‘The Angel’s Call’ By Guillaume Musso: A story like a montagne russe
Although the “thriller” genre is not a literary genre for best describing my personal reading preferences, I had to look for the explanation of the “Musso’s wave” that came like a tsunami into the contemporary literature of the genre. Thus, I chose to meet Monsieur Musso in “The Angel’s Call”.
About the author
Guillaume Musso is a French novelist born in Antibes, France, in 1974. At the age of 19 he left for the USA where, for several months, he earned money by selling ice cream. Back in France, he earned a degree in economics and began teaching in high schools. His first novel, “Skidamarink”, is a thriller based on the theft of the Mona Lisa painting from the Louvre Museum and it was published in 2001. But the book which conquered the public was his second novel, “Afterwards”, inspired by a near-death experience of the author, after a car accident. Later, he published 16 more novels, proving to be a prolific writer. Translated into over 40 languages, and having numerous film adaptations, each release of a new novel has become, for his readers around the world, an eagerly awaited joy.
About the book
When you start this book, make sure you can separate yourself from the world for the next few hours, because it will be very difficult to put it aside.
The book begins with an unforeseen collision on the New York airport between Madelaine, a young English woman owning a beautiful flower shop in Paris, and Jonathan, a young Frenchman, famous chef with a declining career, retired from the spotlight to manage a small restaurant in San Francisco. In the rush and fury of the moment, the two will change their phones, which will cause a chain reaction.
In the first part of the novel, following the exchange of e-messages between the two protagonists united by their own loneliness in which they sank, you have the feeling that you will read a love story anchored in the modern world. Though, there are more and more clues from one page to another that warn you about the switch to come.
Thus, in the second part, the action becomes a detective one, ingeniously designed, and which will take you from France to England and to the USA, in a vital race against the clock. Madelaine proves to be more than a florist and Jonathan has a past that cannot be reduced to being a chef, even considering the Michelin stars gained. Guillaume Musso does not give you time to breathe, as you will run among mysterious characters, leaders of mafia with surprising roles, intrigues on several levels, inexplicable coincidences, all forming a puzzle that you will not be able to understand until the author decides it’s time for you to solve the mystery. And, let’s not forget, the whole action will have on the background the irresistible magnetism between the two central characters – Madelaine and Jonathan. In the book, as in life, nothing is accidental!
Along with the alert action, the author addresses issues such as fairness, morality, compromise, trauma, loss, the obscure world of the mafia, the hypocrisy of Manichaeism in modern society.
If I made you curious who “the angel” is, what’s his role in the plot and if or how the attraction between the two protagonists will survive the ghosts of their past, sit comfortably in an armchair, with a big cup of black coffee and lose the track of time in an alert reading. A book is … Lust For Flying.
To the author:
Monsieur Musso, je dois admettre que vous m’avez conquis!
(Mr. Musso, I must admit you conquered me! – Google translation from French language)
Quotes (English translation from the Romanian edition)
- “No one is safe from going down to hell.”
- “Every individual has in his heart a void, a wound, a fear of abandonment and loneliness.”
- “Passion is like a drug: at first you think you control it, then, one day, you have to admit that she is the one who controls you”
- “Sometimes love destroys, other times it crystallizes into magnificent works of art…”
- “You don’t get rid of your past so easily. You don’t get rid of quicksand and obsessions so easily.”
Read more book reviews by Raluca Neagu here.