Speak of the Devil Review

  • Author: Rose Wilding
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Crime
  • No. of pages: 384
  • Dates read: 27.02.2023 – 28.02.2023
  • Publishing Date: 13.06.2023
  • Star Rating: 5 stars

I will stress and say there are a lot of trigger warnings attached to this book e.g. sexual assault, mental abuse, gaslighting, forced outing, and grooming to name a few. I just wanted to add that in case anyone wanted to check out the book.

Plot: Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police. Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.

Now I know this book isn’t out until the Summer but I needed to talk about it sooner rather than later! Let me tell you, this book resonated with me in a way I don’t think any other contemporary book has before.

I was sent this book by the publishers so thank you so much to Baskerville for sending this to me. I picked this up just before a long journey and let me tell you that a 5 1/2-hour trip felt like nothing to me. I was so engrossed in this story and its characters.

This story follows 7 women directly after they find the decapitated head of a man, who in one way or another, came into their lives and wrecked it. Any one of them could have done it, it was just a matter of who. Going into this I thought it was going to be a simple investigation, interview the suspects and solve the murder type of book. What I did not expect was a deep-dive character study into the nuances of being a woman, how trauma can affect a person, power dynamics, gender, race and sexuality.

Spending time with each character and learning about them and what they endured/experienced was a raw, honest, emotional and slightly cathartic experience for me as a reader. I loved the variety of the characters we got, I loved the slowly interconnecting storyline and I enjoyed slowly unravelling who killed this man.

It was a hard read but a necessary read. When I tell you I hated the man, Jamie (the dead guy). I don’t think I have ever hated a fictional character so much in my life. It was a really physical hatred and I have to commend Wilding on her writing for making me feel so much and so differently towards these characters. But the way she wrote Jamie was so expertly done. Like I really hated that man.

What I did love most about this book though was just learning and being in a space held majorly by women. Women of all ages, races and sexualities. While a lot of the experiences these women had with this man were awful. Being able to fully immerse myself in the lives of these women and learn with them, feel with them and grow with them was really powerful. This book has left a mark on me that I don’t think I will ever be able to shake and I don’t want to. I connected to this book in so many ways and I want more books like this in the future.

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