I read The Christopher Killer ages and ages ago, had on-the-cooler-end-of-lukewarm feelings about it, and never got around to posting those thoughts here. So The Angel of Death is not my first go-round with Cameryn Mahoney, seventeen-year-old forensic genius.
Cammie has pressure on her from all different directions: she lives and works with her coroner father, who encourages her interest in forensics—but she also lives with her Catholic grandmother, who thinks that her interest is going to send her to Hell. She and Deputy Crowley are clearly attracted to each other, but she's still in high school AND they work together. And then there's that whole thing with her mother: for reasons explained and explored in the first book, Cammie's mother hasn't really been in the picture in a long, long time. Now she's back in the picture. Sort of. But Cammie hasn't told her father.
So that's a source of stress.
Add to that an extremely dead high school teacher found by Big Man On Campus Mr. HottieMcHotHot Eagle Scout Kyle O'Neil—who takes a shine to Cammie during the investigation—and there's suddenly a lot going on in a usually sleepy Colorado town.
I still haven't found a forensics series that I adore, adult or YA. The subject is just, well, neat, but as of yet, the characterization and writing in every forensic mystery I've read gets overshadowed by the science—for me, the investigation and the detecting work steal the show. Angel of Death was not an exception, except that not much of the book dealt with the actual forensics. So... yeah.
Part of my issue with the book was certainly personal—among other things*, I just don't like Cammie very much. She's prone to being amazingly tortured and angsty** ("Now everyone, it seemed, hovered over Cameryn, anxious to find out what was happening inside her head, as though they possessed a set of sharp autopsy instruments all their own, poised and ready to pick her mind and dissect her heart.") and she's very much the type of brilliant-yet-clueless heroine that I end up yelling "OH, COME ON! REALLY? WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT? HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO THE BAD GUY IS??? I HAD HIM PEGGED BY THE COPY ON THE BACK OF THE BOOK!" at, and so without the forensics to entertain me, this one, sadly, didn't really work for me.
But it has, like, five stars at Amazon, so I'm clearly in the minority.
*I really did not find the dialogue believable. Or the interactions between the teen characters.
**Just like I was in high school, so it's quite possible that the younger me would have enjoyed this much more.