Two Songs This Archangel Sings
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Comments from George C. Chesbro
I had already sketched out the plot and was halfway through the 1st draft of Two Songs This Archangel Sings when I realized that it was impossible for the Frederickson brothers to have gone through what they did in their previous outing, The Beasts of Valhalla, and not be profoundly changed. Consequently, I started over and incorporated issues/themes/incidents from Beasts--, thus making this 4th Mongo novel the 2nd volume, with The Cold Smell of Sacred Stone, of what I think of as "The Valhalla Trilogy."

Here I incorporate Veil Kendry, a favored character from another series, into Mongo's entourage. Also, a process with Garth that began with Beasts-- continues. In the first 3 Mongos, Garth is not much more than a classic foil for Mongo to talk to and acquire information from, a common technique in 1st person detective novels. By now he is becoming quite complex, at least in my mind, and is every bit as flesh and blood to me as Mongo, and equally interesting. He is a very dangerous man in certain circumstances, and his unpredictability is of continuing concern to Mongo. Their childhood roles have been reversed; while Garth was Mongo's protector when they were young, it is now Mongo who is Garth's protector.

Synopsis
In Two Songs This Archangel Sings, George Chesbro's dauntless dwarf detective Mongo is faced with an impossible mission. And then it gets deadly....

Mongo has only three clues to the mysterious disappearance of his artist friend and martial arts instructor Veil Kendry. A bullet hole. A cryptic oil painting. And an envelope, addressed to Mongo, containing $10,000.

When Mongo leaves Veil's empty apartment, he steps into a living nightmare. As he probes into Veil's past, he discovers that in Viet Nam and Laos, as highly trained CIA operative---code-named Archangel---Veil had been assigned to a dangerous and corrupt special mission that nearly unhinged him. Now, decades later, Veil's former CIA control is about to become secretary of state. And Veil is the only one who can stop him. Armed with titan courage and rapier wit, Mongo follows the perilous trail of clues from Greenwich Village to the Catskill Mountains to a final showdown in the Capitol in which the entire nation's future is at stake.

Action, suspense, a guardian angel, a haunting war legacy, and a grave political crisis---it's all here in Mongo's most gripping and literally most explosive case yet. Peter Straub has called George C. Chesbro "a master," and Two Songs This Archangel Sings is outstanding proof of Chesbro's reputation.

---From the dustjacket of the Atheneum edition
Quotes from the novel
  • "You have to keep a low profile for a while. Make a joke about your naturally low profile, I'll swat the bottoms of your feet. I'm not kidding." -Garth
  • "I don't believe nations are moral or immoral, responsible or irresponsible. Only human beings are those things." -Mongo

  • I felt like a lonely blackjack player in a near-empty casino waiting for a dealer to show up. -Mongo


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Last updated 12-APR-2015 08:24:48.57.