Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Devil's Feather

from the book...

Devil's Feather (derivation Turkish) - a woman who stirs a man's interest without realizing it; the unwitting cause of sexual arousal

This is a term I'd never heard before and a wonderful title for a book. I like Minette Walters, which is pretty weird because I am such a romance junkie. But I like her plot, I like her characters and I like her writing style.

Most of her settings are small English villages with their little idiosyncrasies, but the scope of this novel is much broader than that. Serial killers, war-torn regions, strong women and... courage. The only thing that slightly irritated me was the uncertainty in the ending--and the most intriguing part of the book is the uncertainty in the ending...

Here's the blurb from Minette's website...

With private security firms supplying bodyguards in every theatre of war, who will notice the emergence of a sexual psychopath from the ranks of the mercenaries?

When five women are brutally murdered in Sierra Leone, Reuters correspondent Connie Burns questions the arrest of three rebel soldiers for the crimes. No one listens. In the wake of a vicious civil war that saw hundreds of thousands killed and displaced, the rape and murder of women is of little consequence. And who cares if child soldiers are beaten into a confession?

With little to go on, except her witnessing of a savage attack on a prostitute, Connie believes that a foreigner is responsible. A man who claims to have been in the SAS and works as a bodyguard to a Lebanese diamond trader. She remembers him from Kinshasa when he was a mercenary for Laurent Kabila's regime, and she suspects he uses the chaos of war to act out sadistic fantasies against women.

Two years later in Iraq, the consequences of her second attempt to expose him are devastating. Terrified, degraded and destroyed, she goes into hiding in England and tries to rebuild the person she was before being subjected to three days of conditioning in a Baghdad cellar.

In the process, she strikes up a friendship with Jess Derbyshire, a loner whose reclusive nature has alienated her from the rest of the Dorset community where she lives. Seeing parallels between herself and Jess, Connie borrows from the other woman's strength and makes the hazardous decision to attempt a third unmasking of a serial killer...

WIP Word Count:


  1. sounds interesting. Unfortunately, the last two mysteries I bought (faves) last fall are still on the TBR shelf - I haven't been in the mood for "just" mysteries. But I'll keep this one in mind.

  2. I'm currently reading this one, Toni, and it's really holding me. I had not anticpated the first person, but it's working for me, and the plot and settings are just up my street :) :)

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    I have several others out of hers out the library -- and I'm planning a glomming session, as soon as I'm done with my RITA judging.

  3. Mmm. I'm tempted to get this as it looks exciting. I've just finished an "aga saga" - Joanna Trollope's latest - which I enjoyed. But I've picked up and put down quite a few books in my TBR pile recently which I haven't been in the mood for. Maybe this will do the trick.

  4. Bailey--I know all about being in the right mood for certain books. Kind of like Siobhan not being taken with anything in her TBR pile.

    I'm not sure *exciting* is the right word for this--maybe *compelling*?

    I really enjoyed this story. Loreth, I hope you enjoy it too.

  5. I'm pretty sure I tried this one last year, but couldn't get into it. Maybe I should give it another go.

    Love the name Minette. If I ever change my name, that might be the route I go. Close enough to remember, but still different. ;)