Review: Broken Angels by Anne Hope
August 6, 2010
E-Book, Novel Length
Reviewed by Mandi
Zach and Rebecca have been divorced for two years. Rebecca’s constant worry and disappointment of not being able to get pregnant during their eight year marriage was just too much for them to stay together. Writing for a women’s magazine, she had the marriage and great career, but yearned to have children. Zach an ad executive for a successful ad firm in Boston, didn’t know how to help his struggling wife and they ended up pushing each other away.
But tragedy of a different sort has struck this estranged couple. Zach’s sister and husband have been murdered, leaving behind three children – Noah 9, Kristen 5, and Will just 15 months. In the will, Zach and Rebecca have been named legal guardians. They decide to put away their differences and do what is best for raising these kids – live together.
Living together is not the only struggle they are going to have to deal with. Besides being thrown into raising three kids, in which neither of them having any experience in that area, there is a sinister force lurking around. The children’s parents didn’t just die by random means. The father, Liam had uncovered something horrific, and had been gathering evidence. He and his wife’s murder was planned, and the murderer is not done with the family yet.
I was so pleasantly surprised with Broken Angels. I had never heard of this author but I tend to like Samhain books, and I decided to take a chance. This book surprised me in many ways. I tend not to overly enjoy books when lots of kids are involved or if we get parts in their point of view but Anne Hope does a nice job weaving their story in. Nine year old Noah plays a big role in this book. He is the child most affected by his parent’s death, having witnessed the brutal scene from the shadows. He is traumatized and not thrilled that his new guardians are his aunt and uncle. At times I thought he acted VERY mature for a nine year old boy. He acts out and has his moments, but in the actual moment of crisis, when everything is caving in around him, I think he acts way past his nine year old self. Otherwise, I think the kids are written into the story nicely.
While this is a romantic suspense, for 3/4 of the book, the suspense part is very underplayed. What we really get are two people reuniting. Zach and Rebecca divorced due to not communicating. Rebecca couldn’t deal with the fact she couldn’t have kids and Zach couldn’t deal with Rebecca hurting herself any longer. It is not so much they fell out of love, they just couldn’t deal with the stress. Coming back together – their relationship builds up really nice. I found myself really enjoying their quiet, romantic build-up. I really enjoyed Zach – his total confusion on how to handle three small children is cute and his slow seduction of Rebecca works really well in this story.
After a kind of quiet, romantic book, the last quarter is where all the suspense occurs. I kind of wish it has been spread through the book a little more. I liked where the story went – although at times I questioned the lack of police involvement. The crime in this story is a big one, and it seemed Zach and Rebecca took on a lot themselves.
Overall, Broken Angels is a different kind of read for me, but one that worked. I wavered between giving this book a 3.5 or a 4. I definitely think the suspense could have been played differently and Noah would have worked better for me if he was a little older. But I also found myself not wanting to put this book down. For that reason, I’m giving it a 4.