Falling Angel

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First edition
(publ. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)

Falling Angel is a 1978 horror novel by William Hjortsberg. Written in a hardboiled detective style with supernatural themes, it was adapted into the 1987 film Angel Heart.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

Johnny Favorite, a popular crooner before and during the Second World War, has not been seen or heard of since he was critically wounded during a 1943 Luftwaffe raid on Allied forces in Tunisia. In 1959, private investigator Harry Angel is hired to locate him on behalf of a mysterious client who calls himself Louis Cyphre. During his investigation, Angel finds himself enmeshed in a disturbing occult milieu.


The book was adapted into a 1987 mystery-thriller film entitled Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, and Lisa Bonet.[1] It was also adapted into an opera by J. Mark Scearce to a libretto by Lucy Thurber.[2] Titled Falling Angel, it premiered at the Brevard Music Center on June 30, 2016,[3][4] after having initially been commissioned by the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York.[2]


  1. ^ a b Canby, Vincent (March 6, 1987). "Angel Heart (1987) FILM: MICKEY ROURKE STARS IN 'ANGEL HEART'". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "J. Mark Scearce (DM 93) Commissioned by the Center for Contemporary Opera - News Updates". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  3. ^ Waleson, Heidi (5 July 2016). "'Falling Angel' Review: Brevard Bravado". Retrieved 25 April 2017 – via www.wsj.com.
  4. ^ "BMC > Performances > June 30, 2016 > Falling Angel - World Premiere". Retrieved 25 April 2017.