Review : The Devils Work – Mark Edwards

I have read several books written by Mark Edwards, and I have enjoyed them all – however I think I’ve started to see the red herrings and twists coming a little too soon, or at least I did with this novel and unfortunately it did spoil it a bit for me. I couldn’t quite work out what the conclusion was going to be so I kept on reading to find out as I do enjoy his writing style, it’s very creepy!

Sophie is returning to a day job after being a stay at home Mum for 4 years. She is nervous and tentative about getting back into the rat race, but when her dream job comes up somewhere she’s wanted to work from when she was a little girl she can’t turn it down. Ghosts from the past rear up and the story is told by going back and forth from Sophie’s university days to the present day to paint a picture of what is happening and who could be behind it.

One of the issues I had with this book was that I found Sophie’s personality a little jarring – never believing in herself enough to push the button and do what had to be done without a huge amount of introspection, always doubting her actions and brushing off some of the most sinister things with a ‘I’m just being silly’ attitude, yet fretting wildly over others. This is how some people behave, but even so I still found it annoying.

When one of the main character’s behavioural traits were explained away in an almost throw-away manner, Sophie’s immediate guilt-fest over something she couldn’t possibly have known led me to feel annoyed with her again. So yeah, I found her a bit frustrating – but I think that’s what the author intended – you know when you’re watching a film and screaming ‘LOOK BEHIND YOU’ and they aren’t taking any notice? Yeah, like that.

Things went a bit haywire in the last quarter of the book and it became a little too Scooby-Doo for me although I think it would work brilliantly on screen, it just felt like there was a bit too much explaining to do. I wonder though if this was because I’ve read a few of his older novels quite recently – if I hadn’t, would I have been able to spot the red herrings & twists coming? Judging by the other reviews I’ve seen, possibly not! Overall, the writing is good, the tension is well strung out, and if you can suspend your disbelief a little (and if not, why are you reading fiction?) then I am sure you will enjoy this. A good, edgy, holiday read.

3/5

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