Cover Image: Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil

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Member Reviews

This was a great debut. It starts off slow but hooked me about halfway through. The story is interesting and evokes a lot of emotion. Murdered guy Jamie Spellman is about as horrible as a character can be and he's done a lot of damage to the women he's encountered throughout his life. By the end, you'll hate him too.

The story is told by seven women that had all been wronged at some point by Jamie. I thought it would be confusing with so many points of view, and at first I did mix up a couple of the women. By the midpoint they were all developed quite well. It was difficult at first to determine who killed him but by the end it was pretty obvious. The ending is quick and I wish there had been more. I'd like to see what happened to the women afterward. Overall, it's an enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to reading more from Rose Wildling.

Thank you to Rose Wildling, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Seven women + one decapitated man's head = quite a story

The decapitated man is Jamie - a narcissistic, gaslighting, manipulative, abusive man who did something awful to each of the seven women. We hear from each of them about their experiences with Jamie, and they all had very good reasons to want him dead. I love a good vengeance story, and unraveling who actually did it was great.

I didn't quite understand how they all came together and thought the ending was a little abrupt, but the killer did end up being a bit of a surprise, so that was fun. I also appreciated the author's note about her inspiration for the book based on her personal experience - I think most women can relate to these characters in one way or another, so Jamie ending up the way he did was pretty satisfying.

Was this mindblowing? no
Was it well-written and worth reading? yes

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC copy of this book to read and review. All of these thoughts and comments are my own.

This book was different for sure. The plot of this book is that seven women have met up because of a man named Jamie Spellman. Now, Jamie isn’t a kind man and all seven of these women have a reason for wanting him dead. So, when they meet up at a hotel and find Jamie’s head…only his head, they are suspicious of one another and are trying to figure out who did it.

While reading this, you go through multiple POV which are all the women and you read about why each woman had a reason for wanting Jamie gone. I will say flipping through so many POV’s got quiet boring and lost my attention a little bit. I think the plot was good and I did enjoy it for the most part but just having a bunch of POV’s and trying to remember who is who and what is what is just exhausting sometimes.

I did like the characters though, because they are relatable and I think we all have known a “Jamie” and we all have known someone or have been that someone who has went through the trauma these women have. I wasn’t really surprised about finding out who the killer was to be honest and I didn’t really like how suddenly the ending came.

All in all this book was interesting and like I said; I enjoyed it for the most part.

3 stars.

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Very good "who done it" chiller with a cast of characters, each of whom have more than enough motive to fill a major sinkhole. Seven friends gather on New Year's Eve only to find themselves facing the severed head of a man who has, in his own way, tortured each of them in many ways, over many years.
After the shock of the gruesome murder, attempting to solve it becomes an intriguing and deeply complex task. What to do when everyone has a motive and everyone has an alibi and everyone agrees he deserved exactly what he got?
Gory beginning for sure, but solid plot with some really quirky but extremely interesting characters.
Hmm, speak of the devil?
I probably will be.
Many times👍

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Speak of the Devil begins with a shocking and disorienting scene: the discovery of a man's grotesque severed head on display in a hotel room. Even with this macabre opening, the beginning chapters of this novel go slowly and it takes time to be completely drawn into the story. The lives of seven very different women, who on the surface level should have nothing in common with each other, are all tied tightly together by the existence and actions of one man.

Jamie Spellman was never wanted by his mother or his aunt. Does that explain his malevolence and twisted personality? The ages-old debate of nature v. nurture will be in your mind as you read this novel and follow the investigation of his murder by detective Nova Stokoe as she digs into the lives of the seven key women in his history. Jamie is a despicable character and as a reader you will feel no sympathy for him, but Nova, on the other hand, is a very likeable character, competent but also very human in her empathy and humour.

As the stories of the seven women unfolded, I was completely hooked. The slowness of the earlier chapters progresses with steady revelations on the backgrounds of the characters and their connections to each other and to Jamie. The conclusion and exposure of the murderer, while not unexpected at that stage, feels abrupt. I wanted there to be more. This was a fantastic debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Rose Wilding. Thanks to Minotaur and NetGalley for providing a copy.

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Such a good read - I really enjoyed this book. I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it early and will definitely be recommending it to multiple people who enjoy these types of novels. I enjoyed the characters and especially enjoyed the writing by this author. I'm excited to see what the author comes out with next as I'll definitely be reading it! Thank you to the publisher for my early copy of this book!

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Special thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.

Jamie, who's a real jerk y the way is headless in a room with seven women, yes SEVEN. All of them had reason to kill him.

So this book has A LOT of points of view, A lot of back stories, and each woman has a LOT of baggage!

