Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

What Angels Fear

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What Angels Fear (2005) C.S. Harris

Sebastian St. Cyr is a young nobleman who returned from the wars with France wanting only to forget, but unable to do so, and thus unable to fit back into society. His refusal to wed and produce and heir only makes his already poor relationship with his father even worse.

And his relationship with his sister Amanda is even worse.

“My God. Where is he? Why hasn’t he sought help from any of his friends or family?”

Amanda folded the paper and set it to one side. “Presumably because he knows his family.”

When a young woman is brutally murdered, and evidence points to St. Cyr, many are willing to believe the worst of him, and he soon realizes it will be up to him to discover the true murderer.

Re-reading this series now, having read all the following books, I was astonished to see the foreshadowing of events in later books: Kat, Jarvis, Hero, Sebastian’s mother. Many things are set in place in this story, for events that come much later.

All of which made re-reading the book quite delightful, as the hints of things to come appeared seemingly out of the blue.

Just goes to show how much I miss when I gulp down stories.

And of course there was the first meeting of characters I’d come to love:

“Let me get this straight. You don’t see a problem in lifting a stranger’s purse, but you refuse to be given wages you don’t feel you’ve earned?”
“That’s right,” said Tom, obviously glad to be understood. “I gots me pride.”
“And a highly original set of principles,” said Sebastian.

There were several quips that I quite appreciated upon this second read. For example:

“Life is full of scary things,” he used to tell (her). “The trick is not to let your fears get in the way of your living. Whatever else you do… don’t settle for a life half-lived.”

“There’s lots o’ bad things ’appen in this world. Lots o’ bad things what ’appen, and lots o’ folks what do bad things. But there’s good, too. Lots o’ good. Me mum, before they put her on that ship for Botany Bay, she told me never to forget that. She said that things like ’onor, and justice, and love are the most important things in the world and that it’s up to each and every one of us to always try to be the best person we can possibly be.” Tom looked up, his nearly lashless eyes wide and earnest. “I don’t think there’s many what really believes in that. But you do.”

It was as if, between them, the darkness and the snow hid all that was ugly, all that was horrible and dangerous about the city, so that he was aware suddenly of the beauty of the row of ancient stone arches fronting a nearby shop, and the intricate fretwork of the old timber-framed Tudor house beside it. And he wondered , which was more real, the ugliness or the beauty?

Lots of fun terms here:

shot the cat: vomit
blue ruin: gin

Note: I adore the original cover–it’s what initially drew me to the book. But I really dislike the reissue cover. I presume that is supposed to be Sebastian, but he just looks… creepy.

It was a lovely re-read, and now I’m going through the rest of the series (or at least most of it) before I re-read the latest in the series, which came out this week.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Obsidian


Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    

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