Cover Image: Speak of the Devil

Speak of the Devil

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you so much @stmartinspress @rose_wldng and @netgalley for the eARC of this one that just came out on 6/13!

One man is found dead and seven women are all possible suspects. The man is one of the most heinous, evil, narcissistic characters I've ever read about. The book definitely makes you question your feelings on what punishment truly evil people deserve for the damage they inflict. The women are all dealing with their own issues and I enjoyed trying to figure out who actually carried out the murder.

It took me a minute to keep all of the characters straight, but I was invested in their stories. The story was captivating and thrilling but there were some moments that had me emotional. Check trigger warnings for sure.

I would grab this one if you get the chance!

#SpeakofTheDevilBook #stmartinsinfluencer #thriller #newbook #read #reading #reviews

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this read. This book was okay but not for me. I do think others will like it but I read tons of thrillers and once I read too many similarities, I start to reject the read and can not keep going. I did finish the book but it was slow and not that interesting for me.

Was this review helpful?

(๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ @๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ.๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ @๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ณ_๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด.) ๐—ฆ๐—ฃ๐—˜๐—”๐—ž ๐—ข๐—™ ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐——๐—˜๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—Ÿ by Rose Wilding has at its core a dead man, a very, very bad dead man, a man many women had reason to murder. As the book opens, seven women sit in chairs horrified to see Jamieโ€™s head on a table in front of them. (This happens on page 1, so Iโ€™m giving nothing away.) One was the woman who raised him, another his wife, another his friend and colleague, another a woman heโ€™d raped, and others heโ€™d seduced. All had reason to hate him and all claimed innocence. Into their midst comes police investigator Nova, a woman with complicated connections of her own.โฃ
I listened to this one on audio which at first wasnโ€™t the simplest thing to do. I had to really pay attention as the story shifted from perspective to perspective. It was challenging for the first 10 or 15 percent, but then each of the characters became very distinct and clear in my mind. Narrator Colleen Prendergast did a fabulous job with such a big cast. While I enjoyed listening, this thriller really teetered on the edge of being too much for me. It was a jigsaw puzzle of a story, where some of the pieces felt a little forced. Still, I admire Wildingโ€™s ambition in delivering a complex mystery. It was fun and that title? Perfection! โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ

Was this review helpful?

This book has multiple POVs, narrated in the third person, fast paced & both started and finishes with a BANG (all things I love). The story did not take shape in the way I thought it would at all, which made me that much more intrigued!

I had such a hard time rating this one for a few reasons.
- I really really enjoyed the book once I got into it, but it took a while to get into it
- The womenโ€™s stories were so intriguing (& soooo fxcked up) that at some point I couldnโ€™t put it down, but it was a little predictable solely based on HOW it was written.
- I still loved the way it was written (confusing I know), but some of the language/slang threw me off.
- I was having a lot of trouble keeping up with who is who. There are so many characters and then more characters connected to those characters. It made it really hard to follow at the beginning. But once I learned who was who and did what and the connection, it was an easy, breezy read!

So would I still recommend this book? Yes! Iโ€™d love to hear everyoneโ€™s thoughts on it! This was a super anticipated read for me & im glad to have gotten my hands on it! โ˜บ๏ธ

Giving this one a 3.75/5!

Thank you so much NetGalley, Minotaur Press & Rose Wilding for the DRC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is the book version of a one room movie. It could have been intriguing but itโ€™s just not.

I was intrigued enough to read on but started to skim pages and flipping to the end. There are just to many women, too many similar stories and it just feels like a rehash to me. Maybe Iโ€™m genred out but it was a slog at some points.

I kind of recommend it. The story structure didnโ€™t work for me but I know others will appreciate it.

Was this review helpful?

There are a whole lot of suspects in this mystery about a man that turns up without his body in a local hotel. A group of women are planning to meet and discover his head upon arrival. Each of the women has a very reason to have killed him. And their ringleader has an in with the detective investigating the case. I will leave you with that as I think you should discover the rest on your own, as the author intended.

