The Devil and the River, Hardback
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


When the rains came they found the girl's face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared...On a perfect summer evening in 1954, sixteen-year-old Nancy Denton walked into the woods of her hometown of Whytesburg, Mississippi.

She was never seen again. Two decades on, Sheriff John Gaines witnesses a harrowing discovery.

A young woman has been unearthed from the riverbank, her body perfectly preserved, yet she bears evidence of a brutal ritualistic killing.

Nancy has come home at last, but her return does not bring closure to her family, nor to the townsfolk of Whytesburg. Already haunted by his experiences in Vietnam, Gaines must now stretch his abilities to the limit, pushing himself ever closer to breaking point.

What really happened to the beautiful and vivacious Nancy? And why do her friends refuse to talk? As Gaines closes in on the truth, he is forced to not only confront his own demons, but to unearth secrets that have long remained hidden. And that truth, so much darker than he could ever have imagined, may be the one thing that finally destroys him. Intense, gripping and hauntingly atmospheric, The Devil and the River is a stunning thriller from bestselling author R.J.



  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781409124177



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Vietnam veteran turned sheriff John Gaines has to solve the murder of Nancy Denton, whose body has been discovered in the riverbank. Nancy disappeared twenty years ago and the riverbank has given up her body with what looks like a voodoo ritual involved. Gaines has to solve the case but is up against the mighty Wade family.My Thoughts:I have met R J Ellory a couple of times and he really is a nice guy. I have read several of his book which I have enjoyed with my favourite being ‘A Quiet Belief in Angels’. However this book I didn’t enjoy as much.My first niggle is that this book seemed never ending. It was a hard slog reading this book and I felt that it was very repetitive and it went on and on. It could quite easily have been a hundred pages or so shorter. I did find myself and I hate to say getting quite bored at times.My other niggle is that this book could have been so much better and the theme of the voodoo could have been delved into more and then maybe the book would have had a little bit more going for it. The title itself gives the impression of perhaps voodoo, magic and superstition beliefs and it failed to deliver enough on these lines.The story itself was very average and in true Ellory style the big reveal is at the end and by that time I was caring. I think I was hoping for something big to happen and it never did.R J Ellory is one of my favourite authors based on his earlier books and I will look out for future works but this one was disappointing.

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