Review by Maddison Clark: The Angels Wept

The Angels Wept cover
A gripping read that explores both the lightest and darkest facets of human nature through the time old debate, nature vs nurture.

Jack Roney’s The Angels Wept, the first instalment in the Detective Jarrod O’Connor series, creates a story where the material and mystical world collide. Think The Dry meets Angels and Demons.

Set in the rural Australian town of Lockyer, readers follow the protagonist, Jarrod O’Connor, a small-town detective, in a fight to protect three newly orphaned children against the antagonist and devil’s advocate, Vincent Miles.

Creates characters that feel just as large as the world they live in

Roney’s The Angels Wept, juxtaposes the world of crime and action against the normality and nature of home life, by tying it to the personal identity of the protagonist, Jarrod.

Jarrod is forced to face his past demons, which are fraught with shame and self-doubt, by diving into the layered minds of the antagonists to solve a disturbing mystery.

These elements mixed with Roney’s catching descriptions, result in characters that feel just as large as the world they live in.

Multiple Points of View (POVs) shed light on complex themes

Roney masterfully weaves secondary story lines into the main plot to explore one of life’s biggest mysteries, nature vs nurture.  

Readers are gifted with multiple POVs – whose significance remain somewhat of a mystery until the novel’s climax – each of which seek to answer the question of whether a criminal is born or made.

The core thread that ties our antagonists together is their religious beliefs and reliance on the bible, which is often under-toned by a sense of mysticism. The antagonists find peace in their belief that they are acting on God’s behalf, allowing them to escape any ultimate responsibility or consequences for their own dark and malicious tendencies.

Among all this are subtle explorations of mental health and the detrimental impact this can have on a person’s quality of life and personal identity, adding to the debate surrounding nature vs nurture.

With such strong religious themes, The Angels Wept touches on the idea of free will, probing the question of whether humans are the wielders or just the puppets of their own destiny.

Roney’s own real-world experience in law enforcement makes for a rich add to the genre

After reading The Angels Wept, it is automatically clear how much Roney’s own personal experience in law enforcement informed the story.

Roney doesn’t scrape over any details, resulting in a fully fleshed out world with compelling detectives that bring it to life.

Roney’s knowledge also allows for three-dimensional characters as readers aren’t forced to question the plausibility of the story or the crime that infuses it.

A story for crime and mystery lovers alike, The Angels Wept will keep you clasped in its grip until the end.  

You can buy The Angels Wept via the Hawkeye bookstore, or all good bookstores and libraries.

Want to know more about Jack Roney? Visit his Hawkeye author page here or his website here.

Reviewer Maddison Clark
(Photo by @iamwoman_studio)

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