Musings in the Dark: Horror 101: Falling Angel


Horror 101: Falling Angel

Falling Angel is 1978 novel written by William Hjortsberg.  It
is the source material for the Mickey Rourke-led Angel Heart, which came out in 1987.  The story is about a detective named Harry Angel who is working a case for a mysterious client, Louis Cyphere (played by the badass Robert DeNiro).  Mr. Cyphere is looking for a man named Jonathan Liebling, aka Johnny Favorite.  Johnny Favorite was a popular crooner who got shipped off to WWII and got severely injured as well as amnesia, but he owes a debt to Mr. Cyphere.  

Harry takes on the case and it quickly descends into violence, as every lead he is able to obtain is viciously murdered.  The case takes twists and turns and Harry quickly becomes a suspect in the murders.  When it is revealed that Johnny Favorite was a practitioner of black magic and was so skilled in it that he was able to conjure Satan and sell his soul for superstardom, Harry realizes that he is Johnny.  And Louis Cyphere (say it all as one word) has come to collect what he is owed.

I love the movie Angel Heart and when I learned that there was source material, I immediately purchased it.  There are a few differences between the book and the movie, but both are equally enjoyable.  My favorite scene is the revelation Harry has when he realizes what he did to become Harry, and Louis Cyphere’s response to it.  Check it out; both book and film.


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