When Toby O’Dare’s mother, brother and sister all
die on the same day, the young man experienced more misery in that
one day than most of us will in our entire lives. That day, Toby
walked away from all he had ever known and left behind everything
but his treasured lute, an instrument that brought him the only joy
that would ease his pain. Music was the thing that always soothed
his troubled soul. No wonder; Toby could make beautiful music. So
good, in fact, that he might have been a famous musician one day.
But the tragedy sends his life in a downward spiral, and instead of
devoting his life to bringing something great into the world, he
dedicates himself to taking things away by becoming a hit man.
After shedding his life as a young man poised on the edge of a
career that promised him years of pleasure, Toby flees to New York,
a city he knows he can disappear in, and sets about trying to
forget his past. He tells no one his name, where he came from, or
anything else about his past aside from his love for music.
Eventually, a person known to Toby only as “The Right
Man” employs him to eliminate special targets, always with
the assurance that he’s working for the good guys.
Whether Toby believes that or not is of little consequence ---
killing people, even for good reason, takes its toll on him. His
conscience eats away at him and pushes him further into despair.
Finally, not even his lute can minister to his pain. At merely 28,
his ability to continue seems, at best, crippled: “The more
Toby O’Dare became the contract killer of underground fame,
the less he cared about who he’d been before…he drew
further and further from the chain of humanity to which he
However, one’s fate doesn’t have to be set in stone;
sometimes we get a second chance. It starts to look like Toby might
be one of the lucky ones, for at the height of his crisis, he
encounters a guardian angel. This Capra-esque meeting dramatically
affects Toby’s whole being. For if the angel can be believed,
Toby has a unique chance to redeem himself, and it is possible that
maybe --- just maybe --- his soul may not be consigned to the
bowels of Hell forever. The angel has a mission for him; however,
it is dangerous, and it puts Toby in more peril than he has ever
been in. Furthermore, it is complicated by the fact that his
salvation resides in England --- 13th-century England to be
Is Toby too far gone for redemption? Or will he be a changed man
by the novel’s end?
In ANGEL TIME, Anne Rice, author of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE,
makes a departure from the world of fangs and blood to one of halos
and wings. A highly spiritual novel with beautifully formed
characters --- characters so alive you will want to reach out and
touch them --- Rice weaves a tapestry of wrong and right, of
devastation and redemption, and of despair and, ultimately, hope.
This book is sure to touch you in ways none of her other books ever
have before. A perfect read for our times.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 22, 2010
Angel Time: The Songs of The Seraphim