Cover Image: The Angel Maker

The Angel Maker

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Member Reviews

Katie Shaw's life is forever changed when she makes a choice to spend the afternoon with her boyfriend instead of escorting her younger brother Chris home. She had no way of knowing that her brother would be the victim of a violent attack that day but the guilt follows her into adulthood. Now a wife and mother; Katie finds herself struggling to separate threats, both real and imagined, creating tensions between her and her spouse. When Katie receives a call that her brother is in trouble she decides that this time she won't let him down. Detective Laurence Page is investigating a violent murder in which their prime suspect is the victim of a violent attack years earlier. Their paths will cross once again and lead them right into the path of a serial killer who can apparently foresee the future.

The Angle Maker is a uniquely twisty thriller in which a serial killer with the ability to "see the future" crosses paths with a family with a tragic past and a detective investigating a murder. There is a lot going on in this one involving several different characters whose stories converge in both the past and the present. As much as I wanted to love this novel, it was not my favorite book from this author. It had a really strong start but all the twists and turns felt a bit too much by the end for my taste. The back story for the killer, known as the "Angel Maker", reminded me a lot of an older movie I had seen called Frailty. When reading the plot synopsis I guess I was hoping a bit more for a killer with psychic abilities of precognition vs the alternative but it was still a unique twist on the serial killer trope.

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Alex North has a brilliant way of taking the macabre and bringing it to life in a thriller. This has an intricate plot with a lot of characters from different time periods who are somehow all connected, yet we don’t know how or why until the end. I had to go back and reread certain sections to make sure I understood and didn’t miss anything. There were several great twists and North wraps up the ending very nicely with a satisfying conclusion.

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I love Alex North books (particularly The Whisper Man). The Angel Maker tackles sibling loyalty, a long-dead serial killer, and the philosophical idea of determinism. North somehow makes it work and makes you think when you have finished reading. I did find the middle of the book a bit slow, but it picks up the pace and has a really good twist. However, I did think parts of the book were confusing, and I wasn't quite satisfied with the conclusion. I rounded up 4-stars.

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There is a lot going on in this book and it was on the slower side for most of the book, but I didn't mind as much as I normally would as I was trying to figure out who was who and how things were connected. Not going to lie, this took some time. I also read some passages repeatedly to get my footing. It was work and yet I enjoyed it. North gives readers little tidbits as the book progresses to keep them intrigued, invested and glued to the pages.

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WoW! What a binge-worthy read!

The Angel Maker by Alex North was once again another thrilling story.

I'm a big time Alex North fan. His work is chilling and down right unputdownable.
I thought TAM was atmospheric with compelling characters that hooked me immediately.
The mystery of this book was very well done and kept me guessing till the end.
An absolutely gripping thriller that will keep you guessing until the last page.
Full of mystery and suspense with twists and turns to keep you on your toes, I was completely hooked and hated seeing that was so close to the end.

North you're a master at storytelling and outdid yourself with your latest novel.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank you to NetGalley and Celadon Books for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This was a strange read that seemed to meander all over the place and I had no idea how all the pieces were going to come together until the very end. But I enjoy the way North writes and tells a story, so I figured if I hung in there it would be a ride worth taking - and I was correct in that assumption.

This one is a little more something than his other books - cerebral comes to mind but it's not a literary fiction read at all, it's more that the underlying threads of determinism and philosophical theory elevate the thinking behind the story than it is that they turn the tale itself into a more intellectual one. If that makes any sense. And if not, well, you'll have to just give it a go for yourself because there really is no good way to explain it. I've tried rewriting this section of the review several times and never come up with anything better.

It's not going to be for everyone. It's not even going to be for everyone who likes North's books. But I found that not trying to overthink it and not trying to figure it out let me enjoy the ride and the way he uses language. This let me appreciate the character interactions and unfolding relationships in a way that meant that I enjoyed the journey as well as the destination.

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Thank you for the opportunity to preview the Angel Maker. Alex North writes a complex novel with undertones of good care evil.
The story revolves around a book that may tell the future and has been in a rich family that believes that what is to be is to be and the future is predestined.
This is a complex novel and at first I was lost but I kept reading. Glad I did. This is really a good book. North manages to mix reality with a mystical realms to spin a story that is gripping and scary
Sometimes a bit wordy but well written. 4 stars

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Family, fate, the future and a red car!

There is a lot going on in this book and it was on the slower side for most of the book, but I didn't mind as much as I normally would as I was trying to figure out who was who and how things were connected. Not going to lie, this took some time. I also read some passages repeatedly to get my footing. It was work and yet I enjoyed it. North gives readers little tidbits as the book progresses to keep them intrigued, invested and glued to the pages.

