Not many times do I read a book that has a “… and they lived happily ever after.” fairytale kinda ending and think WOW! But that’s exactly what Sidney Sheldon’s Angel of the Dark made me do.
This whodunnit, psychological thriller brings together the violent and bloody collision of the two worlds of orphanage homes and mental illness, while it puts the American justice system on trial at the same time.
Within a period of ten years, four elderly, yet obscenely rich men are found murdered next to their remarkably gorgeous young wives, who themselves are raped by the murderers. In all four cases, the husbands had left their riches to their young wives, who – as though to discredit the suspicions they had married the old men for money – give away every cent to legitimate children’s charities in good standing, before disappearing, never to be seen again.
The first of the murders takes place in Los Angeles, USA, where a multimillionaire art collector, Andrew Jakes, is found killed next to his eye-poppingly beautiful young wife, Angela, who was not only badly beaten but also brutally raped. Because of the large sum of money Andrew left Angela as his sole heir – four hundred million dollars to be exact – it was easy for people to think she was not only a gold digger who had married him for money, but had also had him killed. Killed him, she may have, but she couldn’t have possibly raped herself. Even if she had staged her own rape, she could never had made it so brutal and merciless.
In the years to come, similar murders were witnessed in England, France and Hong Kong. An old, rich man gets married to a pretty young thing within months of meeting her. He is then murdered while in bed with her and she is raped in the process. She inherits all his money, which she gives to a children’s charity before vanishing from the face of the earth.
Sidney Sheldon is genius. He kept me off television and social media for a whole week while playing strings of the musical instrument he had suddenly turned my mind into. I quite loved the intrigue with the scorpion sting of a plot twist at the tail-end of the book.
It isn’t an impossible outcome to guess. I was however not disappointed that I managed to guess who the murderers were only five – of thirty nine – chapters into the book. It is one of those books where you sorta-kinda have an idea of where it might go, but do not mind carrying on because the journey is just so worth it.
I’d rather the author had done away with the few chapters towards the end once the killers’ identities have been revealed and they are on trial. Sidney Sheldon is a faultless suspense writer, but he really should leave courtroom dramas to John Grisham.
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