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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Storch is definitely on the point of taking his own life when he realizes it’s only a matter of time before the FBI arrests him. He knows when the truth all comes out about his money-making activities, he’ll live out his life in a federal prison. But years back in his business dealings, he selected a “fall guy” as his partner. All fingers will point to him instead of Storch. But the real brains behind Storch’s activities, his closest confidante and the one monitoring the big money and the profits, is Connie. As Connie quickly vanishes with her incriminating computer, the FBI raid Storch’s premises.
But just before the ensuing chaos, and as Storch holds a gun to his head, his guardian angel, Oriel, appears. Oriel points out his actual death is imminent…in just a few days in fact. Oriel tells him his new future is in his hands but he must make reparation to all those he has used and misused on his way to financial success if he is to be happy after death. Of course, Storch thinks this is all BS, but Oriel’s ominous voice and magical appearances and disappearances nag at him incessantly. Bit by bit, the reader learns how Storch became the insensitive magnate he is, and how and why Connie plays a significant role in his life and business. As Storch’s death nears, against both his lawyer’s and Connie’s advice, he makes the most important decision of his life, and this time, it’s not “always about the money”.
Being a non-believer, choosing to read a book with a title like Guardian Angel was most unusual for me. But, as I scanned the intriguing description and the first chapter, my curiosity was aroused: just what had brought someone like Joseph Storch, the protagonist, to want to commit suicide? Suspending my lack of belief in angels, I felt compelled to read this rather brilliant novella by SK Sutphen. My curiosity and time were richly rewarded with one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed in a while. This is a beautifully written book, a clever blend of literary and psychological crime fiction. Readers are as caught up in the characters of Storch and Connie as they are in the suspenseful plot. SK Sutphen’s style is direct, tight, wasting no words on unessential details. Dialogue is plentiful, well-executed, and character revealing. The result? A short, intelligent and thought-provoking read that might even make non-believers question their stance on angels. Do we really all have a Guardian Angel? If not, maybe we need one!