Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review: The Devil walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

This book by Billy Coffey is labeled a supernatural thriller and I selected it for review because it came from a Christian publisher, but the topic itself did not seem to fit a Christian motif. The book is a thriller that deals with the question of guilt and how not openly talking about the past can have long effects into the present and possibly the future.

The town of Mattingly in Virginia is home to three main actors in this story. There is the sherriff Jake Barnett and his Kate as well as the recluse Taylor Hathcock. Despite very different characters, these three people are bound by a shared guilt about the death that happened long ago.

Phillip McBride's death was ruled a suicide a long time ago, but to this day all three people feel guilt about contributing to his death. Each lives in their own personal version of guilt ridden hell, trying to do good to avenge the feeling of guilt that is gnawing at them. But despite their best efforts, doing good cannot overcome the feeling of guilt that is eating them up inside.

When a robbery of a convenience store leads to another killing, the three people must face their past to conquer the future. If not tackling the long ago past, their future and the future of Mattingly could be at risk.

I liked this book because the thriller aspect was in part the fight that each person had to deal with in overcoming the past. The inner struggles, that they feared to share with others, are things that each of us face at times and seeing how the struggles get resolved in the book was interesting and to some degree helpful to read.

Overall, despite being published by a Christian publisher, this is a fascinating book without too strong Christian overtones and as a thriller it provides a novel and fascinating look into the psyche of human beings.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own and have not been influenced by Thomas Nelson Publishing or any third party. 

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