Classic Search  |  Browse  |  Combination  |  Help  |  My Account  |  Clarion County Library System

Desert Angel

by Price, Charlie

Publishers Weekly Price (The Interrogation of Gabriel James) delivers a visceral thriller that starts with the murder of 14-year-old Angel's mother and ratchets up the tension from there. Angel finds her mother's body and vows to escape Scotty, the latest in a line of abusive men her mother had been involved with. After Scotty's failed attempt to burn her alive in his trailer, in the remote southwestern desert, Angel makes her way to a neighboring home, where she soon finds help in the form of Rita, a Head Start worker in a nearby town who takes in a reluctant Angel. The story doesn't shy away from the horror of the violence Scotty inflicts, killing animals and those who help Angel, while she contemplates taking revenge on her mother's murderer and worries about the repercussions of drawing Scotty closer to her newfound family. Price's pacing is tight, aided by direct, clipped prose that underscores Scotty's brutality and Angel's fragile emotional state. Both the best and worst of humanity shine through in this gripping novel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Angel's life is a nightmare. Her mother drinks and does drugs and her mother's boyfriend, Scotty, sexually abuses her. One morning after a night of hiding from him in the desert, Angel returns home to find that he has killed her mother and has been waiting so he can murder her, too. Angel barely escapes, but since Scotty is an expert tracker, the hunt has only just begun. During her flight, she meets people who put themselves in danger to protect her, acts of kindness that the untrusting 14-year-old cannot understand. As these caring folks keep shielding her from Scotty, who always seems to know where she is, Angel struggles with the danger she's putting them in and she wonders if she would be better off on her own. She begins to realize that no matter how worthless she feels, she needs and deserves love and that she is important to others. The story is a fast-paced adventure with an interesting premise, but at times it's hard to believe that so many strangers would risk their lives to hide the teen in their homes. Fans of dramatic, high-adrenaline books with hard-knocked protagonists might enjoy the basic premise.-Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list From Night of the Hunter to countless westerns, the theme of a bad man coming is a powerful one: there is an unstoppable force on its way to deliver a brutal reckoning, and the fun is in watching the heroes try (in vain) to avoid the final battle. Price's fast, sharp, unsentimental contribution follows 14-year-old Angel, on the run since a villain named Scotty (ominously kept offstage for almost the duration of the book) murdered her mother and is now coming after Angel to wipe up the last bit of evidence. After racing across the desert, Angel stumbles into the lives of an extended family of immigrants some legal, some not who want to help the shell-shocked, rage-filled girl without putting their own loved ones in danger. Price's biggest curve is turning the hunted into the hunter after Angel decides that she must find Scotty first. Never showy, this is hard, gritty realism, and Price's depiction of the twitchy psyche of an abused girl is dead-on. Serious thriller fans will be more than satisfied.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.