Cover Image: Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil

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Member Reviews

PUBLICATION DAY: June 13, 2023

A decapitated head, a diverse group of women, an odious man - it’s a mystery who killed him, but there’s no doubt that someone did. But who? Seven women had more than enough reason to commit murder, but who finally caved? And who brought them all together? Nova is a detective who, despite knowing more than a couple of the suspects, is determined to put past failures behind her and solve this murder - but is she willing to do it at any cost?

PROS and CONS:
Very localized writing - as a Canadian I was a bit confused with some of the lingo, but I enjoyed trying to figure it out! Lots of characters to keep you interested and I was determined to figure out who the killer was - but nope! I always have time for a whodunit, and I also love the cover so much - the gorgeous blue with the seven birds - love it. This is Wilding’s debut novel, and I’ll be watching for her in the future!

READ IT?
If you’re looking for…a satisfying whodunit with lots of back story and great character building - then this one’s for you!

4.5 Stars

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I had a hard time rating this one. It was a quick read and held my attention but I had a hard time connecting to the characters, as there were a lot of them. I think it handled the switching between them well enough, you got some sort of a feel for them and the horrible things that have happened. But it’s just a personal preference where I prefer fewer narrators.

Even though it’s a whodunit, sort of, it’s not super heavy on that. But reader be warned, there’s lots of gruesome and uncomfortable things.

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Speak of the Devil opens with a group of 7 women surrounding the decapitated head of a man; a man who has wronged each of them in some way. As the story unfolds, the reader learns just how evil this man was. The reader is taken on a journey through each woman’s lives to determine who took this man’s fate into their own hands. Was it one of them? Or did they all play a part?

This story caught my attention from the very beginning, but I had trouble keeping my focus. A list of characters and a small note of how they are tied together would be helpful at the beginning of each chapter. The list could build upon itself to avoid spoilers. I built the list myself as I was reading, but a list is most definitely needed in some way.

I was surprised to learn who was responsible for the man’s death and why, but the reader does not feel the slightest bit bad for him. Karma gave him exactly what he deserved.

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This book started out with a bang, with 7 women gathering around the severed head of a man they all knew. After that, though, I felt there were too many characters and too little detail to get to really get to know them. The rest of the store gives you glimpses into each of the women and their reasons for hating Jamie while the reader, along with the detective, tries to figure out what happened.

The mystery was sound and everyone had a valid motive. The thing I struggled with the most was that, while we saw all the awful things Jamie did, I didn’t think the author gave us enough of a glimpse into what actually made these ladies LIKE him so much. Obviously there were some reason everyone fell in love with him but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Overall, I wish I could’ve gotten to know all the characters better, but the sheer number of them and the constant jumps between timeframes made it somewhat hard for me to fully engage. That being said, the 2nd half of the book gelled for me better than the first half. I liked the ending- it was abrupt but it worked.

Overall, pretty good book but missing some character development in my opinion. I’d give it 3.5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The opening of this book was jarring and left me with many questions, and I couldn't stop reading until I got my answers. While I did find some of the dialogue (especially in dialect) a little tiring to read, I was intrigued by the characters (all distinct, all compelling) and the scenario they've found themselves in. A book that will keep you guessing.

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Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding grabs you from the start with a severed head and 7 women in an old hotel room on NYE. Each chapter tells one of the women’s story and the story unfolds. In comes DCI Nova Stokoe to investigate. She of course has her own issues. The author kept me reading. The characters were flawed but very real. I would recommend. Thanks NetGalley for letting me review this book.

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Speak of the Devil definitely has a bit of the Murder on the Orient Express feel to it, with an investigator, Nova, trying to figure out who killed Jamie Spellman. Jamie was a gaslighting psychopath, and seven women he’s harmed have come together-and find his severed head waiting for them. As the story goes along the reader sees the damage Jamie has wrought, to an aunt, a coworker, lovers, a wife. What he’s done to these women is sickening and horrifying, so naturally the reader feels less and less compelled to see Nova discover which of the women actually killed him. Who was involved with his death may surprise the reader, but even the story is interesting, it doesn’t have the compelling appeal of one of Christie’s best. The focus of the story is definitely more on how Jamie destroyed each of these women’s lives than on figuring out who killed him. In doing so the story jumps back and forth in time - useful for backstory of his various relationships, but detracts from a focus on evidence and investigation in the current time. This was a good story, one that’s a sober reminder of how demoralizing gaslighting is, but limited in the mystery element.

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It's been quite a while since I've hated a character as much as I hated Jamie. If one of these women hadn't taken him out of this world, I would have gladly done so myself. Luckily, I already have an alibi for the day it happened. This is a story about seven women wronged by Jamie, who all have opportunity and motive to want him gone, sitting around an abandoned hotel room, staring at his severed head. Who dunnit? Well, we get a look at each of these women, their ties to aforementioned Jamie and to each other, and watch as their worlds crumble and become undone. This is must-read stuff from page one right through to the end!

