Cover Image: Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil

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Member Reviews

This was a very interesting mystery and was like piecing a puzzle.    Very taut.  
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This book had a similar premise to The Change which I read last fall. A group of jilted women all having a clear motive for the murder of a horrible narcissistic monster of a man. I enjoyed the diversity in this book and found myself more invested in certain women's POV's than others. I listened to this on audio and did have a hard time keeping all the characters and backstories straight so maybe try to have a physical handy until you are comfortable. If you're a fan of revenge stories, unreliable narrators, and can handle some pretty significant trigger warnings then I think you'll enjoy this book. Thank you to Macmillan Audio for my ALC and Minotaur Books and NetGalley for my eARC.
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The story begins on New Year’s Eve, in 1999 with seven women in a hotel room sitting in a semicircle with a severed head in their midst. The head belongs to Jamie Spellman a man who is no stranger to any of them. Each of these women has been wronged by him in some way and they have been plotting to get their revenge but decapitating him wasn’t quite what they had planned. None of them is aware of who amongst them is responsible for the same but each of them harbors suspicions of who it might be. However, they are not interested in outing the culprit and focus on covering up the crime and protecting one another.
 As the narrative progresses we get to know more about each of these women, how their stories intersect with the deceased, the events that led to their being in the hotel room with Jamie’s decapitated head, and what transpires in the two weeks following that fateful night as the women try to maintain their innocence. Complicating matters further is the fact that the investigator in charge of the case has a history with one of the women in question.
Narrated from multiple perspectives (in the third-person),  Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding is a well-crafted, immersive read. The narrative moves fast and at no point did I lose interest in the narrative. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the culprit could be (It’s not too hard, but I thoroughly enjoyed the build-up to the end!). What makes this story interesting is that Jamie was truly a despicable character and not only at no point do you feel sorry for what happened to him, you also can’t fault these women for wanting him dead. The novel does venture into dark territory, touching upon themes of rape, police negligence in investigating crimes against women, gaslighting, manipulation, abuse, gender politics and transphobia among others. Not all the characters are explored in equal depth but I did like the diverse cast of characters and how skillfully the author weaves their distinct backstories into the narrative. The ending was a tad abrupt but overall, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the DRC of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I paired my reading with audio narration by Colleen Prendergast which certainly elevated my experience with this novel. The narrator does an impressive job of voicing the characters, setting the mood and bringing the story to life. Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for the ALC. I would not hesitate to recommend the novel, the audiobook or pairing both for an intense immersion reading experience.
Expected Date of Publication: June 13, 2023
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Seven women in a room with a dead male body. I didn’t realize it was just his head sitting in the table.  Each chapter was told by a different person and it was a bit tedious. I thought it was going to be a good mystery police type drama but it fell rather short for me.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
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I thought that this was really good! I enjoyed getting to know each of the seven women at the core of this book and it was quite clear that each of them had the motive to kill Jamie. Jamie was not a good man. In fact, he was pretty terrible, and the things that he did to each of these women left me feeling a lot of sympathy for them. I loved that the book kept me guessing until the very end.

The story opens with the discovery of the decapitated head of Jamie by a group of seven women with ties to the victim on New Year’s Eve 1999. We learn about Jamie’s connection to each of the women and the history that they share throughout the book. We do also see the police detective’s perspective as we work our way through the story. It was quite a few characters to juggle but each of them had such unique personalities that I had no trouble keeping things straight. It was obvious that all of the women had the motive but I wasn’t sure who the murderer was until it was revealed in the story.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that Colleen Prendergast did a fantastic job with the story. I thought that she had a very pleasant voice and I had no problem listening to this book for hours at a stretch. I thought that the dialog between the characters flowed nicely and I liked that she was able to add just the right amount of emotion to her reading. I thought her narration added to my enjoyment of this book.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a well-done mystery that was nearly impossible to set aside. I thought that this was a great debut novel and look forward to reading more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio.
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I’m definitely in the minority with my 2 star rating but this story fell flat for me and I could not connect with any of the characters. DNF at 36%. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my review.
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This book was certainly a wild ride! Seven different women who are unknowingly connected to each other meet and find the severed head of a man that they all knew, but in very different ways.  I'll say one thing, I knew pretty early on that this dude completely deserved it.  

