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Demolition Angel

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  7,438 Ratings  ·  324 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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Silvia Definitely! That's the reason I have continued reading Robert Crais.

Community Reviews

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Dan Schwent
Nov 10, 2012 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 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, 5-0, crime-mystery
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 11, 2014 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 11, 2012 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
Terence M
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - 10:50 hours - Narrator: Paul Hecht
4.0 stars out of 5.0

I had just listened to "The Forgotten Man" by Robert Crais and enjoyed the experience, so I decided to hear another Crais book immediately and chose "Demolition Angel", one of only two stand-alone novels in my Robert Crais collection. This was a fortunate decision as it introduced the character of Carol Starkey, a hardened LAPD detective who later appeared with Elvis Cole in "The Forgotten Man".

In "Demolition Angel", the key char
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I really enjoy Robert Crais's books. There's humor as well as good characters and interesting stories. I read this one back in 2001, and noted that it was excellent. Carol Starkey is an LAPD detective, formerly on the bomb squad, who appears occasionally in other books by Crais. She's one of those "good characters".
Joyce Lagow
Apr 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A stand-alone as opposed to his Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, this book ranks with 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 ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it wasnt for such a forced ending, I may have given this novel a five star rating. A solid standalone from R. Crais, but nothing to do with his Cole/Pike series. For one, it doesn’t have the usual sense of humor and witty dialogues. Never matter, the story is well built. Carol Starkey’s fool mood is quite understandable, and the world of bomb making and the techniques of defusing them, though quite redundant, never made me lose interest. The police investigation is very well delivered, with a ...more
May 21, 2009 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
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 02, 2014 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
Mark Baker
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-audio, 2017, mystery
Three years ago, Carol Starkey lost her partner and lover when a bomb exploded. Heck, she almost lost her life herself, and she has lived with the scars, real and emotional, from it ever since. Now she is tasked with solving the murder of another LAPD bomb squad member killed by a bomb. The ATF thinks it was the work of Mr. Red, a serial bomber. Can Carol catch him?

The mystery itself in this book is strong, and I enjoyed the twists and turns as we went along. However, I had a real problem with C

The trite saying is you can't judge a book by its cover, BUT YOU CAN SURE JUDGE THIS ONE BY ITS TITLE! Man does 'Demolition Angel' ever live up to its title--freaking incredible. For 200 pages I waded through the remnants of a bomb technician's nightmare and dysfunctional life and lifestyle. I was really beginning to wonder when gin, coffee, cigarettes and Tagamet Carol Starkey was going to become interesting, and I gotta tell ya, the last 174 pages delivered l
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

Apr 20, 2010 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!
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have yet to get into Robert Crais's Elvis Cole series, but I really enjoy his stand-alone books. I think they are "books of the heart" for him, a welcome break from the series, and he really puts some effort into creating interesting characters and twisty plots for them. Demolition Angel is a prime example!
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.
Mar 13, 2013 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.
Jul 22, 2009 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 04, 2015 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 15, 2014 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
Mar 28, 2010 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.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Well, ok. A good story, but the characters are all pretty hateful. Involves a bomb tech who survived an exploded ordinance three years before this story starts, who then is the homicide detective investigating another detonated bomb which kills another tech at the beginning of this book.

Then the FBI gets involved, sorta. And the age of the book becomes apparent when they start discussing computers. And there's a serial bomber out there.... A little confusing. Somehow there's a happy ending.
Tucker Elliot
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This standalone Carol Starkey novel is every bit as good as the Elvis Cole / Joe Pike thrillers. Robert Crais is a master storyteller and he nails the pacing, plot, and dialogue in this fast-moving thriller that pits Starkey against a serial bomber targeting cops. I highly recommend it for thriller fans.
Dec 31, 2012 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.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Detective Carol Starkley is on the bomb squad, where she was until transferred to a different division. She was injured when trying to defuse a bomb, and her boyfriend, also on the bomb squad was killed. During this time off, Carol turned to drinking to help her pain.

Now she is back and investigating a bomb that was found, went off and killed another squad member. When an TBI agent shows up, he tells Carol that he knows who done it..Mr Red. Mr Red has been setting bombs for a long time, but has
Bev Taylor
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
carol was one of the finest bomb technicians. then a blast killed her partner and she also died for 3 mins

after recovery she was moved to the criminal conspiracy section whilst seeing a shrink to try and get her life back on track. she has been trying for 3 years now with limited success

then a bomb call results in the death of another technician and she takes on the case. but digging into it reveals some disturbing facts - not least the culprit seems determined to kill bomb technicians - and h
Paul Lima
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A pretty decent thriller with a nail-biting climax. Yes, there are some stereotype and cliched moments -- this is not high literary writing. But the main character -- a former bomb disposal unit employee who is now investigating bomb crimes -- is flawed, scared (literally and figuratively) and intriguing. She works the case but realizing she can't trust everybody on the case, keeps some information to herself, which ultimately gets her in trouble. Who planted the bomb that killed a bomb disposal ...more
Joe King
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This was my first Crais book and I did enjoy it despite of a few flaws. One of those flaws is that this book is one cliche after another. There's a romantic subplot that did not really fit the story, nor did it add much to it. However, it was a pretty good read. It was fast paced and the plot was easy to follow. There was some technical information, but it flowed well with the story. I got it from the library. I am not sure I would recommend paying full price for it, but if you can borrow it or ...more
Chris Sunderland
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Robert Crais weaves a terrific story about Carol Starkey, an LA bomb technician, recovering from a near death experience with a bomb, tracking another bomber, Mr. Red. Her search takes her and her partners across LA and southern California. Crais takes you each step of the way, thrusting you into the search, holding your breath as you assist in dismantling a deadly bomb! Great story.
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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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