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Publisher's Summary

Ex-mob enforcer-turned-Private Investigator Isaiah Coleridge pits himself against a rich and powerful foe when he digs into a possible murder and a sketchy real-estate deal worth billions.

Ex-majordomo and bodyguard to an industrial tycoon-cum-US senator, Badja Adeyemi is in hiding and shortly on his way to either a jail cell or a grave, depending on who finds him first. In his final days as a free man, he hires Isaiah Coleridge to tie up a loose end: the suspicious death of his nephew four years earlier. At the time police declared it an accident, and Adeyemi isn't sure it wasn't, but one final look may bring his sister peace.

So it is that Coleridge and his investigative partner, Lionel Robard, find themselves in the upper reaches of New York State, in a tiny town that is home to outsized secrets and an unnerving cabal of locals who are protecting them. At the epicenter of it all is the site of a stalled supercollider project, an immense subterranean construction that may have an even deeper, more insidious purpose....

©2020 Laird Barron (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Worse Angels

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    5 out of 5 stars
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every single book in this series is amazing.

Laird Barron had to be the best author I have ever read. This series really just keeps getting better and better. I love how the author is starting to lean into his horror roots. 11/10

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Powerhouse

My new favorite series. Each story was enjoyable and got better and better as it progressed. I'm looking forward to (and hoping there'll be) more soon.

Blood Standard (book 1) was more of a hardboiled investigation with subtle horror elements. Black Mountain (book 2) still embraced the hardboiled style, but had stronger Lovecraftian influences. Worse Angels (book 3) comes into it's own, solidly establishing Isaiah Coleridge's investigations as a trip into otherworldly horrors that Laird Barron writes so well.

Worse Angels still has the tough hardboiled influence to the proceedings, but there's no more pussy footing around. It strongly embraces the out there stuff. Isaiah is offered a job by Badja Adeyemi to investigate his nephew's death from four years earlier. Adeyemi dragged his feet, because at the time he was 'a fixer' for the wealthy Industrialist family Isaiah tangled with on his last adventure, but they've withdrawn their protection, leaving him to face indictment, so there's no time like the present to look into this skeleton in their closet. The nephew’s death was ruled a suicide. He fell down a shaft at the family's stalled supercollider project, where he worked as a security guard. Jumped supposedly, but the verdict's always looked fishy. Remote location, inconsistent behavior, unusual clothing...and the last PI hired while the ink was still drying on the paperwork suffered a hit and run while crossing the street, breaking both his legs. He hastily agreed with the ruling, refusing to pursue any further investigation.

That detail cinches it for Isaiah to investigate and Adeyemi sweetens the deal by giving him an unlimited budget for the job, so he brings Lionel in as back up. They travel to Horseheads, a small town in upstate NY created by the wealthy Industrialist family (named after a mass slaughter of horses), to dig into things powerful people would prefer to remain buried. And it just gets more interesting from there.

The Isaiah Coleridge series has carved out a niche in the hard to categorize books that I so enjoy. It suffers from the 'how the heck to list this book' syndrome. Mystery? Horror? Urban fantasy? Unfortunately there's no 'serious and grim with fantastic supernatural horror that'll rivet you till the story's done' genre. Other stories that fit into this hard to list genre are Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series as well as Stephen Blackmoore's Eric Carter series. WHICH I LOVE.

I'm so happy I stumbled upon Isaiah Coleridge's stories. Why did I wait so long to check this series out? Had I known it was this weird genre I'd have been listening as each book became available. Now I'm searching for any scraps of info about this series. (I really, really hope there'll be more Isaiah Coleridge books.)

William DeMeritt's narration is fantastic. Rich, vivid with every character stepping off the page. He captures that creeped out, hairs standing up on the back of your neck at several points in the story too. His performance has improved exponentially from the first book, fulfilling the potential glimpsed in the latter parts, to make the whole series a completely immersive enjoyable listening experience.

So if you're into unique, bizarre, disquieting stories that are well written and superbly narrated, definitely check this series out. It's a hidden gem.

Well worth the credit.

1 person found this helpful

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Worlds Collide

I’m a long-time fan of Laird Barron’s work and when the Isaiah Coleridge started I wasn’t sure what to expect. I enjoyed the first novel and the second; for me Worse Angels is a real treat. It calls back to some of his earlier work and gives the novel an eerie undertone that blends well with the hard-boiled themes, like Isaiah is driving along a cliff sedge he can sense but can’t see.

That said, if you aren’t that familiar with Barron’s body of work it might feel like the unsettling cosmic horror “peek behind the veil” elements come out of left field and dilute the mystery. For others, it hints at a larger - much larger - mystery.

It’s my favorite Coleridge novel to date and guarantees I’ll buy the next one.

Performance by William DeMerritt is stellar as always.

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Barron knocks it out of the park, 3 for 3

Once again Barron has succeeded in creating a satisfying thriller around his lovable Thinking Man's Thug with a Heart of Gold, Isaiah Coleridge. Avid Barronites will delight in familiar names and shapes, while the purely hard-boiled crowd will be sure to savor Coleridge's aphorism adorned contemplative detective work.


Reprising his role of Isaiah is narrator William DeMeritt, whose deep voice and measured cadence add an inimitable dimension of personality and charisma that I would loathe to ever see divorced from these productions. DeMeritt fits Isaiah the way Kevin Conroy fits Batman. Frankly, brilliant.


5/5 can't wait for the next one




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need more

great as always. vary much hope this series continues. laird barron knocked it out of the park again

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Outstanding Story!

This is a fabulous story. The narrator was excellent. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.