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Review of Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding


We begin this story with seven women transfixed by a man's severed head. Each woman has a distinct link to this man, but the real questions is, who amongst them is the killer?


Jamie Spellman is not a good guy. A liar, cheat and manipulator; his murder seems somewhat like a just comeuppance, but will the police think the same as they attempt to solve the case?


Chapters alternate between accounts from each of the seven women and as we learn about their stories we begin to understand how this man connects them all and how much pain he has caused. This book deftly touches upon many hard-hitting issues such as self-harm, substance abuse, rape, infertility, not being accepted for your sexuality, and mental illness. It is a stark reminder of how strong women can be in the face of so much. It was also really heartening to see such well-crafted LGBTQ+ representation throughout the book. 


Set in the North-East of England, this novel has a natural grit and determination which had me racing through the pages to find out who was the killer. Rose Wilding brings all of her characters to life with a real vitality and distinctiveness, something that can often be difficult when 

constructing a novel that's built around a group dynamic. 


My only critique is I do like an unexpected twist in a thriller, but I also appreciate that can't happen in every murder mystery. All being said, this was a brilliant debut read and I look forward to seeing what Wilding does next!



Review by Helen.

Speak of the Devil was published on 22/06/23 by Baskerville Press.


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