The chapters are each from a different character's perspective,  which with seven women I have to admit this was difficult for me.  They are all so very different, but by the time I could easily figure out who was who off the top of my head by name alone, it was already getting pretty late in the read.

With that said, I did immensely enjoy this.  The different stories were really interesting, and, overall,  I thought this was a unique read.  Also, I really loved how this book wraps up! 

Out June 13, 2023! 

Thank you, Netgalley and Publisher, for this Arc!
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I was drawn to this book by the US  bird cover. Beautiful and sinister at the same time. That is how we women often are ourselves. Jamie Spellman was an evil man. Some, maybe even you, would say he deserved to die. Did he deserve to lose his head in the process? Seven women in a sort of Jamie Spellman done wrong support group could have done it and rally around each other to protect the killer. That is the premise of the book, but there are also a whole lot of spouses, lovers, parents, and coworkers who could have done it, too. How far would anyone go for revenge or to protect the one they love? Which side are the police on?

This was a slow burn of a thriller for me. Each chapter was a back and forth from a different character perspective. If you have trouble keeping track of multiple characters and backstories, then this might not be the book for you. I found myself kind of wishing each had done him in for the wrong he did to them. Some wrongs seemed worse, more methodically planned out. Some wrongs seemed in the moment. And some were just plain mean. In the end Jamie Spellman needed to die as some people are just plain evil and unredeemable. The birds do have a minor but darkly impressionable role in the story, so I appreciated the cover tie-in. Nature or nurture, one could certainly argue... but evil is undebatable. 
Thank you to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
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I was very back and forth with this book but did end up enjoying it. 

Cons: There were a few parts I didn’t understand, such as Jamie’s motivation for outing Ana. Then, Ana is just kind of dropped. Also, the ending felt very fast. 

Pros: Many POV’s and most of them were very interesting. 
•Very diverse cast of characters 
•Great representation for LGBTQIA+
•Nova was the highlight of the book for me. Her dilemma in trying to figure out the right thing to do was genuinely fitting for this character. It felt like I knew her.
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4.5/5 STARS

This is a contemporary thriller. 

Seven woman meet in a hotel room with the severed head of a man they are all connected with. One of them killed him. Who did it? 

I really enjoyed this book. It is told from the POV of all seven women/victims. Even though there are a lot of different stories going on, they are woven together really well. The chapters are short and keep you wanting to find out what happens. The characters and plot are very revenge feminist driven. The writing makes you despise the male MC and champion for the women. I liked the twists and turns and the idea that each woman had motive and was a suspect. 
If you like domestic thrillers, this is a fast read. 

Thank you to Minotaur Books for the ARC! 🖤
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It's an unusual, fast paced and gripping thriller. There's different POVs, 7 women who could have killed a man, an unusual way to discover a murder.
I think that this is a strong debut and I liked the storytelling and enjoyed the plot.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Suspenseful novel about a man whose head ends up in a hotel room surrounded by women who all have ample reason to kill him. All seven of the women ended up there under false pretenses, all have no idea who committed the heinous act. The story has alternating points of view and is very fast paced.
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I liked this read, it was a good mystery, but get ready to write the names of the characters down. There are many characters to sort in the book.  I enjoyed reading about the lives of each of the characters. It is a bit confusing trying to sort the characters at times. It will not be for everyone, if I were you, I would give it a try. 
3 stars
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This had such a strong premise and great imagery, but I did find it a little slow. I had some trouble keeping all the women straight in my heads, and I definitely didn't like them all by the end. It made me very happy that there was such a variety of representation in the characters. I also really loved that the trans character is happily married with adopted children. It was nice to switch to a thriller for pride.
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Thank you to Macmillan audio for this audio book in exchange for a review.  I thought this book definitely started out with a bang that made me not want to stop listening for sure!  All the atrocities this man committed throughout his life and making it all the way to this point was a bit of a shocker if I'm being honest.  I liked the way the story was told in flashback pieces of all the women, it made for an incredible shocker of an ending.  I would say to do your research before reading because there was quite a bit of triggering content, but needed for the story.  Overall, this is one I would recommend going forward!
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Speak of the Devil is a mesmerizing and unflinchingly dark novel that delves into the profound exploration of the secrets we keep from each other and ourselves. The book explores the consequences that arise when these secrets inevitably surface. The captivating characters will stay with you long after they have finished the book.
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This is a story about a group of women that is formed based on the man that has done them wrong in some way. They are all called together in a room, where they find the man’s head. No one owns up to killing him, and during the rest of the book, you find out the things he has done that make it seem like he deserved to die. 