With that said I really did enjoy this book and even though you may need a notepad to keep it all straight, I didn't and the story all came together, quite masterfully I'd say, by the author. Definite recommendation.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this novel as an eGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Speak of the Devil is a murder mystery style novel set in the late 1900s with a bit of a twist: a dead man has previously wronged seven women, and they all have a definite motive to want him gone. It's easy to hate the dead man, Jamie, with the recounting of each women's involvement in his life, but it's tricky to tell who it is that will be the murderess by the end. That being said, I really enjoyed the ending and how it played out.

One thing about this novel was that I read it so incredibly slowly. I don't know why- it has a lot of elements I typically love- but I found myself losing interest after about 20 minutes at a time. I think that reading this one slowly did impact the mystery and thrill of the plot overall, but I still enjoyed it.

Each character you meet has a unique set of circumstances and baggage. I felt like each character's storyline was easy to follow, but not every character played an equal part overall in the book. Some of them were more of a focus than others.

I give this one 3ish stars, I would consider reading more by this author in the future.

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Speak of the Devil is the story of seven women connected to one man ,Jamie. Jamie was a handsome man , a cruel person, and a manipulative monster but now Jamie is dead .
This story opens with a severed head in the center of a hotel room and through seven points of view the reader is treated to the answers of how it got there . The author masterfully utilizes accents and slang to build the characters’ voices and help the reader fully empathize with each person who just might be the killer .
A wonderfully twisting tale this title is a perfect read for fans of thrillers and mysteries such as the 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn hard castle .

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Seven women convene in a hotel room. A severed head lies on a makeshift altar. Each woman is connected to the dead man in some way. Each woman has cause to kill him. So who did?

I wasn't sure I was going to like this novel at first. There were seven characters and their POVs to keep track of, and that was a bit overwhelming at first. But somehow it just worked, albeit, a bit slowly at the beginning. I found my hatred for the dead man - Jamie - growing, and I was invested in every woman's story.

I did not guess the ending of this one, and I was actually pretty satisfied with how it all came together. Overall, this was a good thriller about revenge on a gaslighting, awful man.

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I was totally glued to this one! Starting a book out with a man’s (beheaded) head in the middle of a hotel room was a bold choice. However, it worked for this book! It was so thrilling and I could not see where it was headed. I loved the multiple perspectives of all the different women. I thought that it really added to the story. It was so interesting finding out what each woman’s motive was. My favorite characters were probably Nova and Kaysha. I liked reading their POVs the most. The book was fast paced from the very beginning and kept me hooked throughout the story. If you’re looking for a fast paced book, this is it! However, there are LOTS of trigger warnings, so tread carefully!

Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martins Press for the eARC of this book.

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Overall, I liked it, but didn’t love it. I felt there were way too many main characters involved, and the back stories were a little confusing at first. Everything does get explained nicely throughout the book, and you eventually get to learn all of the back stories to the main characters and they’re involvement with Jamie.

I guessed a bit of the ending, but definitely thought it was going to be a bigger twist. I did enjoy the story and whodunnit aspect- but I think I was just hoping for more of a twist in the ending.

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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication date: June 13, 2023
Seven women stand in a hotel room, the severed head of a man they all knew (and hated) lies between them. Every one of the women had a reason to kill him- his wife, the teenager he had an affair with, the journalist he raped, the woman who raised him, his best friend and business partner who got screwed over and his ex-lover, and until the truth comes out, the women must band together to protect the unknown murderer.
“Speak of the Devil” by Rose Wilding is a modern, haunting, revenge story where every character is a suspect and the twists don’t stop until the final page. Wilding’s debut novel will captivate audiences from the get-go, leaving readers speculating about, and cheering for, the scorned women.
Each character narrates a portion of the story, and although most of it is told in the modern day, there are some snippets of the past told by the women who knew Jamie Spellman the longest. Of course, there is a police officer investigating, who has her own personal connections to one of the women involved, and she narrates her own segments as well.
Although there is a plethora of characters, Wilding manages to make each woman easy to differentiate, developing their own personalities so that they are distinct from their counterparts and it is not difficult to tell each one from the other.
Jamie (the murder victim) is an absolute monster with no redeeming qualities at all. This makes it exceptionally easy to cheer for the woman who killed him, even when we don’t yet know who it is. I loved how Wilding adds accents and slang to the conversations, bringing the Scottish brogues out in the supporting characters without making the language hard to understand.
The ending itself, how the murderer is revealed, was a little weak but I did enjoy that, for the most part, all the questions were answered. Wilding writes a feminist revenge story that will empower, enrage and enthrall readers, and I have no doubt we will be seeing more from this novelist in the future!

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Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding.
This is a story about a group of women all wronged by the same man, over the course of years. From rape to gaslighting to having them give birth then give up a baby to his barren wife. Of course he is the ‘victim’ in the murder mystery. At first it was difficult for me to keep all the characters in mind. But through the course of the book we, the reader, learns their stories. This was a very enjoyable story, quickly gaining tension until the final, may I say satisfactory, end.

