Demolition Angel
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Demolition Angel

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  4,192 ratings  ·  199 reviews
After eight novels featuring Elvis Cole and his loyal sidekick Joe Pike, Crais has created Carol Starkey, 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 t...more
Mass Market Paperback, 395 pages
Published July 3rd 2001 by Ballantine Books (first published 2000)
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Dan Schwent
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...more
Kemper
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...more
Anthony Vacca
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...more
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...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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...more
Cathy DuPont
Jan 13, 2012 Cathy DuPont rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Joyce Lagow
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
James
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...more
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

...more
Marlon
I cant think of a better genre to describe this book other than a thriller. I have read alot of books and theres not that many that i would want to read over and over again. I might say that mabye i should read it again. But chances are i would never pick those other books up again. I have already read this book three times and i would again if i could find it. Its a amazing book but i have to say that it should be read only by older kids. Mabye not even by kids at all. It is a dark book. With b...more
Randy
Standalone thriller of a woman on the bomb disposal detail nearly killed(her partner was).
Kathryn
I have only read a handful of Crais novels but they are all very good. This one is no exception. I've never really read much about bomb squads and such and this one kept me hooked. It's very good from the beginning to the end. Crais does a great job of putting me into the characters so much that I can actually feel the way they feel. And, even though this was a very serious book, I could find some humor here and there which makes me like it even more. It's an exciting book that most any mystery...more
Susan McChesney
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
Beth
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!
Joyce
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.
Tay
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
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.
Jessica
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.
Rex Fuller
This almost makes the top three Crais books for me. It could be I just like Starkey. But I think he does some of his best writing when dealing with her character.
Phil Hait
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
Eric_W
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerry
This standalone novel is mid-booklist of the growing Crais bibliography, and introduces police detective Carol Starkey (who will appear from time to time in later stories in small parts). Starkey is a former bomb squad expert whose partner was killed in the same explosion that almost took her life – she was actually heart-dead for several minutes before being revived. Now a detective, she’s working a case where another bomb expert has been killed in an explosion, but soon signs point to a probab...more
Bruce Snell
This is one of Robert Crais' stand alone books. It is about Carol Starkey a former bomb tech for LAPD. She was blown up a couple years ago when a bomb detonated, she died, was revived, and is now a bomb investigator. Overall, this book is OK, but not as good as Crais' Elvis Cole series.

Carol is currently investigating the death of a bomb tech who was attempting to disarm a bomb when it was detonated. An agent from the DEA arrives and tells Officer Starkey that the bomb was the product of a seria...more
Snorkle
I read this for my Category Fiction class in graduate school. It was interesting to examine this thriller from a writer’s perspective and see how the author planted pieces of information throughout. Crais also did a good job of keeping the novel suspenseful by always keeping the villain in readers’ minds without actually having him present. And it was definitely good at drawing readers into the story and leaving them guessing. It was by far the most exciting story we read for this class. And one...more
Tom
While I missed the acerbic wit of Elvis Cole, the character that usually headlines a Crais novel, I found this book well written and entertaining. Carol Starkey is a detective with the LAPD. She used to be a bomb tech, until she was blown up, along with her co-worker and lover. She died and was resuscitated, while her lover died and stayed dead, and she must now live with that guilt. Another bomb tech is killed in an explosion, and Starkey is given the lead on the investigation. Clues indicate t...more
Deanna
Carol is a wonderful character for a reader. She is a real mess but has some reason to be so. She was blown to death by a bomb and revived. The love of her life was killed saving her from that bomb. Her dietary habits are the pits. She smokes too much and drinks too much. She was on the bomb squad but not is a detective. She has a creative mind that is great at solving puzzles. Now she has a puzzle that might kill her again. I love this character.

The plot is interesting and has some unexpected...more
David
It has been said that there are only three plots in novels: man vs. man, man vs. self and man vs. nature. In "Demolition Angel" we have all three, provided that you replace "man" with "woman". In this case, the woman is Detective Carol Starkey. She is battling herself -- not only her current behavior, but things that have happened to her in the past. She is also tracking a bomber who is loose. Finally, while she does not battle nature, per se, she disarms bombs for a living.

This is the first non...more
Venessa
This is not the best book I've ever read. It wasn't *bad* but in many places I simply hung on in order to get to the end. The story itself was interesting, but I had some issues with the style and characterization.

I felt there were entirely too many info dumps about bombs. Though I listened to the audio version, it seemed as though there were paragraphs and paragraphs about exactly what the bombs looked like, the composition of the explosives, etc, etc. I felt as though the author was very eage...more
Lynn
Carol Starkey is one of the most broken people I have ever met in life or in reading. I suppose it is the foil of all those hard-edged male detectives of the 1940's and 1950's. Starkey lives on gin and cigarettes and to hell with everyone else. Mind you she had been to hell and was resuscitated so that may have had something to do with her broken nature. Three years ago Starkey had been part of the bomb squad and an earthquake struck while she and her partner (both work and romantic) got caught...more
Robert Haines
I'm torn between giving this book two or three stars (I guess that would make it 2.5 stars). I am a big fan of Crais' Elvis Cole series but found this this story to be less interesting and not as well written. Carol Starkey is a miserable person, meaning that she is suffering emotionally (at times physically) from surviving a bomb blast that took the life of her partner and her own for several seconds. I felt that there was a lot of time taken with her emotional state that kept the story from pr...more
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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
More about Robert Crais...
The Watchman (Joe Pike, #1) The Sentry (Elvis Cole, #12, Joe Pike, #3) The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1) The First Rule (Joe Pike, #2) Suspect

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