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Angel of Darkness

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  662 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
In the early 1990s, Charles de Lint wrote and published three dark fantasies under the name "Samuel M. Key." Now, beginning with Angel of Darkness, Orb presents them for the first time under de Lint's own name.

When ex-cop Jack Keller finds the mutilated body of a runaway girl in the ashes of a bizarre house fire, he opens the door to a nightmare. For a sadistic experiment
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 9th 2002 by Orb Books (first published October 1st 1990)
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S.A. Parham
Aug 13, 2007 S.A. Parham rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Samuel M. Key is the pen name used by Charles de Lint for his dark horror work, to differentiate it from his regular fantasy fare. It took me a while to read this book, because it is very dark and almost frightening in places, so I read it in phases and digested each chapter a day or so before going on to the next. To review the parts that caught my attention the most would be to give away plot.
Feb 25, 2008 stephen rated it it was ok
This was a decent Horror/Mystery/Fantasy novel written by Charles de Lint, under the penname of Samuel M. Key - to denote that it is 'darker' than his usual novels.
There were many great ideas, and overall, I enjoyed this quick read. This was mostly for the unique vision de Lint has of fantasy worlds and creatures, and his descriptions of these. I did have issues with the book, though.
The tone of the book, though not jovial in the least, is not serious enough for the material covered (physical
Mar 15, 2008 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
A creepy novel, originally published under the penname Samuel M. Key. A serial killer's experiments with pain and sound (he likes to record his victims' screams) unleashes an avenging spirit on an unsuspecting Ottawa. Definitely different from de Lint's other works, but an effective horror story.
Jul 21, 2008 Kit rated it liked it
It was a fine read and had some interesting concepts but I think de Lint couldn't figure out whether he wanted to write horror or really dark fantasy.
Aug 04, 2008 Miranda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horror readers
Recommended to Miranda by: Katie McQuage
"Chad Baker was a rock star once, a real '60s hitmaker. Now he serves as benevolent angel of the Ottawa music scene, helping new bands make demos--and sometimes, secretly, helping a young beauty into his second, hidden recording studio. This is where Baker, a serial killer, records his victims' dying screams. When he combines the agonized vocalizations, he creates a hellish new music. Music that summons a different sort of angel--an unearthly and brutally vengeful Angel of Darkness." (From Amazo ...more
Apr 16, 2009 Josh rated it liked it
Not my favorite deLint book but, from what I gather, it's not his favorite either. It seems like more of a thing he felt he needed to write rather than something he wanted to write. It was interesting though.
Jul 23, 2009 J rated it liked it
Nothing like his fantasy books. Not bad, but it seemed flatter than his usual story and the ending...lacked (but that is probably a very personal reaction and others would not find it so). Strength is not all or nothing. Once you have lost it, you have to slowly build on it, layer by layer. First in small things, then gradually larger and larger or it will just collapse beneath you at the first challenge. So the ending felt a lot like the ending of a Doll's House, when I was the only one in my c ...more
I can't give this book a rating. Although I love Charles de Lint and consider myself to have a reasonable degree of resilience, I was so horrified by the images of the opening scene that I coulnd't bring myself to read more than a few pages beyond it.

This one is going back to the bookstore unread.

If you're interested in it, I strongly suggest you try reading the first few pages before making a purchase decision.
Talyn Falls
Sep 23, 2010 Talyn Falls rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone okay with violent/disturbing concepts
Recommended to Talyn by: Jena Corcoran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Flanagan
Jan 13, 2011 Kelly Flanagan rated it it was amazing
WOW again...
this book grabs you by the throat and pulls you in! there is no escape from a good Charles de Lint book!
this one starts very dark.. don't let it dismay you as it is well worth finishing!
Phillip Hall
Feb 23, 2011 Phillip Hall rated it liked it
This was a very creepy, harsh and brutal book. It was made even creepier by reading the introduction by the author, Charles d Lint. In which he says he took no joy in writing this book but it was something he was compelled to do. He says the shadows held on too long after he left the keyboard typing. I won't spoil anything from the book but just knowing this book kind of haunted the author gives it an even darker feel to it. It deals a lot with victims, pain and suffering. There are some fairly ...more
Mar 01, 2011 Selenem rated it liked it
Dark and disturbing urban fantasy/horror, Angel of Darkness is a different take on the "police procedural." De Lint manages a good balance between the "dreamscape" and the urban reality. Plus it's set in Ottawa. I always love to see Canada-gone-gothic.
May 30, 2011 Angela rated it it was ok
My comments at the time:

I was disappointed. At first I thought it was because it's horror - maybe I wasn't letting myself get as close to the characters because I was afraid they were about to be killed off gruesomely. But then I realized that no, it's just not as well-written as some of his other stuff.

