If you like a good suspenseful story you'll find Charlie Price's
Desert Angel right up your alley. The riveting plot and authentic
characters alone would make this book an excellent reading choice.
But it also subtly suggests that not all is right in America,
especially for those people our society relegates to the margins of
Angel's mother has had a bad habit of drifting from one abusive
relationship to another, bringing her young daughter. As the story
opens they have been living in an isolated trailer with a deranged
criminal, Scotty. Angel had fled the trailer to escape a meth and
alcohol fueled fight. She wakes up the next morning and finds her
newly killed mom.
When Angel returns to the trailer to get supplies to escape,
Scotty captures her. She feigns death when he attempts to suffocate
her, refusing to react when he burns her with a lighter. He leaves,
setting the trailer on fire. She escapes, knowing she has only bought
time. He's a gun dealer and professional hunter. It's only a matter
of time before he discovers she's still alive and sets out to finish
what he's started.
Angel's life now centers around staying ahead of a vicious and
sly predator. At first she's totally alone in her struggle to
survive. Then she is taken in by kind people. They protect her, even
knowing they are placing themselves in grave danger. Scotty will show
no more mercy to those who help Angel than he did to her. He has
criminal contacts who spy for him, increasing the scope of his power.
His victims are in no position to report him to the police. Some of
the tightly knit group are illegal aliens who would be deported.
Angel's struggle for physical survival is complicated by the
struggle going on in her heart and mind. Having only a mom incapable
of even self care, never mind motherhood, and a series of abusive
males in her life, she has come to rely only on herself. Now her very
survival requires her to trust and be honest with relative strangers.
Unaccustomed kindness make her start to care about them, creating a
new dilemma. Leaving to protect them will doom her. But staying so
that she can live may hold dire consequences for the only kind and
loving people in her life.
In addition to providing an excellent reading experience, Desert
Angel raises important issues. I guess the biggest one is Scotty's
power. He knows he can kill and terrorize with impunity. His victims
are the powerless. Society is more willing to not see a thing than if
he were after well off suburban matrons. In my mind we all, rich and
poor, deserve protection and safety. There is also the plight of
Angel's protectors. If they do the government the enormous favor of
helping catch a dangerous, demented criminal, those without the proper
papers would be deported. Somehow this doesn't seem just or right.
On a personal note, after quite a few years with no denominational
affeliation, I have chosen Orono Methodist Church as my spiritual
home. The congregation is very welcoming. Questions are encouraged.
Pastor Steve is, I believe, a trustworthy shepherd. I am very happy.
A great big shout out goes out to my new church family.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod