Thursday, 15 November 2018

Angel In The Shadows by Walter Lucius

Angel In The Shadows by Walter Lucius
First published in Dutch in the Netherlands by Luitingh Sijthoff in 2017. English language translation by Lorraine T Miller and Laura Vroomen published in the UK by Dead Ink in April 2018.

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Looking Out To Sea

How I got this book:
Received a copy from its publishers via NetGalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Farah Hafez raised her head and stared into the camcorder's reflective black hole.

'Now say what I want you to say. And do it convincingly. You can save this girl's life.'

That's when the words came. Unexpected and forceful. Like vomit.

'I, Farah Hafez, support the jihad against President Potanin's criminal regime.'

He smiled coldly and pulled the trigger anyway.


After investigating what appeared to be a simple hit-and-run, journalist Farah Hafez became caught up in a web of crime and corruption that led to her kidnap. Detained in Russia, she was forced to pledge her allegiance to a terrorist group on camera.

Now sought by international security and members of the criminal class alike, Farah flees to Jakarta to continue her investigation while her friends and allies attempt to clear her name from across the globe.

If Farah is ever going to regain her freedom, she needs to discover the root of the evil that bought her here. The problem is that discovering this might cost her the only she has left - her life.

Angel In The Shadows is the second of Walter Lucius' Heartland Trilogy of international spy thrillers. I loved the first, Butterfly On The Storm, which I read last year so was delighted to be offered a review copy of this second installment. Lucius again takes in a wide variety of locations with his characters travelling to Russia, South Africa and Indonesia chasing corruption on a global scale. I enjoyed the glimpses we got of daily life in such far flung locations, however I didn't feel that this second story was anywhere near as exciting as the first. The tangled threads were quite difficult to simultaneously keep in my mind as the story jumps from character to character, continent to continent. I didn't feel as though many of those characters were as strongly defined either so I was sometimes confused as to who people were, especially if they hadn't put in an appearance for a while. I was disappointed by a few too many standard thriller tropes too. There's innocent-children-in-an-orphanage, lots of unbelievably-fast-forensic-analysis, a smattering of computer-hacking-shenanigans, and a just-in-the-nick-of-time-escape seemingly every five minutes. For a beach read thriller, Angel In The Shadows would probably be a good choice, but having been so enthralled by those aspects that made Butterfly On The Storm different from the usual mass-market thriller fare, I wanted more from Angel In The Shadows. It's certainly not a bad novel, but as a sequel, I felt it let me down.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Walter Lucius / Thrillers / Books from the Netherlands


  1. It's a pity it wasn't as good as you hoped it would be.

    1. Especially disappointed as I'd loved the first book so much. It's not that the second is particularly bad, but I'd had such high hopes ...

  2. Sorry to hear you didn't like it as much as you'd hoped.

    1. I'm not sure whether to bother with the third of the trilogy when it comes out

  3. I am sorry that you didn't like this one as much as you liked the first book.