I would recommend this one for anyone that enjoys a good mystery or likes to see a bad man receive what's coming to him. There's a distinct girl power element to this that I quite enjoyed.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
The premise of the book drew me in but once I started reading it, I just couldnโ€™t get into it at all.
I wish the author, publisher and all those promoting the book much success and connections with the right readers.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars

Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher St. Martinโ€™s Press and in particular Victoria Cordoso for sending me a widget, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:ย  ย  (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
On New Year's Eve, seven women are gathered in a hotel room, staring at the head of a dead man.ย  All of them had a motive to kill Jamie Spellman, but no one admits to the murder.ย ย 

Included are: Jamie's wife Sadia , his co-worker Ana, an old acquaintance from university Kaysha, his ex-girlfriend Sarah,ย  his aunt Maureen,ย  an old friend Olive,ย  and young Josie. This is not the first time this group has met in this hotel room, but it is the first time that Jamie was with them (well, part of him).

Jamie was not a good person.ย  Among his less than admirable traits, he was a black-mailer, a cheat, a thief, a rapist, a manipulator, and a murderer. Only one of the seven believe he was good.

Three days later, DI Nova Stokoe is called to the scene of theย  crime.ย  A head is found, perched on top of hotel bibles.ย  Theย  body is missing, but the bible verse hints of revenge.ย  The air smells of bleach.ย  A coiled snake, surrounded by other symbols was painted on the wall behind the head.ย  That symbol is from a cult case that Nova has been working on for weeks, but Nova knows it is a replica, meant to mis-direct this investigation.

My Opinions:
This was a rather dark book with topics ranging from rape, sexual discrimination, and domestic violence, to murder...and almost everything in between. Most topics were covered quite well.

Basically, the book was about an emotionally and physically abusive man, and the women he hurt.ย  A lot of the book dealt with reasons the women justified his abusive nature, and their eventual reactions to him.

Be warned that there are a large number of characters, but because they were diverse in age and demographics, I found it fairly easy to keep them straight.ย  I had more of a problem with the constant back and forth in time-lines for each character, which is how their associations with Jamie were told (ie their back-stories).ย  As well, at points the book was overly descriptive, and therefore dragged.

On the other hand, the plot was quite good, the characters interesting, and I loved the ending.ย  It was a compelling and thought-provoking book.ย  It was also disturbing.

I will definitely be watching this new author!

Was this review helpful?

One dead man seven women who could all be suspects rose wilding has created a well plotted mystery with an OMG wow conclusion. This is one of the five books I couldnโ€™t wait to read and I must say the author definitely delivers. The women all seem to come from different walks of life and have served a different purpose for Jamie Spellman. What they all had in common was a reason for killing him and although the reasons may be different which one became deadly. It will be up to detective nova to figure out. They had way too many people to many reasons but the ending is so worth it! I really enjoyed this book and think it is one of the better books I have read this summer it is definitely a five-star read in a book I highly recommend. so many of the characters or likable, The story is interesting in the short chapters moves it along quickly this is truly a book you should read if you love good deathly plotted mysteries. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

Was this review helpful?

โ€œ๐‘ฐ๐’•โ€™๐’” ๐’’๐’–๐’Š๐’•๐’† ๐’‚ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’๐’š ๐’„๐’“๐’Š๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’‚ ๐’˜๐’๐’Ž๐’‚๐’, ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†โ€™๐’” ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’Š๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’”๐’†๐’†๐’Ž๐’” ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’†โ€ฆ ๐‘ฐ ๐’…๐’–๐’๐’๐’, ๐’‚ ๐’˜๐’๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’‘๐’–๐’”๐’‰๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’๐’ ๐’‡๐’‚๐’“.โ€

The cover and tagline of this book had me intrigued right away: โ€œNew Yearโ€™s Eve 1999 - Seven angry women. One dead man.โ€

