From the author—
‘Angels Sing to Rest’ begins where ‘Darkness Knows Me’ left off: after the investigation into the death of the Deep Ellum Killer, Levi Devereux.
Detective Sergeant Olivia Gates returns from a two month suspension, to find her team has gained a new member, her ex-husband has been released from prison, and a 10 year old street kid has been murdered on her patch of South Dallas.
Her ex she thinks she can deal with, even when he drags their young son into the mix. The murdered boy with the crushed chest, isn’t so easily handled and weighs heavily on her as more street kids are killed with an unimaginable sadistic flare and no discernible motive.
If the continuing body count wasn’t stressful enough, Olivia’s falling out with long time friend and colleague, Doctor Will Green, threatens any hope Olivia had for more than a friendship with the good doctor.
Drugs, gaming, prostitution and sadistic murders lead Gates and her team on a trek through the seamy underbelly of living rough on the streets of downtown Dallas.
Investigating the murder of a child probably isn’t the easiest way for a detective to get back to work after having been suspended for three months but that’s how things go for Olivia Gates. Knowing the park where the child was found is one of her own son’s favorites doesn’t make it any easier. When you get right down to it, there’s absolutely nothing easy about a child murder and Ms. Jones does something that I greatly appreciate—without being particularly gruesome, she lets the reader feel the horror of the situation. In fact, I’d say this is one of the few times when telling is better than showing even though the telling is bad enough.
This is the beginning of a tangled mess of murders and victim types but it’s the character studies that are the core of the story and I’m not entirely sure I like that. Recently, I took part in an online discussion of how tiresome the damaged detective trope is becoming and, as some have pointed out, it would be nice to come across a detective, especially in police procedurals, that has a normal psyche and a good home life. They do exist—Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti is a prime example—and I’d like to see authors start to swing things in that direction. Anyway, in this case, there is more than one character with some deep-seated problems and my only complaint is that all of that angst sometimes got in the way of a good story (although I actually did like some of these people). I read police procedurals because I like the harder edge of crime encountered by such professionals, not so much because I want to read all about their tough lives outside of the investigations.
Still and all, I did enjoy Angels Sing to Rest and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it. There is a previous book, Darkness Knows Me, and I think I’ll check it out.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2015.
An Excerpt from Angels Sing to Rest
Vincent Rocha knew he hit her hard, but at the time he figured she deserved it. He paid her good money to do what he wanted and by God she was going to do what he wanted. He checked for a pulse at the side of her neck when she lay flaccid on the bed for too long. There was nothing. He didn’t think he hit her hard enough to kill her.
That he killed this woman with his own hands didn’t panic him. She wasn’t his first dead prostitute and she wasn’t likely to be his last. If he thought of prostitutes as human the whole scene might have played out differently. Her kind provide a service. They make themselves available to him and others like him to use up and throw away. His father told him it was the order of things. He believed him.
Vincent rolled the woman over so he didn’t have to look at her face and untied the scarf from her neck. He threw the silk bed sheets over her naked body, not out of any sense of propriety — he purely despised the look of her, with her dyed red hair and stubble covered legs. Experience taught him that her kind was always ready — for cost, a few extra twenties and a bottle — to do what the higher priced call girls wouldn’t.
He went to his closet to cover his own nakedness with a robe and picked up the phone beside the bed. He dialed. When someone finally answered, it was his second in command. “Martin, come to the loft and drive the van. I have some garbage for you to pick up.” Vincent purposefully hung up before Martin could ask questions and went to the utility room for the thick plastic drip sheet and masking tape the remodeling company left behind.
He returned to splay the drip sheet on the floor at the foot of the bed. When he pushed the body off the mattress, it made a sickening thud as it hit the floor, reminding him of a large tuna hitting the deck of a fishing boat. He rolled her up in the plastic, securing the bundle with masking tape. Vincent walked away leaving her in the middle of the room for his lackey.
He tilted his head toward his chest and opened the dressing gown, sniffing for the odor that nauseated him. She left her sex scent on him. The strong odor made him involuntarily gag. He covered himself again and entered the bathroom to shower off what remained of her humanity.
About the Author
Chrinda Jones is a crime writing and reading fiend, which she believes is genetic and began with her great-grandmother, who hoarded crime novels. Darkness Knows Me is her crime novel debut and Angels Sing to Rest is next in her series. When she’s not putting her time in with the writing gods, you can find her playing music or enjoying a good meal with friends and family. Chrinda currently resides in Murphy, Texas, with her husband, children, grandchildren and her Jugg, Abby.
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