Title: Angel Face
Author: Stephen Solomita
Review: This book is by Stephen Solomita whose other books I have not read. I was grabbed by the cover, nice and slick with big red font. Broken glass and dark shoes.
In this bleak stand-alone from Solomita (Mercy Killing), hit man Leonard Carter unexpectedly meets beautiful call girl Angela “Angel” Tamanaka after Carter fatally shoots one of her clients, mobster Enrico Benedetti (aka Ricky Ditto), at Ricky’s house in the upscale Riverdale section of the Bronx. Carter, a former Delta Force spook who’s killed 23 men in the past two-plus years without being caught, opts to spare Angel, despite the risk of leaving a witness alive. Ricky’s brother, Bobby Ditto, who’s all but certain his brother had a date with a hooker the night of the killing.
The plot is simple enough. After Carter saves Angel from Bobby’s henchmen, Angel points the way to a possible trove of Benedetti cash hidden in a Bronx safe house. The two soon become more than just business partners. Solomita breaks no new ground in this killer for hire tale, but it’s taut and smooth enough to please genre fans.
Carter, an ex-special forces is the murdering type. Angel the gorgeous sex worker is living the life of a high class hooker. When Angel goes on one of her ‘dates’ with a gangster he brags to her about the money he has stashed just before she witnesses his murder. This is how Angel gets involved with Carter, the murderer. For the reason given somewhere, he chooses not to shot Angel, they have an affair while gangsters family searches for the whore he was supposedly out on a date with. There are lots of dead bodies as the murdered man’s family searches for Carter and vice versa. What happens with Angel and Carter? You will have to read it to find out.
Angela Tamanaka has spent a lifetime being irresistible. Although her friends call her Angel, an angel she’s not. She’s a professional hired out to fat-cat clients who can afford to splurge for the special eroticism she brings to her calling. Racketeer Ricky Ditto is one such. It’s on entering Ricky’s opulent apartment that Angel initially encounters Leonard Carter. He too has a professional engagement with Ricky, in fulfillment of which he neatly places a bullet hole in the middle of the gangster’s forehead. Carter’s no angel either. He’s ex–Special Forces, having spent a decade fighting and killing in the hardest places the U.S. deploys its military. More recently, however, he’s gone into business for himself, taking on the sort of contract work of the kind that’s introduced him to Ricky. Stunned by the swiftness of it all, a terrified Angel can only assume that she’s next, that this super cool and competent hit man will choose to eliminate witnesses, but when his first words to her are “Did you touch anything?” she rightly concludes that he, like the many others before him, has been well and truly smitten.
Overall, the book was good but I found it did play on a lot of cliches, “good girl falls for bad boy” etc. But the plot and character development as well as the setting as great. And the individual backstories for each of the characters has been well thought through a fit the characters’ profile so well.
Buy it here: