Lost Angel Mass Market Paperback – Aug 7 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Meet Nik Kane, the charming star of a new series by Anchorage Daily News columnist Doogan. Kane, a 55-year-old ex-cop who's also an ex-con, not to mention an ex-husband, heads to the Alaskan interior to do some detective work for a remote religious community called Rejoice. One of Rejoice's leaders, Thomas Wright, has hired Kane to track down his teenage daughter, Faith. Maybe Faith ran away, or maybe she was abducted. Kane—only periodically distracted from his detecting by his attraction to a woman he meets at Rejoice—quickly learns that Faith wasn't representative of her conservative religious community. A budding feminist with Ivy League ambitions, she also had a sideline income, $500 a week, deposited in a pseudonymous bank account. While Doogan telegraphs the solution to the riddle of Faith's disappearance, engaging, lucid prose more than compensates. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* A white-knuckle flight in a bush plane over the Alaskan wilderness jump-starts this debut novel, establishing both the unforgiving setting and the desperate resolve of the main character. Nik Kane spent 25 years with the Anchorage police, 15 as a detective. He has just been released from a 7-year prison term resulting from a false conviction and is on his own, adrift from the police and from his wife. Kane, forced into private investigation, is headed for Rejoice, a fundamentalist Christian community in the harsh, high desert of the interior. One of the daughters of the Elders, an 18-year-old girl named Faith, has gone missing; no one knows if she has simply broken free from the restrictive life at Rejoice or has met with foul play. This is a richly textured novel on several counts. Kane is achingly well delineated; his struggle to adjust to a much bigger, louder, more confusing world after the confines of prison--and to try to find meaning in a life stripped bare of supports--is gripping. All the exigencies of struggling through an Alaskan winter ring true (Doogan has long been a columnist for the Anchorage Daily News), and the portrayal of a religious community that holds both secrets and dangers is fascinating. A top-notch start to a projected mystery series. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Doogan creates interesting characters, particularly Kane who, although betrayed by the legal system, still believes in the law with investigative instincts and experience. He has a past to overcome and it will be interesting following his course. Although Doogan doesn't utilize the setting as much as I might like, he has still given a good sense of life in Alaska. This is a very good first effort.
Barred from his old job Kane began working as a private detective, his first case taking him to the remote, even by Alaska standards, town of Rejoice, a religious community located in the bush. The granddaughter of the founder was missing. Faith, a promising young high school student had not returned from school one afternoon. Her father felt that the local state trooper, the only police officer in a hundred miles, had done much to investigate and so had hired Kane to take over. Once there Kane had to overcome the resistance of the local communities, both the religious Rejoice and the very secular nearby Devil's Toe to ferret out the truth behind Faith's disappearance. His search lead him to many long buried secrets before he found answers, both to the case and his own life.
This is the first in a new series of novels featuring Nik Kane, and set in Alaska. As with most first novels of a series a great deal of time is spent establishing the characters and revealing the back story. Even so the plot of LOST ANGEL does not suffer. It is full of twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the final pages even though the clues have all been there for the reader to discover along with Nik. The characters are complex and interesting, the setting is exotic (to most readers anyway) and well drawn, leaving this reader at least looking for the second book of the series.
In Rejoice, a rural Christian community in Alaska, the granddaughter of the founder goes missing. Nick's former boss persuades him to become a private investigator and asks him to find the missing seventeen years old girl, Faith Wright, as the Elders, especially her father, want an outsider who can devote his time to the case. However, someone wants Nick off the investigation as the sleuth is shot at and his apartment torn apart. Nick believes that darks secrets in saintly Rejoice are why they want him gone.
Nick obviously got a raw deal when he was framed and did hard time while trying to stay alive amidst those who would cherish killing a cop even an ex cop. That makes him a sympathetic protagonist who has to cope with his freedom and the impossibility of returning to his previous life in spite of the expunging of his criminal record. Mike Doogan writes a clever and absorbing private investigative tale with police procedural trimmings against the backdrop of rural Alaska inside a strong story line mindful of Dana Stabenow.