Right away, I thought of Franรงois Ozonโ€™s 2002 film Huit Femmes, as both the film and this book highlight a group of women with motives for killing one terrible men. The parallels end there though, as Speak of the Devil opens with a gripping opening chapter where you meet the women surrounded a severed head of said man. Each woman has a reason to want Jamie dead, and I worried at first that keeping track of so many points of view would be tricky (and sometimes that was true). Although it took me a bit to get into, I found myself furious at the way Jamie treated each woman, gaslighting them and tricking them for his own selfish gain. I was especially angered at the sexual assault of one woman, who wasnโ€™t believed at the police station about the rape. I later learned that Rose Wilding drew from her own experience of dating someone who isolated her and gaslit her into thinking both she was unworthy of him and yet couldnโ€™t live without him, which shows in the honest way she wrote. I really liked the unraveling layers that reveal the connections Jamie had with each woman, along with seeing how they are connected to each other. The downside to so many points of view is that it was hard to fully connect to each character, and the ending feels a bit abrupt.

Speak of the Devil is a story of retribution, loneliness, control, and taking back power. It is a dark read that, although lacking some tension, shows that Wildingโ€™s writing has a lot of promise. Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man's severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women - the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him - has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police.

Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman's secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.

This one took me a bit to get into. Diverse characters, but I found with so many characters it was hard to keep track of them all. For me, no one really had a story that kept me interested. Jamie was AWFUL, but it was hard to REALLY hate him when I felt like I didnโ€™t know half the women in the story.

Was this review helpful?

Speak of the Devil really was about the devil. Jamie is a horrible human being and 7 women know it. But who was mad enough to kill him? Each chapter tell them story of how he mistreated a woman with alternate chapters showing the police investigation into his death. While I was intrigued by the story it proceeded a little slow and I got all the women confused. It still kept me going!

Was this review helpful?

This book was a little too easy to pick apart for me. I figured out who did it just over half way through, which always will lower a rating for me. I was intrigued by the premise after the prologue though.

There were definitely too many characters to keep up with and it led to being a little too confusing. Each woman had a reason that they could have killed Jamie and honestly he seemed like a terrible person. Yuck. But each new thing that was revealed about him made me angrier and more enraged for each of the women who interacted with him. Props to the author for creating such an unlikeable victim.

Overall, there was a lot going on in this story, but if you need a good murder mystery book, this could be the one for you!

๐Ÿค Thank you so much to the publisher @minotaur_books & @stmartinspress & @netgalley for this advanced reader copy!

โš ๏ธTW: murder, rape, gaslighting, suicide, alcoholism, child abuse, toxic relationship, stalking

Was this review helpful?

3.5 Speak of the Devil is Rose Wilding's debut novel.

New Years Ave 1999. Seven women are gathered in a hotel room - along with the remains of a man. A man that all seven women have a connection to. Who killed him? Each women says they didn't. Does it matter? Will they be found out? Why are they all together? Why has he been killed?

It's this last question that brings us to know the seven and their connection to Jamie. Jamie - well, he's not a very nice man. Wasn't.

I found it a bit difficult in the beginning chapters to get a handle on and remember who was who. The eighth person is the female detective on the case. As the book progresses we slowly see learn about each of their relationships to Jamie - and each other. The women are all of different ages, so the book goes back and forth from 1964 to 2000, depending on who is 'speaking'. I think it's a big undertaking to have so many viewpoints. I found it to be very busy and in the end, I hadn't bonded with any of them.

I think Wilding did a good job with constructing her antagonist. He was perfectly awful. I wasn't totally sold on the women and their situations though. Although they have been wounded, I was angry with more than one of them. I won't say why as I don't want to provide spoilers. But, no man is worth some of the choices made.

The answer to the questions above are answered by the last pages, but the ending was anticlimactic for me.

It's a good debut, but it isn't a standout for me.

Gentle readers, there are many triggers and this may not be the book for you.

Was this review helpful?

Chilling, but so good. Five women connected by one man and a terrible murder. What he did to each of them is unthinkable and motive to murder him. But who did it, or were they all involved somehow?! Fast paced, told in different viewpoints and different times. This book draws you in and hooks you until the very end. Trigger warnings of rape and physical abuse.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you NetGalley and Rose Wilding for hearing my honest I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you NetGalley Jenny Blackhurst and Minotaur Books for hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you

Was this review helpful?

Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding

This group of diverse women of various ages and backgrounds had been mysteriously invited to a room in a rundown hotel. They were of different ages and different situations in life. There were seven of them in the group. A man's severed head was revealed in the room's centre, and each of the women had been wronged, manipulated, cheated, or deceived by the dead man in the past. All had some connection with the murder victim, and some of the women had a connection with each other. It was apparent that none were sorry he was dead. The majority opinion was to cover up the crime to protect the unknown perpetrator rather than calling the police. The female detective had reasons to avoid a thorough investigation.

On the table, covered up, is the decapitated head of a man that they know all too well Jamie. In fact, he is the reason that all of these women know each other in the first place, he's done wrong by all of them in myriad ways. But who ultimately killed him? No one is confessing.

This was an intriguing story and a good premise, but somethings fell apart for me. I haven't put my finger on it yet. Narrated by Colleen Prendergast who brings life to this complex story with the many POV's and does good giving voice to everyone. I still recommend this book it is worth the read.

Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillan Audio and St. Martin's Press for a free copy of Speak of the Devil for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This book reminded me of a twisted thriller version of John Tucker Must Die or The Other Woman, but instead of simply being a cheater, the man the women all had in common was a psychopath, and one of them killed him. I loved the way this story was told. After revealing Jamie's decapitated head in the middle of the meeting of the women he harmed, the story is told from each character's perspective as they cover up for the murder, reveal their very genuine reasons for wanting him dead, and try to figure out which one of them killed him. It was dark and depressing but so intriguing. The reveal (which I loved) was a little too close to the end of the story, so it ended fairly abruptly, but it was a great and addictive read!

Thank you to Minotaur Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Was this review helpful?

Dark slow burn that kept me guessing. 7 pov was insane but all in all a very enticing murder suspense. The guy had it coming.

Was this review helpful?

Dark, intricate, and engrossing!

Speak of the Devil is a layered, unsettling tale that sweeps you away to Newcastle, England and into the life of DI Nova Stokoe, a young police inspector who suddenly finds herself embroiled in a complex murder investigation involving the decapitated head of an esteemed scientist and a suspect list that includes seven local women all who at some time were a victim of his manipulation, deviance, gaslighting, betrayal, violence, or cruelty, and thus all with a motive for his murder.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are secretive, cunning, and vulnerable. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, builds quickly creating intensity and suspense as it unravels all the personalities, motivations, relationships, deception, and devious behaviours within it.

Overall, Speak of the Devil is, ultimately, a story of lies, revelations, secrets, deception, betrayal, manipulation, mayhem, depravity, hatred, vengeance, violence, and murder. Itโ€™s a clever, sinister, solid debut by Wilding that certainly kept me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.

Was this review helpful?

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot! A great change of pace for me, with some murder and suspense.

Jamie Spellman has lived his entire life being the wolf in sheepโ€™s clothing. When a group of scorned and traumatized women from his life band together to stop him, someone beats them to the punch: he's dead and no one in the group is fessing up. Will they act in self preservation and turn against each other? Or will the bond of shared experiences have them protecting each other?

This novel showcases how we each play a role in the lives of the people around us and how those roles can be important. Maureen, Jamieโ€™s aunt, had lots of internal growth while evaluating her actions towards him when he was growing up. Ana, who so forcefully was on Jamieโ€™s side and his best friend for much of their adult life, realized that people show you what they want you to see.

I LOVE that the chapters are written from a variety of narrators. You get such a complete view of the universe theyโ€™re living in. For this style of book, the โ€œwhodunnitโ€, youโ€™re able to build your own theories based on the internal monologue of all the suspects. In no shocking turn if events I was wrong with ALL my guesses! The ending wasnโ€™t as satisfying as it could have been, but made sense for the storyline and tied up loose ends.

Was this review helpful?