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The Devil and the River [Paperback]

R.J. Ellory
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

24 April 2014

On a summer evening in 1954, 16-year-old Nancy Denton walked into the woods of her hometown of Whytesburg, Mississippi. She was never seen again.

Two decades on, Sheriff John Gaines witnesses a harrowing discovery. A body has been unearthed from the riverbank, perfectly preserved, yet bearing evidence of a brutal ritualistic killing. Nancy has come home at last.

Already haunted by his experiences in Vietnam, Gaines must now find out what really happened to the beautiful and vivacious Nancy. As he closes in on the truth, Gaines is forced to not only confront his own demons, but to unearth secrets that have long remained hidden. And that truth, so much darker than he could ever have imagined, may be the one thing that finally destroys him.

Frequently Bought Together

The Devil and the River + A Dark and Broken Heart + Bad Signs
Price For All Three: 14.76

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  • A Dark and Broken Heart 5.59
  • Bad Signs 3.86

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140912133X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409121336
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

RJ Ellory is the author of twelve novels, all published in the UK by Orion, and available in twenty-six additional languages. They are:
BAD SIGNS (2011)
'Candlemoth', his first-published, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger, as was his fourth, 'City of Lies', in 2006. His fifth novel, 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection in 2007, and went on to win the Livre De Poche Award, The Strand Magazine Novel of The Year, The Mystery Booksellers of America Award, the USA National Indie Excellence Award for Best Mystery and the Inaugural Nouvel Observateur Prize. 'A Quiet Vendetta' won the Quebec Laureat, the Villeneuve Readers' Prize and the St. Maur Prize. 'A Simple Act of Violence', Ellory's sixth novel, won the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year 2010. He has been nominated for a further thirteen international awards including two Barrys, the Association 813 Trophy, and the Europeen Du Point. He has also written the screenplay of 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' for Oscar-winning director, Olivier Dahan, and has optioned 'A Dark and Broken Heart' for film. His novella 'Three Days in Chicagoland' is being released as a French graphic novel at the end of 2014, and he has published short stories in numerous British and American magazines. Ellory is also the guitar player in Zero Navigator, and is soon to record an album of songs co-written with Martin Smith of ELO in a project entitled The Whiskey Poets. He was born in Birmingham, U.K., and continues to make this his home with his long-suffering wife, idiosyncratic son and two troublesome cats.

Product Description


RJ Ellory sets out his stall with terrific vim and a gripping premise in his latest thriller... an energetic and winning exercise in pulp fiction with a Southern Gothic flavour. (METRO)

Voodoo and murders and gothically imposing southern dynasties - what's not to like? There are moments of genuine chills, fearsomely speedy page-turning and real humour... an enjoyable summer read. (OBSERVER)

Another page turner... an enjoyable whodunnit that keeps the twists and turns coming until the very end. (NEWCASTLE JOURNAL)

A great read (IRISH EXAMINER)

Ellory's a mighty talent who writes insightfully about love and redemption and loss and damnation. (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

When the rains came they found the girl's face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared...

From the Richard & Judy Book Club-selected author of A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 9 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Set in 1974 Mississippi this tale kicks off with the discovery of the body of a teenage girl who had been murdered two decades earlier, and the central character Sheriff John Gaines, a Vietnam war vet, takes on the case of bringing the person responsible to justice. In the background is a very wealthy family headed by aging patriarch Earl Wade with business interests managed by his son Matthias, who was once in love with the victim, Nancy Denton.

I have reviewed all of Ellory's previous ten novels and gave each one of them 5-stars because I like them very much. So it is with some regret and even sadness that I can only say that his latest work is merely 'okay'. I was ready and willing to regard this as my favourite crime fiction release of 2013, but I don't - it is surprisingly ordinary and way below the levels of which this writer is definitely capable. Not the least of the problems revolve around the main man, Sheriff Gaines, who is quite simply uninteresting and the weakest of Ellory's creations to date. There are several powerful issues that should help the reader get inside the mind and under the skin of this character, such as his experiences in tours of duty in Vietnam, his relationship with his dying mother, and his passion for seeking justice for the young victim of twenty years earlier. Yet I never really cared for Gaines very much; he comes across as just bland and colourless.

There are plenty of other characters for readers to sink their teeth into, but few if any will live long in the memory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another winner 13 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another page turner that takes us into the twisted heart, mind and soul of man. Ellory as usual, is the only winner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion....... 6 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all of rj ellory` novels I was left feeling disappointed with the devil and the river. In previous novel's you become intrigued with the authors believable characters, unfortunately not with this offering.

There appears to be to much repetitive flashbacks in John Gaines past, however this maybe building to the last few chapters and the difficult decisions that this character has to make.

Usually I cannot put an rj ellory novel down, as I am gripped in the plot and suspense, but unfortunately not with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Total disappointment 8 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Am a big fan of RJ Ellory and looked forward to reading this new novel on my holidays. Unfortunately he most of the first part of the book was only concerned with how men try to cope with the effects of war. The story went nowhere and by about half way through I gave up and read something else.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Cracker!!! 10 July 2013
I'm totally biased towards the books of R J Ellory.
Each new book from him is like an event, one NEVER to be missed.
Yet again another intriguing tale - girl aged 16 goes missing in 1954, found dead on a riverbank
20 years later - found by sheriff John Gaines, a man suffering from post Vietnam hangup supreme.

Not only do you follow the sheriff's moves towards uncovering this and several other mysteries,
you virtually live in his socks, as you suffer with him again and again the Vietnam stuff and
the pain of the horrors unfolding in Whytesburg, Mississippi.

Yes, you could accuse Ellory of repeating the pain and suffering, as similar bits pop up throughout
the book, but that's how real life is - stuff keeps returning in your head at various times. For me
it solidifies the character in your mind, and you find yourself caring about sheriff Gaines as you
follow in his footsteps.

The characters in the book are painted well...and I could go on for ever....
Just read it!!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading. 15 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Trite. Overwritten. Repetitive. Silly in parts. A decent editor would have reduced it to 200 pages maximum.
Try Fred Vargas for how this genre can be written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 10 July 2014
By Ian Guy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good and excellent delivery. Thanks
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil and the River 28 Jun 2014
By Brownie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a great read.
R.J. Ellory is one of team best crime/ murder writers there is.
So descriptive. Always compelling characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Roger Ellory back to his best
Wonderful book and Roger Ellory back to his best. Could'nt put it down for two days on our recent holiday.
Published 1 month ago by Anthony Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as Usual
R,J Ellory never fails in writing deeply great fiction told in beautiful prose.
As usual the characters are developed with a superb and deft skill which
makes each one... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars R J ELLORY
Great writing as usual, considering he is an Englishman he writes really well about America where his books are set. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Clifford
5.0 out of 5 stars Still The Best
I enjoy reading RJ Ellory more than any other writer. Always a page turner, i don't know how he keeps up such a high standard.
Great stuff. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. Simmonds
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Once again Ellory brings the time and place to life, in your minds eye, and provides a stunning climax of doing the right thing for the right reasons. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dave Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its best
RJ Ellory is a master of storytelling. The Devil and the River starts with a young woman's body being found by the side of a river. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JT
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly below par, but still good....
Disagree somewhat with some of the 5 star reviews of Mr Ellory's latest contribution. I am a big fan of his work, and have read all eleven of his books to date. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Craig Dutton
5.0 out of 5 stars R.J. Ellory
This book was to the usual excellent standard of R.J. Ellory. I always look forward to his new novel. I rate Ellory with Lee Child, James Patterson and John Grisham. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brian Allwin
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