Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg

Falling Angel - William Hjortsberg

 There are two reasons I bought this book. 1. I bought it at my favorite brick and mortar bookstore,  Bunch of Grapes, because I wanted to contribute in some small way to their beautiful store. 2. Because my friend Marc has been hounding me to read it for a couple of years now. He was right, and I now wish I had read this book sooner.


This is a crime-noir novel, written in the 70's but actually taking place in the early 50's. As such, there are some racist comments and remarks, as well as some slang with which I was unfamiliar. For instance, did you know that shamus was slang for private detective? Yeah, I didn't either. What puts this novel in the dark fiction category was the voodoo and Satan worship which both play a role in the plot. (For those that don't know, this book was made into the film Angel Heart.)

The plot was excellent. It got a little complicated, but I never lost my way. It was also peppered with a bit of dry humor, which I always enjoy.

Going into the last chapters, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I've been told so much about this book, I guess I was feeling a bit let down. Then...




...the ending of this story blew me away.

Highly recommended for fans of crime-noir and dark fiction!