This wasn’t my favorite. I love a good thriller, but I thought the beginning (where they found his head) was unnecessarily gory, and that turned me off from the story. I think there were too many peripheral characters, and it took me a while to keep track of all of them. I didn’t care that much about his adopted mother, in particular, and it seemed like that story line went into excessive detail for someone that was not a huge part of the story. By the end, I knew all the women, but since only one of them was guilty, I thought it was a lot to keep track of for little reward. 

Just my two cents, I hate to be overly critical, I know how hard it is to write a book!!
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This was a clever, literary whodunnit that literally had me shaking my head and wondering WTF was going on. The premise- seven women + one beheaded man- reeled me in from the first chapter. Though I did find the multiple POV confusing at first, as I got to know each character and learned about their POV, the more invested in the story I became. Wilding does an amazing job of peeling away the layers of a predator that will make you incensed. I could see the ending coming, but it was so satisfying I was glad I was right,

Great for fans who like feminist stories, who enjoyed The Change or Murder on The Orient Express, or for anyone who loves a good revenge story.

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin's Press for my earc and physical copy.
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Speak of the Devil did not work for me. Why?

-I believe the slow reveal of characters (soooo many characters) and the plot were intentional, but I found it disruptive to my reading process. There are many characters, and the author introduces new people in sentences that make you wonder if they've already appeared. I was constantly using my Kindle search feature, backtracking in the book to remind myself of who a character was. I am okay with doing this a bit, but it was too much for this book.

-There were so many relationships/sexual encounters my head was spinning. These detracted from the plot rather than enhancing it. It was too much of a tangled web.
I spent most of my reading time just trying to figure out what was happening or what had happened; I lost my typical enjoyment of a story unfolding.

The premise sounded good, but the execution did not work for me. 

Thanks go to NetGalley for providing me with an electronic ARC in exchange for a review.
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Rating: 3.6⭐️
Pub Date: 6/13/23

Thank you to NetGalley & St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

"Seven women, inextricably linked by one man, must figure out which of them killed him in order to protect one another in this electrifying debut thriller.”

 It's New Year's Eve of 1999, & Jamie Spellman's disembodied head is surrounded by seven women who each had a reason to want him dead: the ex, the wife, the widow, the teenager, the mother figure, the friend, & the journalist. Through shifting POVs of the women & the lead Detective Inspector, the potential motives, as well as the identity of the killer, are revealed. 

This was an anticipated read for me, as the synopsis seemed super intriguing & possibly Clue-esque; however, I was left a bit disappointed & disinterested. One of the main issues was that there were a lot of moving parts: there were 8 different POVs, which covered both the past & the present, nonlinearly, so it was hard to keep track of who was who & when we were. Other issues I had were that the writing was stiff at times, particularly when there was a lack of conjunctions, it dragged in a few places, especially when there was background fluff, & I was able to predict part of the ending. I also wish we saw more of the women interacting with each other & got their thoughts in real time when they learned about what each woman experienced, as that would have been more impactful.
With that being said, the feminine rage in this is everything. What that one man put them all through was (for lack of a better word) enraging & mind-boggling. I did become disinterested as to the murderer as the book progressed & Jamie's behavior became more & more unhinged, mostly because I was just glad someone finally took the axe to him (literally) & didn’t care who did it. I did stay until the end to find out who the bad ass was, though, & I was glad I did.
I didn’t realize how sapphic this book was going to be, & I was super happy about that. However, I would definitely check out the trigger warnings, as Jamie is the worst, & they’re a bit spoilery.
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