Kate Smith had a charmed life growing up. At the end of her school year, she had it all - a boyfriend and a promising future awaited her. Then her younger brother, Chris was the victim of a violent crime, and everything changed.

Alan Hobbes, a professor who teaches fate and free will has been murdered in his home hours after telling his staff that he no longer needs them. It was as if he knew he was going to die.

After receiving a phone call from her mother informing her that her brother is missing, Kate who has a child of her own, tries to help.

Detective Laurence Page is tasked with solving Alan Hobbes murder. His investigation steers him to two cold cases - the attack on Chris Shaw and a serial killer who could see the future.

Although I found most of the book to be on the slower side initially, I was intrigued and had to know what was happening and how everything would play out. You need to pay attention and be patient as the payoff is HUGE.

When I finished the book, I thought "very clever" Mr. North. This book kept me on my toes and had me fully invested in the plot. I was then captivated wanting to see how things would play out. The second half of the book really brought things home and there were a few twists along the way. I loved the 'aha' moments I experienced as things were put together and clicked into place.

Clever, dark, well thought out, and tense.

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I was thrilled to receive an ARC of The Angel Maker. I love Alex North's books. In this latest work Alan Hobbes is a philosophy professor who has been murdered. Hobbes main focus in philosophy is determinism so he knew his end was coming. The crime is being investigated by Laurence Page. He is looking for a person of interest - Christopher Shaw. Years ago Christopher was attacked by Michael Hyde and Chris' sister, Katie, still feels responsible because she was hanging out with her high school boyfriend at the time. Katie hasn't seen her brother in two years because after the incident Chris became an addict. The last time they were together Chris stole from Katie so she called the police on him. Chris ended up going to rehab and getting clean. He's been seeing their mom, but not Katie. Now their mom wants Katie to find him because the mom hasn't seen him in awhile. Also looking for Chris is Edward Leland. Chris has something Leland wants and he knows he should have it because Leland believes in determinism just as Hobbes did.

As always North delivers on the crime mystery. I wish we knew more about Katie's husband, Sam. I was sure he would end up being a bigger part of the story. Overall this was not my favorite North book. The Whisper Man is still his best work in my opinion. But if you enjoy crime mysteries then you will like this when it hits shelves!

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Many thanks to Alex North, Celadon Books and Net Galley for providing me with an ARC of this novel. I’ve read and enjoyed both of North’s previous novels, so I had been eagerly anticipating this one.

The Angel Maker has similar elements to North’s other novels: a serial killer-related story line, a creepy setting, and a hint of the unusual or paranormal. I was hooked in the beginning and overall the story kept my interest, but I didn’t find that I was invested in the characters and the plot seemed disjointed/uneven in spots. Still, I would recommend it for people who have enjoyed North’s previous novels and for those who like this genre.

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This had every element that I look for in a good thriller:
Psychological suspense
Atmospheric scenery/writing
Creepy: spine tingly feels
Police elements
Family Dynamics

This was GOOD!!! This was my first Alex North book and I've added all I can to my TBR to get caught up with North's previous works.

Pick this up when you want to be a tad bit creeped out!

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I was BEYOND THRILLED when I was approved to read an early copy of the upcoming Alex North novel. I moved it straight to the top of the overflowing stack! 📚

Alan Hobbes is a distinguished philosophy professor who has been brutally murdered just hours after firing his staff. Of course, he knew he was going to be murdered because everything that happens in life is preordained. After all, he has spent his life lecturing on determinism.

As he awaits death, he thinks about the three people whose journeys are linked to his-journeys that will continue the day after he is gone….

One is Katie Shaw, presently cooking dinner for her family and worrying about her marriage and her daughter. Red car, Mommy! Red Car. Katie freezes.

She doesn’t think she is overprotective, but her husband disagrees. Still, she cannot forget the last time she made a split second decision to spend time with her high school boyfriend, instead of walking home from school with her little brother, Christopher, and he was savagely attacked while walking home alone by Michael Hyde, a stranger in a RED car.

Another is Detective Laurence Page who is listening to classical music, and doesn’t know that he will be working the Hobbes case the following day.

He has never heard the name HOBBES before, but he will soon discover that his NEW case leads back to two OLD cases-the gruesome attack on Christoper Shaw, and the despicable crimes of a notorious serial killer, Jack Lock, dubbed “The Angel Maker” who legend has it, thought he could see the future.

Thirdly is Christopher Shaw-Katie’s brother. The last time Katie saw him he was still struggling with addiction, and he stole money from her purse. He will enter the estate of Alan Hobbes just before the murder, and now he needs Katie’s help. She won’t let him down again.