de Lint said in his foreword that this was a book that he felt he had to write, and that he didn't enjoy doing it. Maybe that was part of the problem - it felt rushed. Maybe he was just trying to
Aug 14, 2011 Kris rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I love Charles de Lint, but this was not one of his better books. There was something erratic in the writing style and the resolution was rushed, empty...
Miramira Endevall
Sep 09, 2011 Miramira Endevall rated it liked it
Shelves: own
As gruesome as this book was, I actually liked it better than most of the other books I've read by de Lint. I often find the fantasy side of his world to be too saccharin. Maybe that's not quite the right sentiment, but I've not been able to put a finer point on it than that.
Sep 29, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An urban fantasy written by Charles de Lint originally under the pen name Samuel M. Key. This was a story of an evil so dark that it takes on physical form and interacts with our world. Unfortunately, this book didn't draw me in by its characters or ideas.
Paul Tigerstrom
Jun 12, 2014 Paul Tigerstrom rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
I wouldn't say that I wholly enjoyed this book, but it got under my skin like nothing else has before or since. I did enjoy how the author subverts several horror cliches though. He establishes a supernatural entity but then clearly defines certain rules, and when crazy stuff starts to happen it often occurs in broad daylight with multiple witnesses.
Jillybeads81 Hall-Parris
Nov 17, 2011 Jillybeads81 Hall-Parris rated it really liked it
First book I read by this author..and I was impressed. When I first started to really become a hardcore reader...I got into a lot of horror books. That is all I read for awhile. I got soooo burnt out on them by the time I turned 28...that I decided to start reading other genres.My friend let me borrow this book on my 30th birthday...and I thought hell..Ill give it a whirl. I was very shocked at how fast I read it. I liked it alot.
Mar 12, 2012 Tasula rated it liked it
This was an early Charles de Lint, when he wrote as Samuel Key. It's supernatural horror, with graphic descriptions of torture, rape, beatings, murder. A sociopath accidentally opens a door to another world, unleashing a fury of violence. An ex-cop and his cop buddies investigate.
3.75 stars

A man and a missing teenage girl are found murdered in a hidden room in the man's basement/recording studio. The first people on the scene, including the majority of the police officers, suddenly start hallucinating off and on, and dreaming of this place they are hallucinating about. What is going on, and what happened to the dead man and girl? They won't figure it out until more have died.

This is one of de Lint's adult/horror novels written under the pen name, Samuel M. Key. It was q
harlequin {Stephanie}
The atmosphere is off base for this one. Not by much. The writing style just doesn't click. much past the first chapter anyway. I was glad to read in other reviews that this was a low point in lint's writing career.

Still looking forward to reading his other works. The imagination is there.
Nov 25, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it
I really liked this. I was amazed by the difference between normal de Lint and this de Lint. But the introduction did warn about darkness and man was it dark! But I still enjoyed it, even though I felt that the ending could have had a little more to it.
Johanna Haas
Sep 07, 2014 Johanna Haas rated it liked it
Shelves: could-not-finish
This is the first DeLint book that I have not been able to finish. It is written as well as all his others, but the story is so dark that he originally published it under a different name. I want to go back and try this again when I'm in more of a mood for it.
Feb 01, 2014 Skjam! rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Charles de Lint completists
Recommended to Skjam! by: Minicon
Back in the early 1990s, Charles de Lint decided to publish some darker fantasy/horror books under the name Samuel M. Key, as some of the fans weren’t thrilled by him going in a horror direction. By the 21st Century, it was decided Mr. de Lint’s reputation was such that it could handle the strain of these books being officially added to his main list.

Chad Baker is a recording genius. He’s also quite mad, and has decided to create the perfect sound…of pain. To this end, he’s been secretly torturi
Aaron Brown
Feb 23, 2014 Aaron Brown rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Meh. Just meh. DeLint has written much, much better than this, and there are far better horror novels out there.

Way too much buildup for an overly abrupt and trite finish.
Diane Thorne
More like a Stephen King novel

In an effort to unleash death or transcendence, a music producer inadvertently opens a door between the world's and unleashes a horror made of pain and anger. And, it's hungry....

While this book is good for a good, quick read, it really was more of a horror novel and one that really wasn't a full fledged book. Similar to a Stephen King novel, it is quite different from many of de Lint's other books. Creepy and good for an evening, don't expect subtle or enlightening
Deborah Replogle
Jun 11, 2015 Deborah Replogle rated it really liked it
Early Charles de Lint (one of the best paranormal authors). Much darker than his later works. Still a good read if you're in the mood for dark.
Jul 13, 2015 Nancy rated it it was ok
When I read the first chapter I had to put it down and stop reading, it freaked me out. I had bad dreams that night, so I stopped reading the book for a while and then I picked it back up after a couple of weeks later. got threw it though it was a okay read.
Red Hand
Oct 29, 2015 Red Hand rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh
Well... this had all the same problems as "The Onion Girl" and all the same horrible situations.
Apparently, incestuous pedophilia is incredibly common in de Lint's work. Granted that it isn't much less common in reality but when your escapist fantasy includes it, there's something broken here. He doesn't really seem to understand that horror doesn't need buckets of blood to be horror...hell, remove the blood and you'd have a Newford novel.
I won't run anything for anyone planning to read this b
Sep 13, 2016 Geneva rated it it was ok
Perfectly good horror, just not my preferred flavor.
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more
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