Tim Wickenden’s Angel Avenger is a crime thriller novel that will keep you wanting to read on. Each chapter left me in suspense – I needed to find out what happened next!
In short, the novel is about a detective – Max Becker – and his loyal team trying to solve a case which involves multiple murders. We also follow the culprits as they plan and execute each murder. The novel swiftly becomes a ‘whydunit’ rather than a ‘whodunit’.
With multiple gruesome murders taking place, I expected a clear good-versus-evil approach – but that wasn’t the case at all. Reading further into this action-packed, emotionally fuelled story, I couldn’t help feeling sympathetic towards the killers. Wickenden cleverly drip-feeds their past and, as a result, reveals their motive; it is impossible not to root for them as their story unfolds throughout the book and tugs at your heartstrings. But they are not the only characters with a history affected by war, as many of the detectives reveal their own experiences during this difficult time. Despite being on different sides, I was instantly hooked, eager to read each characters’ perspective.
Taking place in post-war Germany, Wickenden does a fantastic job at painting the scene, showing snippets of what life was like at this time, and how it affects people – not just
soldiers who fought in the war, but innocent civilians caught up in the chaos and tragedies of war – much like Angelika and her younger brother, Christian.
Wickenden’s novel also includes many German words and phrases, some of which are described in the footnotes, tactfully reminding the reader of the time and setting. The
balance of German terminology adds authenticity and a sense of world building, without alienating a British reader like myself! I was able to fully immerse myself in this novel, and the footnotes – although not typical to the fiction novels I read – were far from distracting. In fact, I enjoyed expanding my knowledge throughout the course of this book.
I also liked the balance of police (or ‘Polizei’) day-to-day routine. With reference to other departments, detective procedures, homelife … even gender equality, as the first female ‘kriminalmeister’, KM Ottilie Jager, is assigned to work the murder case with Max Becker.
Altogether, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The characters are strong, the story is gripping, and the whole book reads at a fast pace. With a satisfying yet unexpected ending, Tim Wickenden’s Angel Avenger is a must-read for any crime-lover.
– Siobhian R. Hodges
Published on: 09 July 2020 at 19:00