Sharon Long reviews Name of the Devil by Andrew Mayne, published by Bourbon Street Books. The paperback version comes out this month. This is the second in the Jessica Blackwood thriller, mystery series.
I picked up Name of the Devil because I had read and thoroughly enjoyed Maybe's first book, Angel Killer. I was anxious to read this second in the series which is the sequel. Like the first book, this one combines magic and illusions resulting in unexplained deaths and events. Since this is a sequel, I highly recommend reading Angel Killer first as many of the characters; locations and a subplot are continued in this book.
The book starts in the small Appalachian town of Hawkton, where a sheriff receives a phone call telling him he knows what he needs to do.
It turns out that this means to the local church and brutally murdering the four people inside. After the murders, a terrible explosion destroys the victim's bodies and all of the evidence. Simultaneously in Rome, a priest is studying a 19th-century document when a stranger asks him to translate a recording. This recording is in the ancient language spoken by the Jews during the time of Jesus. The priest is shocked because the recording is a declaration of evil spoken by the Pope himself.
Jessica and other FBI agents are sent to Hawkton to investigate the murders. Upon arriving, they find a gaping hole due to what appears to be a gas explosion, but no gas is found. After a helicopter search more than 100 yards away, the victim’s bodies are found all hanging 30 feet upside down in trees. All the victims have the name of a demon in Hebrew written in blood on their bodies. Jessica wonders if this is the Warlock’s handiwork, but she had put him in his prison several months ago. This is the beginning of Jessica’s newest chase into the world of demons and unexplainable deaths.
In this second book, we discover more about Jessica’s childhood with her father, uncle and grandfather all magicians/illusionists. I enjoyed Jessica’s vulnerability and fears in this book creating an even stronger female character than the first book. She is also earning the respect of her fellow agents and bosses. This story takes places in West Virginia, a small Mexican town and cities in Europe including the Vatican. As with the first book, I was immediately drawn into this story. It is fast paced with a great action scenes.
The intricate plot is believable and combines religion with the Mexican cartel and murder. Andrew is finishing the third book in the Jessica Blackwood series which I most definitely will be reading. I highly recommend this second book which in my opinion is even better than the first which I enjoyed, whereas this book I absolutely loved.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. This review is fair and independent.