons from that demolition. Her go-tos are cigarettes (nearly constant) and gin (her hydration of choice), so she must smell pretty dreadful. She works so hard at being a tough customer - brusque, cold, unsociable - that I found it hard to root for her. Likeable? Nuh-unh.

Mar 28, 2010 Joyce added it
Shelves: librarybook
The story of a woman who almost died doing the job she loves... only to learn that no matter how dangerous and trouble-causing it is for her, the alternative is feeling like she's already dead. But seriously, who can relate to that? Certainly not this reader.

ps Crais gets the craving for oblivion, but misses the fathomless self-pity that drives someone to swill gin out the flask on the job. Or so I hear.
Aug 07, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
First, the good points. The author has a good descriptive ability, especially on the nature of police departments and the signature marks of the bomber: "the loops, arches, and whorl patterns of his personality".

Second, the cons outweighed the good points. Sure, there were twists and turns, some predictable, some not. At times, Carol Starkey seemed surprisingly normal, not just a gin-skin on legs with a prickly attitude. Sometimes, she was unexpectedly funny: "I was born in LA. I got freeways i
Jan 03, 2013 Tay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel by Robert Crais that doesn't feature Elvis Cole or Joe Pike but nonetheless is an excellent read. Some really good twist that I had to keep reading to find out was behind the murder. It also has a nice back and forth mouse game between the villian and our hero Carol Starkey. If you a fan of Robert Crais you will not be disappointed.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Another one of Crais's best. Quite bold and shocking at times. Focuses on a different character, Carole Starkey, who comes up again in later Elvis Cole novels. I like the way he develops her as a very memorable character, and then continues with this development in future novels where she is a less prominent part of the plot.
Sep 17, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, los-angeles
Crais creates a strong center for the book in Carol Starkey - she's so vivid that you can practically smell the waft of gin fumes and cigarette ash coming off the page. The pace keeps up throughout, although several of the twists are clued a bit too aggressively.
Shannon Kauderer
Jul 31, 2016 Shannon Kauderer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like mysteries and thrillers
Fantastic book. Long review coming soon!Title: Demolition Angel
Series Number: The first.
Author: Robert Crais
(Audio) Narrator: Paul Hecht

One sentence summary: Ex-bomb squad member has to work through her past accident while working on a current case where one of her old coworkers died.

Theme(s): Single past events can drive people’s actions for years. There are multiple ways to cope with PTSD and other results of said past events.

(Audio) Narrator review: I had one huge issue; the main characte
Race Bannon Berns
Mar 09, 2016 Race Bannon Berns rated it really liked it
This started a little slow and the protagonist is one of those troubled souls that is sort of overused in the genre, but, boy!, get yourself to the last hundred pages and you will really enjoy the suspense of this thriller.
Good prose and generally good characterization (despite the 'troubled soul' comment), with a fairly decent plot that has some nice twists. There is kind of an unbelievable love connection thing that transpires so that knocked this down a notch in my opinion.
However, I enjoyed
Oct 14, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stand-alone thriller. "Finalist 2001 Dilys Award; Finalist 2001 Mary Higgins Clark Award "

Police thriller - Carol Starkey was a rising light in the LAPD Bomb Squad until, two years back, a bomb blew up in her face, maiming her and killing her lover/partner. Now Carol's a bitter, chain-smoking alcoholic with the LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section, who gets drawn into a literally explosive conspiracy when a bomb kills Charlie Riggio, one of her former bomb squad colleagues. Forensic evidence point
Ted Williams
I did enjoy this, but nowhere near as much as the previous books I have read by Mr Crais.

I'm sure a big part of this is due to the central character who I never really felt particularly involved with throughout the whole story.
Other reviewers have commented on the 'romance' aspect feeling somewhat tacked on, and indeed it did feel somewhat abrupt in it's nature.
The technical and procedural information about bomb disposal, on the other hand, was fascinating, and even though the author admits some
Allison Malter
Feb 28, 2016 Allison Malter rated it really liked it
Robert Crais introduces a new protagonist, Carol Starkey, a bomb technician who was technically dead after trying to defuse a bomb. While successfully resuscitated she is left with residual emotional as well as physical scars. In this book she and an ATF agent are investigating a bomber known as Mr. Red. At one point Mr. Red invades her home in one of the most understated but creepy scenes I have read. This is one of Crais’s usual taut thrillers with plot twists and tension building to the last ...more
Jun 19, 2016 Kat rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angus Whittaker
Sep 06, 2014 Angus Whittaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
This isn't really what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Robert Crais is actually a good writer, and is able to get in the mind of his characters and, almost more importantly, give them each a distinct voice. This is something that is often taken for granted in the works of great writers, and the lack of distinct voices is easy to miss in the work of crappy writers. In "Demolition Angel," you can distinguish between which character is speaking just by th ...more
Phil Hait
Feb 28, 2014 Phil Hait rated it liked it
Interesting read about a bomb squad detective who dies as a result of a bomb blast but is revived. Detective Carol Starkey is of coursers-assigned after her recovery. This latest case has her investigating a death of a fellow bomb tech with numerous twists that might lead to a serial bomb killer. The ATF & FBI are both interested in what is happening, but the LAPD is hot on the trail. Starkey shows up in other books by Crais with additional attributes. This book is an early work that I someh ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Non-standard book synopses 2 17 Sep 18, 2014 02:06PM  
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Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. A native of Louisiana, he grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery workers and police officers. He purchased a secondhand paperback of Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction. ...more
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