Dirty Little Angels – Chris Tusa


 Dirty Little Angels

Paperback: 147 pages
Publisher: Livingston Press (March 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1604890304
ISBN-13: 978-1604890303 
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Hailey Trosclair – 16 Years old, and the main character in the story.
Jules Trosclair – Father
Cyrus Trosclair – Brother
Moses – Minister
Meridian – Friend
Chase – Meridian’s Boyfriend
Iris/Mr. Guidry – A husband/wife in the town
Verma – Neighbor


This is Mr. Tusa’s first work of fiction.  It’s set in the pre-Katrina Louisiana area.  The cast of characters are of the type you’d find on Jerry Springer.  You have the withdrawn mother, the drunk, gambling addicted father.  You have the violent brother with not much going on in his life.  And then you have the main character of Hailey Trosclair.  When her mother withdraws from the family, her father begins drinking more.  Hailey and her brother are drawn to the Minister Moses.  Moses dream is to turn an old bank, into a drive through Church.  As the course of the story unfolds, Moses becomes more and more of a twisted version of someone doing God’s work.  Meridian is Hailey’s best friend, and addicted to all forms of surgical enhancement.  In fact, each character in this book in someway or another seems to posess their own addictions, be it religion, alcohol, or violence.

While the story is very brief at 147 pages, I found myself drawn into the story, and read it in one afternoon.  Mr. Tusa himself was kind enough to provide me with an electronic copy of the book to read.  I would say this book was geared more towards the adult reader.  If I were to put a rating on it, I would put PG-13, or maybe R.  There are some situations such as abortion, violent acts, attempted suicide, etc. that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.  There was also a fair amount of strong language, which, while I’m not opposed to, some may want to be aware of if giving this book to your teenagers.

That being said, what did I think of the story.  Happily, I must say at first, I didn’t like it.  And I mean that in the most positive way.  The characters were from the lowest echelons of society, and were rather vile.  Meridian for example has the attitude that unless you’ve got a perfect body, your worthless.  Jules would rather drink and gamble away his money, than take a job at Wal-Mart.  Moses is bent on divine retribution for anyone that he feels is a sinner.  About the only “decent” person in young Hailey’s life is her neighbor Verma.   It seems deep down that Hailey wants to be a good, righteous person, but struggle with how she can do that.

I loved how the story unfolded and the ending wasn’t something I expected until the last chapter.  I’d gladly recommend this book for a good afternoon read.  For the first time out of the gates, I feel that Mr. Tusa did a very good job.

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*DISCLAIMER* An E-Book copy of this was provided to me by the author for review.   This in no way influenced my review.