Cover Image: Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil

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Member Reviews

Many thanks to NetGalley, Minotaur Press, St Martin's Press and Macmillan Audio for gifting me both a digital and audio ARC of this intriguing novel by Rose Wilding and wonderfully narrated by Colleen Prendergast - 4 stars!

Seven women sit in a hotel room around the severed head of Jamie Spellman. All of the women had reason to want him dead, but who did it and why? The police are investigating and lives are at stake.

This book starts off with a gruesome premise of a severed head, and in the beginning there are so many characters and timeframes to keep track of. But it's worth it to stick it out - it's a good mystery with seven obvious suspects and one nasty dead man. As the book progresses, we learn why each woman has a particular reason to hate Jamie. It's also a statement of how society treats and values women and how some men can exploit that. This one may not be for everyone but it was a good read and I didn't guess the ending!

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Speak of the Devil is a fascinating premise revolving around one recently murdered man and seven women who are connected to him in different ways. Each of the women has a story to tell and Wilding smartly weaves their history throughout the story of the present day investigation. I loved getting to know each of the seven women, as well as the detective in charge of working the case. With all of the different POVs I did find it challenging to keep straight who was who at the beginning of the book. Over time however, it becomes easy to tell each of them apart (and thankfully each chapter is labeled just in case!).

All of these POVs revolve around our dead man, Jamie, who turns out to be pretty darn horrible. I enjoyed how Wilding examined society’s take on Jamie’s actions against these women and who was ultimately believed/not believed or painted in a good/bad light. The content of Speak of the Devil gets pretty dark at times and touches on many sensitive topics, so I encourage everyone to check the content warnings available on Storygraph.

The pacing is slow burn with a solid amount of tension throughout on what will happen, the identity of the killer, and how the mystery will unravel. If I was to categorize this book, I would put it more in the mystery/contemporary fiction genres versus the thriller genre that it’s currently being marketed under.

Overall, Speak of the Devil is a very solid debut novel that leaves me intrigued by what Wilding will put out in the future!

A huge thank you to Minotaur Books for my gifted copy.

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I'll be honest. I nearly DNF'd at 20%. I wasn't invested and actually was a bit bored. I went to the end to see how it ended and that made me want to continue and I have absolutely no regrets. It was interesting to see how all these women came together in order to make the main subject pay for his sins and interesting to see in some ways how he got to be where he was. The perpetrator was a surprise to me and in the end, I enjoyed watching (reading) it all unfold.

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I really enjoyed the way the crime is told in this one. We start off the story with 7 women standing around a severed and trying to figure out what to do. It was kind of a slow burn to start as we find out more about these ladies, their lives and how Jamie destroyed them all. I couldn't figure out who had the most motive, even though there were lots of reasons why they would. I was more and more intrigued at what happened in each of their lives and how they all intertwined. You get lost in learning what Jamie had done but also so of his past that you wonder about nature vs nature. I wasn't surprised by the ending but it was satisfying.
3.5 out 4 stars

Thank you to Minotaur Books #SMPINFLUENCERS and Netgalley for my #gifted copy

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This book had an interesting premise - a group of women come together to talk about consequences for the man who has damaged each of them. Each woman has a chapter dedicated to her interaction with Jamie, but they were so spread out I lost track of who was who, and how they might have been involved in his murder. It was a struggle to get through, and the ending was a bit abrupt.

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read a book by a debut author.

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This book was like John Tucker Must Die but John Tucker actually gets murdered. It’s less of a thriller and more of a police procedural / whodunit. It focuses heavily on the connections of each women behind the murder of one man they all hated. Really fun quick read!

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Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 published by @minotaur_books

Told from 8 (I think) POVs, this book was confusing at first to keep track of all the characters and who was who. However, I did think this format worked, and I enjoyed the shifts in perspectives. With so many POVs, it wasn’t shocking that some of the characters didn’t feel as well rounded as some of the others. I thought the book was unnecessarily wordy at times, and it messed with the pace that I was enjoying. I personally thought the ending was good, but it did feel a little abrupt. All in all, I see this being a polarizing read with many different reviews depending on the reader (which I don’t think is a bad thing!)

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𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘴 𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘩𝘪𝘮. 𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘴 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘮...

Seven women all with a motive are brought to a hotel room where the head of a man that hurt them all is sitting on top of some bibles. They don’t know who killed him, but they know it was one of them.

