Solitary Man

Author: Jeff Mariotte
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99

ISBN 0 7434 7796 0
Available now

Widow Mildred Finster is a lifelong fan of 'cosy' mystery novels. She decides at the tender age of seventy-one that she'd like to become a real private detective. She finds a card for Angel Investigations and thinks the name sounds very sweet. After all, she loves angels. What could be more perfect? Angel and the gang are hip deep in their own personal problems. So when Mildred offers her services, they don't have much time for her. And when a truckload of antiquities from a local mission is stolen, they don't get too worked up over what they think is a simple theft. But the arrival of some ruthless killers from overseas finally gets the gangs attention. Now they are being followed at every turn by a well-meaning old lady, fighting off attacks from poltergeists, and trying to set their personal differences aside to defeat a supernatural foe before a centuries old mystery reaches its final chapter...

Solitary Man is a different kind of Angel story, but not in any way a bad one. It does have the feel of a murder mystery novel to it, which perhaps is what makes it stand out from the other novels in the Angel series.

Set in the first half of season four, we find the gang having many problems of their own to deal with; Angel and Cordy's 'relationship' since she came back from being a Higher Being, Wesley being ostracised after helping the bad guys take Connor, and Gunn and Fred attempting to work out whether or not they have a relationship after her old professor, and hell dimension issues coming back to haunt her. On top of all that, throw in some gruesome murders, a haunted house, a meddling old granny two Watcher-esque English killers and a deadly old man, and you've got one hell of a ride!

Without wanting to give too much away, Solitary Man grips you, and you get to see all the characters get sucked into the mystery by playing their own roles. Of course though, good always conquers evil, and in the end they manage to come together to save the universe from being doomed to a hellish existence (again)!

Keri Allan

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