Book Title: The Devil’s Work
Author: Mark Edwards
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Crime Fiction, Contemporary
Date Read: 09/22/16
Pub Date: 09/13/16
It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.
What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.
As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.
Have you ever worked a job you felt placed you in the midst of Hell? I think if we were all honest we have that one job we could place quite nicely in this category. I remember mine as if it were yesterday; it was the summer after I graduated high school and my dad was keen on getting me a job to bridge the gap between senior year and beginning college. My friend Depreena was working at the local Applebee’s as a hostess and decided to drag me right into her daily drama, sharing in her misery at the place we later dubbed “The Crapplebee’s”. After many nights of police being called (and taking multiple hours to cross the parking lot we both shared) due to large dine and dashes, to personal drama between coworkers resulting in life and death matters, the final straw was being held at gun point while leaving a shift at 3am where a disgruntled (and very drunk) patron was waiting in the dark. Thankfully I had an awesome co-worker who immediately took over the situation and got me out as quickly as possible. (THANKS YUSEF!!) I’ll never forget that delight of a job, and while we had good times with the bad, I thankfully never had to endure what our protagonist Sophie went through. Geez Louise.
I’ll admit my nerves were full on frayed while reading this. I was impressed by how sucked into the story I felt and how anxious I became over a fictional story. I’ve always heard that Mark Edwards is the king of messing with your head, and after reading my first story by him I’m inclined to agree. The story was broken up into multiple parts, full of twists and turns I didn’t see coming; I particularly liked a big one that came around 75% into the book. The plot flips between present and past with ease, and I actually found myself looking forward to the “past” sections unlike in most books I read; typically I feel these chop up the flow of the present plot but that was not the case here. The pacing was consistently fast throughout the entire book, which made for a stellar quick read. I have two of his other books that have been sitting on my shelf for awhile (Follow You Home & The Magpies) which I am inclined to move up in priority after reading this one and enjoying it so immensely.
Sophie was a tad hard for me to connect with initially; I wanted to smack her a few times and yell at her to get her act together. However, after staying with her awhile, she grew on me and felt myself cheering for her until the very end. There are some very heavy subjects in the book; sure there is a bit of graphic violence and disturbing content, but you expect that mostly in psychological thrillers these days. What set this apart, without spoiling anything, was some unique plot planning and subject matter that is all of the above but on a whole different level. I’ve always been a fan of the cover work associated with Mark Edwards’ books and this one is no different. I love the consistency of the fonts and how they tend to always pique my interest! Overall, an exciting and thrilling mystery with enough suspense to keep you up reading into the wee hours of the morning. I truly enjoyed reading this one and quickly became grateful for my uneventful (in comparison) life.
*Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. The publisher has graciously offered 1 copy of The Devil’s Work as a giveaway on my blog; you can enter HERE!
**I couldn’t find the right place to put this, but I wanted to acknowledge what a fine job the author did at writing a fair assessment on women and the battle between staying at home with your kids or returning to work. It felt refreshing to see a man write with such honesty and non-judgement on how either choice is the right one, it all just depends on the individual. Sophie struggles with the guilt of going back to work but realizes it was her dream all along. He also depicts the truths of how staying at home with young children is neither glamorous or constantly enjoyable for most women. Thank you Mr. Edwards for including these subjects with such care and honesty.
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which terrifying things happen to ordinary people. His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK as did his third novel Because She Loves Me (2014). He has also co-written various crime novels with Louise Voss such as Killing Cupid (2011) and The Blissfully Dead (2015).
Mark grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. As well as a full-time writer, Mark is a stay at home dad for his three children, his wife and a ginger cat.