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Seven women all impacted negatively in some way by their relationship with devastatingly handsome, cruelly manipulative Jamie, decide to exact revenge. Each having gone to the police on their own and each finding no legal satisfaction, Kaysha takes the lead and organizes them into a group that will exact revenge. What sort of revenge will be up to the group but when they are summoned to an unused hotel room late one night, they are shocked to discover that Jamie was not only murdered, but that his dismembered head is sitting on a Bible in the room with them. Detective Nova is on the case, which is complicated by her former /current relationship with Kaysha. Nova must determine who did it and why. Author Wilding introduces us to the various characters and their relationship with Jamie over the years through flashback chapters. It does get a bit confusing with so many minor characters being introduced in each woman's story that including a relationship map of the characters would certainly be helpful, especially if you're not reading this straight through. The ending is abrupt and readers expecting a chapter that winds the story up will not find it satisfactory. If you;re looking for less of a detective drama and more of a women's power novel, then this is right for you.

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Drew me in and shook me senseless and wouldn't let me go. It was enthralling in its epicness. It's a masterpiece.

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Awesome. Hooked me from the first chapter. Great plot, characters, storyline, everything. So so good. Highly recommend. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC

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Thank you Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press (that's right folks) and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. IYKYK, my reviews are ALWAYS honest.

<i> 3.5 rounded down </i>

<b> Writing: 3.5/5 | Plot: 3.5/5 | Ending: woah nelly/5 </b>

<b> SYNOPSIS </b>

What events could possibly bring seven woman to one hotel room to check out a decapitated man's head? Find tf out!

<b> MY OPINION </b>

STOP THE PRESSES!!!!! I actually LIKED at book from St. Martin's Press. Ok, ok, it's from Minotaur Books, but close enough 😂 I didn't check the ratings before I accepted the widget, so when I did I was like oh ffs here we go again but now I actually have to read it. I'm glad I did. This was an interesting lil mystery.

Seven women PLUS a detective can be a lot of POVs to juggle, but somehow this worked. It's written all third person POV, which I personally enjoy. It's come to my attention that people really don't fk with 3rd person? Tbh I can't stand first person most of the time because inner monologues oftentimes make me hate the characters when you're clearly not supposed to. Judgemental? Me?? Pffshawww!!!

Anyways... this is a short one so you can blitz through it quite quickly. It delves into the stories of each women and their less than pleasant run-ins with our decapitated baddie, Jamie. Plus you got a lil lesbian romance on the side too. I liked the diversity of the cast and their backstories were interesting, although some were more fleshed out than others.

I didn't really understand WHAT Jamie did to Maureen that was so bad... seemed like she resented his existence and treated him like garbagio from the jump? Also, like another review mentioned, there was no explanation as to why Jamie shacked up with all this different women who had nothing in common. Usually an abuser goes after a specific type, but Jamie said, nah but narcissistic manipulation is rated E for everyone... teens, old ladies... anyone can get it! I was also confused about his actions toward Ana... like dude you already stole her research did you really have to kick her while she's down?

My other question is why did the author choose to set this between 1964-2000? Other than briefly alluding to Magdalene Laundries and the use of landlines there were no important events of this time period mentioned in the book, soooo ??? This could've been a modern day mystery tbh. I would've liked more historical significance given the time period.

The ending will give you whiplash and is a lil abrupt. There were also no breadcrumbs so thumbs down to that. I like my twists foreshadowed, but at least this wasn't totally implausible. All in all, an entertaining lil read but if you skip it, you won't be missing out on much.

<b> PROS AND CONS </b>

Pros: interesting concept, diverse cast, easy read

Cons: some character backstories were more flushed out than others, didn't understand why the book was set during this time period – no historical significance whatsoever, ending was very abrupt

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On the eve of the millennium, seven women gather in a decrepit room and in the middle is a severed head. Who is the man? Why did each of these women want him dead? And who actually killed him?

Speak of the Devil is a layered and emotional read as you learn the back story for each of the women. Less a story about the mystery behind the murder and more an exploration of the horrors women face.

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Seven women are interconnected through strained solidarity and trauma, both past and present. It is said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned . . . but which one of these seven aching souls took the ultimate revenge upon their evil tormentor?

I can’t say that this novel was always exciting or that it grabbed me from page one . . . it was, however, well-written and quite compelling for the most part. I especially enjoyed the unique vernacular of some of the characters. I found the story's ending to be a bit abrupt, and yet, also satisfying.

Learning the details of how a man could end up without a head, following a murder investigation, and a slow stroll through a complex and sordid past. Overall, an entertaining way to spend a day or two.

I'd like to thank NetGalley for an advanced copy of Speak of the Devil for my unbiased evaluation.  3.5 stars

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