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Rage of Angels  
Author Sidney Sheldon
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Thriller novel
Publication date 1980
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)

Rage of Angels is a 1980 novel by Sidney Sheldon.

Plot summary

Jennifer Parker is late for her first morning at work, where she's to be sworn in as an Assistant District Attorney for the State of New York, New York County. A beautiful, inexperienced, criminal defense attorney she becomes the foil for a plot by Michael Moretti, the rising star of one of the most powerful organized crime families in America. Moretti is on trial for murder and conspiracy, and Robert Di Silva is prosecuting. Within four hours, Jennifer is fired, ruined, and faces disbarment. She can't find a job anywhere until Adam Warner comes into her life. He's been asked to investigate her involvement with Moretti, and recommend for or against her being thrown out of the legal profession in disgrace.

Although Warner decides Parker isn't guilty of taking a bribe, what follows is a terrible struggle on Jennifer's part, to survive in New York City. Blackballed by every law firm in the country, Jennifer takes on a hopeless case. She will face Robert Di Silva, the brilliant District Attorney who has vowed to destroy her for her part in the fiasco with Michael Moretti. When she wins the case, Moretti decides he wants her as the Family consigliere (a mafia lawyer).

Adam Warner, married and also an attorney, has a strict rule against affairs, being married to Mary Beth, the niece of Stewart Needham, the senior partner in a very powerful New York law firm. Warner is being groomed for the Senate, with possibly a White House destination, but he can't help falling in love with Jennifer. When Adam tells Jennifer that Mary Beth has asked for a divorce, Jennifer meets with Warner's wife. Being so close to the Senate election, the two women decide it's best for Adam to wait until after the election. Mary Beth goes to bed one last time with Adam, and tricks him into making her pregnant.

Adam learns that his wife is pregnant, wins the election, and tells Jennifer that he must stay married for "a little while longer," never discovering that Jennifer, too, is pregnant. They break up, and Jennifer decides to keep the baby and become a single mom.

When her son is kidnapped, Jennifer, in desperation, turns to Michael Moretti for help. Moretti is handsome, powerful, and dangerous, and eventually seduces Jennifer. This begins a love triangle that sweeps across America's political and organized crime landscape as Jennifer, Adam, and Michael rise to become the most powerful figures in the country.

Her life soon turned into a nightmare when her son dies, due to a head injury. After the death, Jennifer's life falls apart as Michael Moretti plan to kill Adam and she had to stop him. She ended up getting shot by Michael, who finally knew of her affair with the politician, and fighting for her life. Near the end of the story, Adam Warner learns that he had a son, by Jennifer, but it was too late, because he was made the president of the United States.

In his earlier works, Sheldon is a master of plot twists, complications, and the emotional ups and downs of people's lives. "Rage of Angels" is one of his rare stories that does not have a happy ending. Despite being a somewhat pessimistic book, it's a fascinating journey into the complexities of crime and punishment, politics, and corruption. Sheldon masterfully portrays the brilliant legal strategies that make Jennifer Parker come to life as a fully believable criminal defense lawyer.

Film Version

In 1983, a made for TV film was produced, Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels starring Jaclyn Smith, Armand Assante and Ken Howard. It was followed by a sequel, Rage of Angels: The Story Continues in 1986.

In 1986 an uncredited film version loosely based on the novel was released in Malayalam titled Rajavinte Makan with Mohanlal, Ambika, Ratheesh and Suresh Gopi in the lead role. Interstingly, Mohanlal who played the role of Vincent Gomez (Michael Moretti) stole the show and it was his first stepping stone to super stardom


Preceded by
Sidney Sheldon Novels
Succeeded by
Master of the Game


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