This was a really interesting debut. I loved the synopsis when I requested it, and I found this take on revenge riveting. Wilding came up with a unique way to tell an eye for an eye story while making us feel for these women. I liked the multiple timelines in this story and how we saw what Jamie did to each of these women in the past and how they were handling his murder in the future. I felt myself drawn to some of the stories more than others, but overall felt the book was done really well.

One issue I had with this book was that there were a lot of characters to keep track of. We get each of the seven women’s stories along with the detective’s making it a lot to keep track of. I listened along to the ALC while I read the eARC which was helpful to keep track of whose story I was listening to at that time. This book would have been perfect for a full cast narration, and it really would have benefited from it.

I was very impressed that this book was a review, and I look forward to seeing what Wilding comes up with next. Thank you Minotaur Books, St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for advanced copies in exchange for my honest review.

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The beginning of this book gripped me immediately--a severed head on display in a hotel room that belonged to Jamie, a narcissistic, awful man. Seven women all had motive to want him dead, and that's where the story wavered for me a bit.

I love alternating points of view, but that's a lot of characters--most with some pretty complicated back stories--to keep up with. Some were easy to connect with, and I struggled with others.

I found the ending a little too abrupt for my liking, but overall, I enjoyed the spurned woman/revenge trope, and I was engaged enough in the story to find out who the culprit was.

Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this early read. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL is out now.

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1999-New Year’s Eve. A group of 7 women meet in their “usual place” and find the head of the man they are all connected by. One of them did it. Which one? They all had a reason. He was a jerk. He was pretty horrible. I wanted to find out but the further I got into the book the more trouble I had keeping track of the 7 women and exactly which was which. How was this one related to Jamie again? It was tiresome to keep notes. Each woman had chapters dedicated to her that should have made them easy to differentiate, but no.

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**3.5-stars rounded up**

Speak of the Devil is a creative work of Crime Fiction told in a bit of an unconventional way. I'll admit, the first couple sentences of the synopsis are what sold me on picking this one up. I needed nothing further. Yes, please. You had me at 'severed head'...

In fact, this story does begin with a severed head in a dingy hotel room. Seven women, all very different, but all somehow connected to the man to whom the head once belonged, are gathered around it. They all had their own reasons for wanting him dead, yet none of them own up to the crime.

Can they figure out who is guilty before the authorities decide for them?

First off, I found this extremely interesting, the content and topics explored. However, I also found the construction of the story to be a bit jarring. There are a lot of characters and you get all of their perspectives. The narrative jumps around a lot, not only via perspective, but also in time.

With this being said, I found the individual perspectives compelling. As you read how each of the women are connected to the murdered man, Jamie, and you come to understand the different experiences that they each had with him, the true portrait of who Jamie was becomes clear.

The way he treated these women. His narcissism, abusive, violent and derogatory behaviors landed him in the spot he ultimately found himself in, headless. But we can't just go around decapitating men who use, abuse, gaslight and disregard us, can we?

While I did have some moments where I had to really search my brain to remember some previous connection, or fact, overall, I did enjoy this one. There was a lot of great social commentary of the treatment of women who have been victimized; whether they are believed, or painted as somehow responsible for the evil things that have happened to them.

As a revenge story, I feel quite satisfied with this one and am definitely interested in picking up future work from this author. This got dark and I appreciate Wilding's commitment to taking it there.

I would recommend this one to Readers who enjoy a lot of deep character work and social commentary in their Crime Fiction. Additionally, I would recommend the audiobook. I enjoyed the narration style quite a bit.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. This has left me with quite a bit to think about!

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An overall good Murder mystery.

Lots of possible killers and the story will keep you guessing until the very end.

Told from multiple POV’s, discovering along the way all the bad things that the victim did.

I’m not adverse to this type of story set up however there was a lot of down time in this storyline where you were being told about past activities and after the first one or two times, it became very repetitive. Yep, we get it, this guy was a total loser. Having to wait til the very end to know who did it almost didn’t even matter by then. The reader has already signed off on the murder well before. It almost didn’t matter who did it.

But the end was actually really good and it made me forgive some of the really boring parts I had to go through to get there.

An ok revenge read.

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Seven women all have a connection to Jamie. And one of them is his killer in Speak of the Devil.

This book starts with a bang, when the seven women are lured to a hotel room where Jamie’s decapitated head awaits them. Now, they must race the police to discover which one of them did the deed because they all have motives that they don’t want discovered.

