Sydney Sheldon * Rage of Angels

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the charity bin and into my home, this classic from 1980 follows the life of a wannabe woman lawyer – Jennifer Parker – as she ascends to fame and glory and also notoriety in New York. She loves and is loved by two men – both married, both on different sides of the law. One becomes a senator, the other one a Don of the Mafia so you can see how I found this thriller nothing short of an exciting adventure.

A battleground based on life of lawyer Jennifer Parker. Her struggle in life as a lawyer and as a lover is very meticulously carved out in this thriller. One thing I love about Sidney Sheldon which may make me sound repettive is his beautiful way of presenting his imagination so vividly that the reader is fascinated by it.

Reading his books takes you through a journey of the characters making you a part of their lives. It forces you to live their life, though momentarily. We have one gay character who keeps his secretive blonde men a secret (but can be seen walking around town with them!). We have married man Adam Warner who falls for the (initially) disgraced attorney and decides to do what any powerful man with loads of money and little attraction to his mousey wife wants to do: explore the other side. I think one of my major problems with this book is that no other woman is more beautiful or more talented than Jennifer. She is the epitome of sexy, success, career and drive. And all the men who woo her seem to be either sleazy or married. Where were all the single guys in New York in the 1980?

What the author did do well was develop an air of suspense in reader’s minds. No matter what assumptions or guesses you make about what is going to happen next, you may miss the bulls eye as the reality would be somewhat different entirely. (This happens in my case). Sometimes, I am able to nail it though.

Her relationship with married man Adam Warner, who is destined to be the next president of the United States, comes to an abrupt halt when she finds out that both her and the wife are pregnant – meaning that her lover boy still indulged in the matrimonial bed when he wasn’t visiting hers. She nearly has an abortion (gasp!) but changes her mind at the very last minute and decides she wants to keep the boy and name him Adam (the second). She buys a house and manages to live a very successful life despite attempts from the local mobster Moretti of getting her to be La Famiglia’s Attorney. When she fails to perform due diligence and check up on a convict’s history, she vouches for the wrong man to be let out on bail (really? that was a rookie mistake) and he vows revenge on her personally for calling the cops to put him back in jail.

He escapes and kidnaps her son from her secluded home (didn’t she know she was being followed? How?) and due to the time sensitive nature of the kidnapping, she doesn’t call the FBI or the police, she calls Mob Moretti to the help. He helps, kills the guy who did the kidnapping and then in form of payment, sleeps with sexy Jennifer and starts sending customers her way. And she can’t really refuse.. why? I was like – keep your darn personal life and professional life separate (*cough*, been there, done that, it’s a shit show)

Then I kinda start buying the fact that she likes working with the dregs of society, despite her staff and her friends asking her wtf is she doing picking such distasteful clients. Her affair with Married Mob Moretti continues on the side as he gives her gifts according to her status in the Family.

Kinda like Fat Tony and Selma

Towards the end of the book the author was struggling. I could tell that 400 pages in – all the tropes have been pulled and nothing new could come as a surprise development so why not get Jennifer to meet with her old flame at a convention? Why not get her to be witnessed having drinks by one of Mob guy’s main men? Why not have her rekindle the relationship she had, sleep with the Senator Warner and then dump him the next morning without telling him he has a kid that’s now 7.

I was starting to dislike where this was going but hey – the world is filled with cheaters and love triangles. So to make things more tragic and to bring some well deserved ending to this book, Jennifer loses her boy due to a subdural hematoma caused by a water ski accident. She’s depressed, she’s sad and she’s again saved by the guy she’s seeing – Mobster M. He’s kind enough to look out for her and make sure she eats and is well taken care of before he sends her on another business trip for la Famiglia.

The Senator in the meantime is cracking down on Crime and decided that all the big families will be raided just when Jennifer was away – there’s even a warrant for her since she asked the kidnapper to be killed for her son. The Senator kinda thinks it’s his son too but he doesn’t have enough info, just tons of regret. I nearly wanted to punch him. This guy was totally into Jeniffer but as soon as she broke up with him he was like – yeah, I’ll go back to my loveless marriage and it’ll be fine.

Morelli is no better – as soon as he only hears that his mistress had drinks with another guy – be it the senator or not – he goes completely murderous and is planning on killing her for cheating on him. Like how dare she, the mistress, have a one night stand – only proven by the fact that she had drinks at a bar at a conference. He inferred a bit too much (correctly tho) and went fully to “I’m gonna kill her” rather than – let me hear her side out too.

Little to no communication.

Besides the shit show ending, the book was a good thriller and I would have loved to keep on reading way past the 500 pages mark.

Rating:

I would give it a 4.25/5 for a nicely devised plot and meticulous presentation making every page of the page worth reading. A worth read for the ones who love law as a subject and love reading suspense/thrillers.  

PS: One of the cases she had was featured in Keanu Reeve’s The Devil’s Advocate movie where a paternity case was decided with the baby emulating one of his father’s tics – licking lips – which had been doused with corn syrup.

PS2: This book had a movie adaptation too for TV in 1983

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086168/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

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