Cover Image: Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The book opens with seven women, each with a motive for murder, sitting around a man’s severed head. The man was a terrible human being, and while it seems each of them could have killed him, one of them truly did.

This book definitely opens with a really powerful moment that draws the reader right in. The women are fascinating figures in their own right, let alone their complicated and heartbreaking connections with the murdered man. (I must admit that there were so many characters I had a hard time keeping them straight at first.) Wilding deftly explores the horrors that can be perpetrated against women, and what recourse women actually have.

This was a gripping read that really made me want to find out what truly happened. Even if you start a little confused, stick with it, it’s a good book.

Was this review helpful?

Speak of the Devil, by Rose Wilding, is a murder mystery unlike many others. A man’s severed head is found on New Years eve, 1999 by the seven women whom this story is centered around. All seven women are in different stages of their life, but all have a link to the man who the head belonged to.
These women are strong in their own way, but their mutual weakness is Jamie. He is a charismatic and irresistibly handsome man that in one way or another has drawn these women to him like a magnet. It does take a moment to figure out these seven women’s personalities and who they are in relationship to Jamie. The story jumps back and forth to their individual stories as well as to the murder investigation by Nova the police officer.
I really enjoyed this book once I got to know each character and what their motive might have been to kill Jamie. It is an unusual mystery and hopefully you won’t guess who the culprit was until it is revealed! Thank you to St Martin's Press Minotaur Books for the advanced copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Do you like closed door mysteries? Multiple POV? Complicated women? A murdered dude who, frankly, probably deserved it? Multiple characters with a strong motive to do it? Then I highly suggest you check out this book.

NYE, 1999. Seven women sit around the decapitated head of Jamie Spellman (ah, yeah). They all have reason to want him dead - but who killed him? Such a fun and complicated (in a good way!) read. I loved all the intertwining backstories - whew, these ladies had a lot going on. And Jamie is a jerk - you will want him dead, too! I wouldn’t call this a summer beach read - it’s a little too complicated - but the storyline will suck you in.

Was this review helpful?

A gorgeous, power hungry, narcissistic, gas-lighting, psychopathic manipulator gets his comeuppance, but which of the women he’s done the most damage to killed him? Wilding takes you on a journey through this man’s life, hitting all of the women's’ stories like stops on a bus until the end when the ultimate truth is revealed. If you’re a murder mystery lover, definitely pick this one up!

Was this review helpful?

A digital copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books. The opinions are my own and freely given.

Cast of Characters -

Sarah - the alcoholic ex
Kaysha - the journalist
Sadie - the wife
Olive - the widow
Ana - the friend
Josie - the pregnant teenager
Maureen - the aunt

These seven women all had a reason to kill Jamie, but to protect each other they have to find out who did.

Told from each of the women's POV. This was a good mystery trying to figure out what really happened to Jamie, how the women all had a connection to him, and how they all came together. The DI investigating the crime is the ex of the journalist. Kaysha is trying to protect the women, so she goes back to the DI to see what has been found out and to keep the investigation away from them all. However, there was a little too much of them "together". I feel like I can infer that they spent the night together. But overall, it was a good story.

Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books.

Was this review helpful?

This is a character driven whodunit told from the perspective of the seven women who all had reason to murder the victim and the Detective Inspector investigating the case. As the story unfolds, all of the women deny knowing who did the killing although they had been secretly meeting to discuss his demise. There are multiple flashbacks, and intertwined relationships between all of the women, including the Detective Inspector, and a plot that is sometimes hard to follow. Overall, I enjoyed the book but felt the characters lacked depth. Recommended

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an advanced reader copy.

Was this review helpful?

Seven women, one dead man...who's to blame?

This book starts off with seven women in a room surrounding the decapitated head of a man. We initially don't know much, but as the story goes on we get the perspective of each of these women and what brought them to that room that night.

I was initially concerned that with so many characters, things would become confusing, but the author did a great job of developing these characters so wildly different that there was no way that they could be confused for each other.

This is definitely a slow burn but done so well, that I was still on the edge of my seat as this all unfolded. I definitely enjoyed this murder mystery.

And let me just say...Jamie had it coming.

Was this review helpful?

Speak of the Devil was an unexpected gem for me, a dark thriller that keeps looping around the different perspectives of women who were all linked to a murdered man whose head has the police chasing all the leads ... there's his wife of course, but also a colleague, the aunt who raised him, the journalist he raped many years ago, the religious woman who believed to have discovered love again after loosing her husband and there are two mothers of his children one born one unborn and there is the female police officer investigating his murder ... they each have the proverbial axe to grind but who actually wielded it ?
This book has all the voices - dark, intricate, and entangling - sort of like a spider web being built, there are intersections were perspectives merge!
All seven women fell victims to this man and his manipulations at one time or another even if they are in different stages of denial they all have a motive for murder.
This book quickly builds in intensity and suspense as it unravels all the personalities, relationships, and the deception suffered.
This book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

Was this review helpful?

"He's dead because he was an evil prick."

The opening to Speak Of The Devil by remarkable debut author Rose Wilding is wild, clever and a definite attention grabber for this immersive dark psychological thriller.

Seven women are directed to a seedy hotel room. They sit around the decapitated head of the misogynistic, abusive, rapist Jamie Spellman. One is his wife, his colleague, his ex, his friend, a teenager caught in his manipulation, a journalist wanting the truth, and the woman who raised him. They all know him...and one of them killed him.

The writer says she wrote this intense revenge story because she was always feeling furious. At first I laughed but as Jamie's cruelty, male entitlement, and toxic masculinity toward each woman becomes his daily routine I felt my own anger. I remembered all the times I was dismissed, or worse, embarrassed, abused, made smaller. There's an infuriating scene where a woman tells the police Jamie raped and drugged her,

"Didn't your mother ever teach you never to leave your drink unattended?"

