Author: Sarah Barrie
Publication Date: 17th June 2019
Publisher: HQ Fiction
This book needs to come with a warning: do not read if home alone!!
I first discovered Sarah Barrie when I read and reviewed Blood Tree River for Beauty and Lace last year which I loved. I was keen to get my hands on her new one The Devils Lair as soon as it was released on the 17th June 2019.
The Devil’s Lair is a “thrilling psychological suspense with Gothic overtones that takes us into the heart of Tasmania”. As a reader I was drawn to the eye catching cover and once I picked it up it engaged me immediately, I find the way Sarah writes hooks me and keeps me reading until I finish. I also love the way she describes the places where she sets her books, the locations become the central character in a way, in the Devil’s Lair we are taken to the Central Highlands.
After the violent death of her husband, Callie Jones seeks solace and sanctuary in Tasmania at a friend’s cottage located in the grounds of an old mansion. The mansion has a sinister past associated with witchcraft and murder which Callie is not aware of initially as she finds the remoteness of the place and the beauty soothing. Through her friend Paisley, whose father owns the mansion and Brother Ned who works at Calico Lodge (featured in Blood Tree River) we cross over to characters familiar to us: Connor, Tess, Indy and Logan from this previous novel. Sarah writes so the novels can be read as standalone stories but if you have read the others you are familiar with some characters so engaged and wanting to hear move about them. While Blood Tree River featured them all, it centred on Indy and Logan whilst Devil’s Lair is about Callie and Connor.
Callie agrees to help Tess out with some landscaping at Calico Lodge and starts to feel settled but when she heads back to the cottage at night she hears noises and feels unsettled and troubled by bad dreams. When objects start turning up in the cottage Callie starts to question her own sanity and security. A young boy she keeps running into on the grounds, talks of ghosts, devils and witchcraft and keeps saying “You’re one of us” to her. There were many moments in the book I was holding my breath and thinking ….”Don’t look out the window”, or “No!!! Don’t go outside” it really had me on the edge of my seat.
As the events build and escalate, you feel your heart racing and stay up to the wee hours to finish and by then you are breathless. Sarah knows how to engage and entertain readers that is for sure. I did not want to add much more to my review as I want to leave it free of spoilers but I highly recommend it. The only thing wrong with Sarah’s books are that you finish them too quickly as you want to know what happens but it is bittersweet as then you need to wait for the next one to be released, lucky for me I still have some of her previous books to read.
I knew this book was coming up for Beauty and Lace in the July reads but as mentioned above could not wait and rushed out to purchase it myself.
This guest review was submitted by Jode, one of our Beauty and Lace Club members. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Jode.
Love reading especially on my train commute to and from work. Read most genres but my favorite would be Australian Rural Fiction. Love to support Australian Authors and Beauty and Lace have shown me some fantastic writers that I now read and follow.