She’s tough and she’s here to stay. “The Devil She Knows” by Bill Loehfelm
A good novel needs people more than it needs crimes. And that goes for crime novels too. Bill Loehfelm certainly brings some fine characters to “The Devils She Knows”. The lead is for Maureen, a young woman that comes to life so exquisitely that the author wrote another novel for her, as the start of a series no doubt. I’m a fan right from the page where she makes her debut. Maureen works in a bar and though her life looks sort of glamorous on the outside, on the inside it totally sucks. Cracks are starting to appear on the surface, because working late nights in rough environments takes its toll. She’s not a huge taker of stuff but let’s say the stuff she takes help her stay thin. I will not go into the storyline here (check the publisher’s info) but I’ll share my reader’s experience. Loehfelm takes his time to make sure the characters grow and also he gives them time to interact. There’s no rush and his talent is probably that he creates a nice balance by adding some serious action and danger. I deed feel a certain rush myself because at many moments I was anxious to find out what was going to happen. I have to make a personal observation here. I know most readers like crime novels to last; so with more than 300 pages “The Devil She Knows” meets demands. But personally I’m not sure if 300 pages or more is really necessary in general. Anyway, there’s enough Bill Loehfelm talent in here that made it worth the while for me: he creates a nice, moody environment where the story takes place. That is the main ingredient for me: there’s a style, an ambiance that is entirely unique for Loehfelm. And that is satisfying, because after reading I remember the people and the place foremost. I like that. I’ll return to a novel starring Maureen, no doubt. She has a force. See what you think.