The devil and the river, R.J. Ellory

It is a warm day in 1974 and sherrif John Gaines must solve the murder of a young girl who has been found in the muddy river bank. The girl turns out to be Nancy, who disappeared 20 years ago. When the body is examined, they found out something gruesome happened with it.

In the small town in Mississippi there are almost no serious crimes, let alone murders and newly appointed sherrif John Gaines never conducted a murder inquiry. But he does know evil and what people are capable of, he saw that in Vietnam.

Along the river where Nancy was found lives Michael Webb. He is a WWII veteran and he was the man Nancy would marry when she would be old enough. His war memories totally consumed him now, but it does become clear he had something to do with Nancy’s murder.

When Gaines arrests Webb, new events follow quicly and Gaines finds out he must seek the murderer somewhere else. Gaines does not let go and will do everything he can to bring a murderer to justice, who has been able to stay in the shadows for more than twenty years.

Since I read A quiet belief in angels, I have been a huge fan of R.J. Ellory, and each book he wrote after that one, confirmed my opinion that he is a very good writer. As does The devil and the river.

What makes the thrillers of R.J. Ellory better than the average good thriller is his beautiful writing, some sentences and descriptions I had to read twice, to enjoy them even more.

The atmosphere of a quiet, Southern town in a warm Summer comes from every page, without emphasis. The character on the whole are written well, with attention to details and even small characters get a background and something extra. The memories Michael and John have of the wars they fought in, are extremely well written, and almost make War a character in the story.

As far as I am concerned, R.J. Ellory wrote another great thriller with The devil and the river, confirming he is one of the best thriller authors in the world at this moment.

Published in 2013


  1. Do you need to read his books in any order or are they stand-alone novels? Is this one your favorite, or did you like A Quiet Belief in Angels better?

    1. These books are all stand-alones, so you do not need to follow a particular order. As for favorites, A Quiet belief in Angels is still my favorite, I would give that 10/10. This book, The devil and the river, would get 9/10.

      Kind regards,


Post a Comment