Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg

Falling Angel is a hardboiled detective novel with elements of supernatural horror written by William Hjortsberg in the late 1970’s .

The novel itself takes place in New York in the 1950’s . Private investigator Harry Angel is hired by the mysterious Mr. Cyphre to locate a popular crooner named Johnny Favorite. The main problem being that no one has seen Johnny since he was critically injured in a raid during World War 2… or have they ? Cyphre directs Angel to a hospital where he believes Johnny was getting treatment for shell shock . When Angel gets there , it turns out that some friends had picked up Johnny from there years ago . From here Angel is dragged into the most dangerous mystery of his life . A tale involving voodoo , murder , human sacrifice , framing , cults and some soul searching .

This book was turned into a movie called Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke and I’ve got to say that both the movie and the book are great . However neither are for the weak of heart , they are brutal detective stories that dive into the darkest aspects of the human psyche . If after reading that you think you can handle it though , I can’t recommend it high enough .

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