Cover image for Red angel : a novel
Red angel : a novel
Heffernan, William, 1940-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2000]

Physical Description:
273 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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Tough New York City detective Paul Devlin -- the hero of William Heffernan's acclaimed Edgar Award-winning series -- has been in tight spots before. But now he faces a devastating reckoning on dangerously unfamiliar ground: a depressed, would-be tropical paradise shrouded in fear, superstition, and lethal mystery ninety miles off the Florida coast.

Red Angel

Death threats from the capos of New York's top mob families don't faze Devlin in the slightest. But anyone who brings grief to the people he loves is going to have to pay big-time. That's why Devlin's accompanying Adrianna Mendez -- the beautiful artist who's the lady of his heart -- to the forbidden Communist-controlled isle of Cuba, where Adrianna's aunt Maria has met with a serious "accident. "

A selfless healer and great hero of Castro's revolution, Dr. Maria Mendez was revered throughout the island as Angel Rojo, the "Red Angel." Responding to information that the beloved national icon was critically injured in a car wreck, Devlin and Adrianna arrive in Havana only to learn from local policeman Major Arnaldo Martinez that the Angel has died. But the news gets worse still. Her body, burned beyond recognition, has vanished -- apparently stolen by members of the powerful, bloodthirsty voodoo sect known as the Abakua, who intend to use parts of the great lady's corpse in a dark religious ritual.

Summoning his graceless, brutally efficient right-hand man, Ollie Pitts, from the States to aid him in the investigation, Devlin sets out to unravel the secret behind the Red Angel's death and to recover her body for burial before it can be further desecrated.

In an enigmatic island world of perilous contradictions, Devlin and Pitts are sharks out of water, running afoul of a murderous high-level secret policeman, as well as fearsome palero "witch doctors" and their blood-chillingly potent black magic. And suddenly Devlin is being pulled deeper and deeper into a tangled net of greed, terror, and corruption, where his legendary street sense may not be enough to keep him breathing -- especially when a particularly lethal viper is thrown into the mix: a vengeful madman with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of killers in his pocket, who has come to Cuba to watch Paul Devlin die.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Edgar Award-winner Heffernan's strong new entry in his series featuring New York City detective Paul Devlin, last seen in Winter's Gold (1997), opens with a bangDa mob shooting in Manhattan. Later, when Devlin's lover, Adrianna Mendez, learns that her Aunt Maria, a Cuban doctor, is in a Havana hospital, Devlin drops the mob case and accompanies Adrianna to Cuba. There they discover that Maria, a popular folk heroine called the Red Angel and a Castro confidante, is dead and her body missing. As officials from two state security agencies monitor the search for Maria's corpse, Devlin calls in his assistant, Ollie Pitts, for back up. Their investigation leads into the mysterious and dangerous world of Afro-Cuban religion, especially the violent Abakua secret society. But don't forget those New York mobsters. This is a very political book, with Heffernan's complex plot weaving together the Mafia with greedy U.S. and Cuban government officials. Although Devlin and Pitts are standard issue, as are the mobsters, the Cuban characters are well-drawn and attractive, even when slippery. Heffernan also does a superb job explaining the varieties of Cuban religious experience, the Cuban sensibility and the ominous shadows of a rigid police state, though at times such explanations slow down the action. Agent, Gloria Loomis. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The "Red Angel" has disappeared, and since she's the aunt of New York detective Paul Devlin's lover, Devlin is in hot pursuit. Because she was a doctor serving Cuba's poor, finding her may not be so easyDespecially since she has evidently fallen afoul of a voodoo sect intent on using her bones in a gruesome ceremony. Another addition to an Edgar Award-winning series. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.