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2.5/5 This book starts with an interesting premise: 7 women could have decapitated a man, but whodunnit? While each of the women's stories were engaging and made you believe that she could have been the killer, I struggled with getting through this for the mere fact that there were so many POVs. I don't mind alternating POVs at all, but my brain can handle 3-4 max before I feel like I need to start taking notes to keep track of everyone. It would have been extremely helpful to have a list of characters at the beginning of the book, their age, and a one sentence description. But alas, no. Overall, interesting idea for a book, but could have been told in a less confusing way.

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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. A man was murdered. Seven individuals are together knowing that one of the seven was the murderer. This book was good but was drawn-out in a few places.

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Murder! But which of the seven women did the deed? I found there were too many suspects to keep their stories straight. Reading was a bit bogged down at time. Kept at it just to find out who did it. Perhaps with less quirky characters it would have been easier to digest.

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Be ready - this novel will have you guessing until the end. The plot centers on seven women who find themselves in a hotel room at midnight on New Year’s Eve, in the presence of a severed head. Jamie, the deceased, had ties with each woman, in the room but did one of them commit the murder?

As the story unfolds, each woman will be found to have her own motive. Some of their stories are devastating; Jamie did each of them wrong and paid the ultimate price.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC.

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Seven women receive a text message to meet at their usual location, at a specific time, and that this is an emergency. In their meeting room, they uncover a severed head; the head of someone they all have motive to kill. With this opener, how could I not request this book? Impossible to overlook such an amazing concept.

With chapters bouncing between each of the seven women, and the lead detective, the reader is deeply entrenched in the “whys” each of these women have for committing murder. At times a difficult read (cw: sexual assault, gaslighting, suicide), Wilding takes us through a journey of trust and betrayal, revenge and absolution. Speak of the Devil is the ideal popcorn read; it’s very easy to see this as a miniseries or even as a movie. It’s entertaining and does not require the reader to solve any mystery or analyze any deeper meaning.

Wilding does a great job of establishing toxic relationships bringing together very real horror to this fiction story. Speak of the Devil is one of those books where you wind up hoping the detective does not find out who the murderer is. It is absolutely correct to say that Wilding writes about (rightfully) angry women and their revenge, as well as their anguish.

I did enjoy this book and think a wide readership will appreciate it as well.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Publishing: June 13, 2023
Series: N/A
Pages: 336

This is a first time read by Rose Wilding, new author to this reader. “Speak of the Devil” is one of those stories that leaves your mind wondering who committed the murder. The story starts off with a murder, and a group of women amid a decapitated head belonging to the devil himself…Jamie. There were some parts of the book where I had a hard time adapting to the story…i.e., keeping the women characters straight in my head. I think it could have been written a bit better for me in those areas of the book. Unfortunately, this did not keep my attention as much and I wanted and at times, I found myself skimming through c the story to build up my interest and wanting to know who did it. I wished by the description that it would have provided enough of a spark for me to really put mysel

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A brilliant whodunnit that leaves the reader baffled most of the way through.

There were things I can’t get behind in this book that I feel need mention before I go on to why I ended up liking it so much.

The portrayal of female characters in mystery thrillers irks the living sh** out of me. I’m sorry but the crazy woman, the daft woman, the pretty no brained woman… so on and so forth. I’m over it. Cunning does not have to come with psychosis.

This book kept me turning the page even if just for unlikable characters (which there were only 2 for me). I needed to know what the ending would be. I would definitely recommend this to my book club this summer for a read.

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The premise hooked me: a hotel room with 7 women surrounding a decapitated head. How do they hide the murder of this man that wronged them all? I found the first half of the book slow going. The second half got a little more interesting but I still wasn’t enthralled. Too many characters and backstories to keep track of. The ending wasn’t a surprise and felt too quick. Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

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A horrible man is killed and there are plenty of suspects, as he has hurt a lot of women. We get to hear the story through the women sharing what he did to them. It’s intense and a really good read!

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I loved this book! I will definitely recommend it. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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New to me author and won’t be my last book by them! Such a great book! I loved it and the cover is so good too! I highly recommend it!

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This book is kind of like Ocean’s 8 — if instead of a Met Gala heist it was a murder.

We open on a gory scene — a group of women surrounding a decapitated head. The more we learn about who the head belongs to and his relation to each of the women in the room, it’s apparent justice has been served. The question is — who is the one that delivered it? This haphazardly formed band of wronged women doesn’t even know which one of them is a murderer.

I felt thrown right into this one but once I started to learn more about each of the players I was utterly hooked. There were so many pieces that slotted together brilliantly in the end.

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