"No, she was too busy teaching my brother not to put drugs into a girl's drink "

Yes! It shouldn't be our responsibility to feel safe from men. Men should make themselves safe. Some made excuses for Jamie because his gaslighting skills were honed from years of practice and society making us feel less; we are the "little lady," "ball and chain," and always when angry, "that bitch!"

I read and listened to narrator Colleen Prendergast be perfection as seven distinct personalities. It's only a drop in the number of women who are physically, emotionally and mentally abused by men who claim to love them. Speak of the Devil is what we need to do so he never has power.

I received a free copy of this book/audiobook from the publishers via #netgalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This book started out strong! With 7 women around the severed head of a man.. you know it is going to be good!! This was an addicting book about lies, deception, secrets, betrayal, manipulation, and murder. I could not put it down!!

Was this review helpful?

Seven women sit in a hotel room with the head of a man that they all have motive to kill. They each swear they did not kill him, but in order to save themselves and each other, they need to figure out who actually killed him. As they try to solve the murder, each of their secrets comes to the forefront. Will they solve the murder, or will they all go down?

Was this review helpful?

Speak of the Devil creeped me the heck out in the best ways. A unique who-done-it that will live rent free in your brain for days after you finish...

Was this review helpful?

A well-done story about seven women who were all treated badly by the same man. As the story begins, they have gathered together and are staring at his decapitated head. Each woman suspects someone else in the group of committing the murder but no one is admitting it.

Over the course of the book, we are given the back story of each woman and their relationship/interaction with Jamie. He was truly a complete jerk with no conscience and I instantly believed that whoever had done the deed and murdered him had a good reason. It was easy to see how he would pull people in and then turn on them when he had used them up.

The character study of each of these women was quite interesting and sometimes a bit heartbreaking. Jamie targeted women with weakness and then seemed to know how to capitalize on it. As much as you know revenge isn't a proper answer, it still felt awfully satisfying in this book when he got what was coming to him.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: I also listened to the audiobook and the narration was top notch. It made the story even more enjoyable for me because I felt like I was truly listening to a "production" of some type. Well done! 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley for both the early copies of the audiobook and the ebook. I voluntarily chose to listen/read and review them both and the opinions contained within are my own.

Was this review helpful?

When I first heard the premise of this one, I was intrigued. I love a story where a bad man gets what's coming to him, and this definitely promised that. A group of women who have all been wronged by Jamie Spellman in one way or another are summoned by an anonymous phone number to a seedy motel attic on New Year's Eve 1999, to the unveiling of his severed head. One of them is the murderer, and all of them have strong motive, but no one knows for certain who did it and no one will admit to it. They work together to dispose of the head, and each goes their separate ways, waiting for their lives to unravel. This was a case of too many POVs, with each woman involved getting chapters, as well as the Detective on the case, who is having an affair with one of the women involved. The weaving together of the story was messy, and the pace was slow. The culprit was obvious to me from the start, but I did appreciate that she just snapped in the end and finally faced the reality of her situation. The story had potential for me, but ultimately fell short of what I was expecting it to be.

Was this review helpful?

great book and I enjoyed the characters growth. Loved the friends and how this all worked out. I enjoyed the characters journey to finding oneself and others. I hope to read more by this author again.

Was this review helpful?

This book just was not for me, I could not get into the story line or characters. Trying to keep up with each one was confusing in the beginning to even want to continue. This story starts off strong with gory details and may deter some readers not prepared or interested in this type of thriller.

Was this review helpful?

After reading the synopsis I was really excited to read to this one, but I struggled to get into it so I applied for the audiobook and got it. I'm at 20% and I still feel lost. I've gone back and relistened a few times but the multi-layers of characters are just too much for me. It's probably a case of right book, wrong time, but this is a DNF for me. Thank you, I won't be sharing this feedback until I can give it a second go.

Was this review helpful?

This book is one that I had to sit with for awhile after reading to fully understand all of my feelings about it. It is a deeply impactful work that covers the stories of abused women, the nuances of human relationships, and the aftermath of tragedy. The author included realistic portrayals of sociopathic abuse and the spectrum of ways that PTSD can manifest after the fact. Even though such heavy topics were in the book, I still found it extremely enjoyable. It is a page turner that I could not put down once I started it.

Was this review helpful?

A dark and twisted story about a group of women who have all been hurt by the same man and how is head ended up detached from his body.

It took me a little longer to get into this one and I think that’s because there were so many different perspectives. It takes longer to get to know the characters and there isn’t one viewpoint that is more dominant than the others.

This was a decent read. It was an interesting story about how one man can ruin the lives of many women and what those women are capable of when they join forces. The pace was a little slow for me but overall I enjoyed the originality of the story and watching these vulnerable women discover their strength.

Was this review helpful?

Speak of the Devil is an interesting mystery that takes on an uncomfortable topic of women who are assaulted, abused or manipulated. Too often they are ignored and the perpetrator, usually a good looking, charming or wealthy man, goes unpunished. This is a story of what happens when it doesn't necessarily go that way ..

This one can be a bit hard to follow. In the beginning you are thrown into the present, where women are meeting in a room on New Year's Eve. Little by little you are introduced to them and their relationship history with Jamie. It's slow going but I really enjoyed it.

You get to know the characters better as the story goes while following the mystery. This may not be for everyone as some heavy topics are touched upon but I would recommend this one for those who enjoy a mystery and don't mind a slow pace.

I sincerely appreciate St. Martin's Press for the review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?