Sometimes I read a title and decide that I want to read and review it. Other times I will allow the cover to help me decide about a book. And every now and then I get a book to review that I was not expecting. March seems to be the month of surprises.
The Devil Walks in Mattingly was a surprise. I thought the story would be interesting; three characters dealing with guilt from an event that happened years ago. I did not expect the story I experienced though. There is romance (not the normal romance, something much sweeter), drama, youth issues, murder, and more thrills – I promise this story has it all and it is good!
Normally I want to cut to the chase. I want to be in the turning drama, wondering about the suspense and enjoying the thrills. The pace of The Devil Walks in Mattingly was slower than I am used to. At first, I was not so sure about it, but I quickly fell into the slower pace and really enjoyed it. The slower pace allowed for a much greater depth of characters. Instead of just knowing a certain level of what made them tick, you really go to know the real person.
This was one of those stories at the end, that just squeezed your heart. So much truth as things were wrapping up. So much of myself in more than one character.
This is not a light read, but looking back I am glad. When the truths jump out at you like they did in this book, at the end, those truths stay with you and linger. The theme in this story is Grace. You will not see it until the end, but when you do you will be able to see it on every page and in every character. I found myself picking up the book, after it was long over, looking at lines in the last few pages that just spoke to my heart.
This was a powerful book, one that I think every one of us can connect with, if we allow ourselves. I highly recommend!
PS – If you check out Billy Coffey’s blog you can read the first three chapters (but just as you should not judge a book by its cover, don’t judge it by the first three chapters … read it all to see the full picture, it is well worth it!!)
About the book: For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man's untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.
It has been twenty years since Philip McBride's body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since---Philip didn't kill himself that day. He was murdered.
Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly's sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.
Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake's dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies.
About the Author: Billy Coffey's critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.
NOTE : I was offered a copy of The Devil Walks in Mattingly, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review by LitFuse.