I love to lose myself in the pages of a book, but it was DIFFICULT to do so when this story began because I found myself a bit lost instead.

With an INTRICATE plot, and a large cast of (evil) characters, it took awhile for me to figure out who was who, and how they fit together in the larger scheme of things, which slowed the pace down a bit. Once I was able to do so, the pace picked up as I was DEFINITELY curious to see how it would all play out.

Everyone is connected in unexpected ways.

So many tropes in the thriller/horror category are done again and again and again. But Alex North always seems to deliver something original, which this reader appreciates. While “The Whisper Man” remains my clear favorite of the three, this is still worth reading!!

3.75 rounded up!

And, a shoutout to the gorgeous cover art! ❤️

Expected Publication Date: February 28, 2023

Thank You to Celadon Books for the gifted copy provided through NetGalley. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review.

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#TheAngelMaker #NetGalley Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this novel. I encourage you to check this one out!

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Waiting for my arc copy of latest Alex North book was just like waiting for Godot! This is actually one of the most anticipated books of the next year that I was so close to sell my husband’s kidneys in exchange an early copy! Luckily I had my own happy ending and jumped on my study, performing Wednesday Addams gothic dance figures to celebrate as soon as I saw the arc copy at my NG shelves!

After reading his third book, I still think Whisper Man is my favorite work of the author, but I actually enjoyed this book more than Whispers. The paranormal vibes, puzzling storytelling style that connects different timelines by questioning the free will and faith, the realist approach of the author to the theology are absolutely unique, intelligent, piquing your interest, pushing you to flip the pages a little faster. Twists are mostly well developed.

At some parts I found the detectives a little useless to delve into the mystery and connect the pieces. They reminded me of Somerset and Mills ( Se7en)’s detectives who are just played by a man who pulls their strings!

Here’s the short summary of the plot:

Katie Shaw carries the burden of her past: one quick decision resulted with her little brother’s nearly death experience. She tries to clear her conscious by trying to protect the people around her she truly cares for and but the guilt still eats her inside.

She has estranged relationship with her brother Chris after not hearing from him fir nearly two years when she called the authorities for reporting his theft! She lost her father and her mother slowly fades away with her own health problems.

Thankfully she is still married with her love of her life Sam and raising her lovely five years old daughter Siena. But lately she suffers from communication problems with her husband and when one day her mother calls her to inform that her brother is in real trouble, she cannot let him go, gearing up for compensating the mistakes she’s made in the past.

This time her brother Christopher Shaw’s fate crossed with very dangerous people connected with a serial killer who can see the future and write everything down on a special book as detective Laurence Page and his colleague investigate the murder of philanthropist, rich philosopher and Christopher may be the person of interest of this murder investigation.

What will Katie do? Can she save her brother by making things tight about her past, connecting puzzle pieces to find about the big mystery he’s gotten himself into and finds the identity of the man who drives a red car, stalking around their neighborhood? Are all of those mysteries connected?

Overall: some explanations are a little far fetched and there are still a few unanswered questions and holes in the plot but it was still mind bending, provocative, exciting, smart, riveting reading with great character development and balanced pace. I enjoyed a lot and I also shivered and hid under my blanket while I was reading some chapters!

Absolutely recommended to the fans and thriller lovers who also enjoy paranormal/ fantasy genres.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Celadon Books for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

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Solid Alex North book. A little different than the Whisper Man and The Shadow Man but the serial killer theme continues, albeit in a little more of a familial thriller this time.

This time there were a host of characters - all connected under the surface and all trying to figure out who was moving their pieces on the chessboard.

The ending was a bit abrupt but overall a very solid read!

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4.5 stars

Holy cow this was an amazing book, I would say my favorite of North’s to date.
It is a slow burn for sure, but I wouldn’t want this particular story to be anything other than that. There was a lot going on and in the beginning it was a bit hard for me to keep track of the characters. But the story was laid out at a wonderful pace giving just enough without ruining anything. I can easily see this being a great movie (with the right cast and director).

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North nails it again with this nail-biter! This thriller features a stunning and well-built cast, and maybe even a bit of magic!

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Not as good as the author’s first two books, which were excellent and gripping from the start. This one drug on and was difficult to get through. Interesting concept but not what I was hoping for or expecting from this author

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Alex North is one of the few authors who can send chills up and down my spine - "The Angel Maker" is no exception! A must-read for all Scandanavian horror fans.

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This was a very split book for me. The main plot setup was so interesting, I love serial killer talk. However, there were a lot of characters to keep straight. Certain characters fell flat while others stole the show. This highlights several philosophical principles and hints at the plot twists along the way. Not my favorite book. Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy.

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