Excerpt from Demolition Angel by Robert Crais, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Demolition Angel

by Robert Crais

Demolition Angel by Robert Crais X
Demolition Angel by Robert Crais
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2000, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2001, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt



"Tell me about the thumb. I know what you told me on the phone, but tell me everything now." Starkey inhaled half an inch of cigarette, then flicked ash on the floor, not bothering with the ashtray. She did that every time she was annoyed with being here, which was always.

"Please use the ashtray, Carol."

"I missed."

"You didn't miss."

Detective-2 Carol Starkey took another deep pull on the cigarette, then crushed it out. When she first started seeing this therapist, Dana Williams wouldn't let her smoke during session. That was three years and four therapists ago. In the time Starkey was working her way through the second and third therapists, Dana had gone back to the smokes herself, and now didn't mind. Sometimes they both smoked and the goddamned room clouded up like the Imperial Valley capped by an inversion layer. Starkey shrugged.

"No, I guess I didn't miss. I'm just pissed off, is all. It's been three years, and here I am back where I started."

"With me."

"Yeah. Like in three years I shouldn't be over this shit."

"So tell me what happened, Carol. Tell me about the little girl's thumb." Starkey fired up another cigarette, then settled back to recall the little girl's thumb. Starkey was down to three packs a day. The progress should have made her feel better, but didn't.

"It was Fourth of July. This idiot down in Venice decides to make his own fireworks and give them away to the neighbors. A little girl ends up losing the thumb and index finger on her right hand, so we get the call from the emergency room."

"Who is 'we'?"

"Me and my partner that day, Beth Marzik."

"Another woman?"

"Yeah. There's two of us in CCS."

"Okay."

"By the time we get down there, the family's gone home, so we go to the house. The father's crying, saying how they found the finger, but not the thumb, and then he shows us these homemade firecrackers that are so damned big she's lucky she didn't lose the hand."

"He made them?"

"No, a guy in the neighborhood made them, but the father won't tell us. He says the man didn't mean any harm. I say, your daughter has been maimed, sir, other children are at risk, sir, but the guy won't cop. I ask the mother, but the guy says something in Spanish, and now she won't talk, either."

"Why won't they tell you?"

"People are assholes."

The world according to Carol Starkey, Detective-2 with LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section. Dana made a note of that in a leatherbound notebook, an act which Starkey never liked. The notes gave physical substance to her words, leaving Starkey feeling vulnerable because she thought of the notes as evidence.

Starkey had more of the cigarette, then shrugged and went on with it.

"These bombs are six inches long, right? We call'm Mexican Dynamite. So many of these things are going off, it sounds like the Academy pistol range, so Marzik and I start a door-to-door. But the neighbors are just like the father-no one's telling us anything, and I'm getting madder and madder. Marzik and I are walking back to the car when I look down and there's the thumb. I just looked down and there it was, this beautiful little thumb, so I scooped it up and brought it back to the family."

"On the phone, you told me you tried to make the father eat it."

"I grabbed his collar and pushed it into his mouth. I did that."

Dana shifted in her chair, Starkey reading from her body language that she was uncomfortable with the image. Starkey couldn't blame her.

"It's easy to understand why the family filed a complaint."

Starkey finished the cigarette and crushed it out.

"The family didn't complain."

Copyright Robert Crais, 2000. All rights reserved. Published by the permission of the publisher, Doubleday. No part of this book may be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.