With eight points of view, Speak of the Devil is rather difficult to follow through the first 2/3 of the book. I feel like I should have had a police procedural’s murder board in my house to keep them all straight (as I suspect the author did while creating the book). However, the intriguing premise kept me reading until the end when I was not disappointed. 4 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.

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Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding is a bit of an unexpected wild ride.
Starting off with a severed head in the first chapter, I was not sure if it was going to be too gory, but the book went in a different direction, and I am glad I stuck with it.

There are seven women that are the central characters. The book moved a little slow, I mean how can you follow the severed head opening?

It was a well written book and my heart hurt for the 7 women each in a different way.

The end surprised me in a good way.

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Oh boy, this one was a struggle. It’s basically several women gathering around a man venting about how horrible he is. After a while, it got a little old and i couldn’t anymore. I DNF around the 60% mark

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Speak of The Devil on the surface is a suspense thriller about seven women and their connection to a single man. At the opening scene we know he’s been violently murdered, they’ve all gathered. It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Who did it, who called them together, and what do they do now?
Told from multiple points of view, and going back in time, the early parts can get caught in the weeds. There’s a lot of threads connecting these women, and the subject matter is difficult touching on gaslighting, emotional abuse, sexual assault, systemic problems in law enforcement, and child neglect. Stick with it. Once the connections started to make more sense this moved really fast for me. I’ve got four pages of notes. First to keep the characters straight, second because I had BIG thoughts!
This is a story of generational trauma, of nature vs nurture. It’s about ignoring women because believing them ‘could ruin his life’. It’s about “an impossible decision between what is legal and what is right”. I really appreciated the hard earned connections between these women who didn’t always believe or trust one another. I would have loved to see a late chapter from Alice.
I think this makes a fantastic Bookclub or buddy read, it’s endlessly discussable! If you’ve read this let me know. There’s a very small plot hole (or maybe I’m missing something?!) I’m dying to talk to someone about!
Thank you to Minotaur Books @Minotaur_Books , Rose Wilding @Rose_Wldng , and Netgalley @netgalley for the early copy.

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Speak of the Devil is a thriller that hooks you from the very first page. On New Year’s Eve, seven women find themselves in a room with a dead man—or part of him, at least. All of them have a motive for his murder, but each of them denies committing the crime.

This story follows these seven women, as well as the detective in charge of discovering the killer. The reader sees these women in the aftermath of the murder, as well as in flashbacks of their experiences with the victim. We discover motives right along with Nova, the detective, and the case becomes increasingly complex. It becomes clear that Jamie (our murder victim) was abusive throughout his life, so the stories of these women cover decades.

This is a story about a horrible, manipulative man, and the women he betrayed and destroyed. It’s also a story about how society disregards abuse victims and abusers often get more chances than they should.

This book kept me interested until the end, though the solution to the mystery felt rushed at the very end of the book. I liked the characters and thought they were well-written and complex. I also enjoyed how motives were unveiled one by one and flashbacks are interwoven with the days following the murder.

Sensitive readers should know this book contains sexual content, graphic violence, rape, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, forced outing, homophobia, and suicide.

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The blurb was interesting but the story didn't live up to it for me. There are so many characters and suspects that half the time I had trouble remembering who was who. The writing felt disjointed. The wrap up seemed to come out of nowhere.

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I had high hopes for this one. The synopsis was very intriguing. A group of women who had a past with the dead body. Who is the killer??

For me, this was difficult to read. Too many characters to keep straight. I found myself confused often as to who was who. However, the premise was great. Maybe with a few less characters it would have been easier for me.

Told in multiple points of view, the book reveals each woman's relationship with the dead man in past and present timelines.

I wasn't all that surprised by the ending, but it really could have been any one of them who was the killer.

I would read another book by this author.

Thanks to netgalley and Minotaur Books for the arc.

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This is definitely a twisty, dark mystery from a great new author. The story moves quickly and easily kept me engaged but you do need to pay attention to all of the characters and clues being presented. As the story unfolds we learn that backstories of each suspect and how she is connected to the murdered man (the truly awful Jamie). The women have been through terrible situations and there is no sympathy to be had for the victim. I really enjoyed this story and couldn't wait to find out how it wrapped up. I am excited to see what Rose Wilding writes next! Thanks to Rose Wilding, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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