Twenty-nine year old Maureen is slogging her way through life working never-ending shifts as a waitress at The Narrows, a wannabe upscale bar located in a rough part of Staten Island. She soon has more to worry about than long hours and bad tips, however, when leaving the bar in the wee hours of the morning she inadvertently stumbles upon th Twenty-nine year old Maureen is slogging her way through life working never-ending shifts as a waitress at The Narrows, a wannabe upscale bar located in a rough part of Staten Island.
She soon has more to worry about than long hours and bad tips, however, when leaving the bar in the wee hours of the morning she inadvertently stumbles upon the bar manager, Dennis, giving oral sex to local hot-shot and candidate for Senate Frank Sebastian. Every aspect of this book is tight, seamless, smart, and above all else, believable. Maureen Coughlin is an amazingly well crafted creation. As a small, hot tempered female myself, I can tell you that the conflicting feelings of blood-boiling anger and spine-chilling vulnerability Maureen have in the face of the threat of confrontation with a large male are spot-on.
And when push finally comes to shove, she behaves as neither a shrinking violet nor a feminized Rambo, but as a person pushed into a corner they are willing to do whatever they have to to fight their way out of. Of course your hero can only be as heroic as your villain is evil, and Frank Sebastian is one truly evil son of a bitch. But a smooth one. Well connected, Sebastian is a former police officer who uses his relationships in the department to his advantage causing Maureen to question who, if anyone, in law enforcement she can trust.
Which make the glimpses behind his public mask Maureen sees all the more chilling as she comes to understand he is an incredibly warped man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants…her dead. The Devil She Knows is a tour de force tale of power: I guarantee you will be hearing a lot more from him in the future. Jul 31, Selu rated it really liked it Shelves: For most of this book she made some questionable choices. Mostly for the right reasons. Quality writing, but not exactly quality writing of thrillers. Loefhelm can turn a phrase and he has created one of my favorite characters in the flawed Maureen Coughlin, but so very little happens in this bo Poor, poor Maureen.
Loefhelm can turn a phrase and he has created one of my favorite characters in the flawed Maureen Coughlin, but so very little happens in this book. I kept waiting for some sort of action sequence, but alas. While this may not be an action-packed thrill-ride, The Devil She Knows is a damned clever character study in how what we do daily do make up our lives, and the years pass quickly even as the days pass slowly.
Maureen is a mess if there ever was one but she's a three-dimensional, motivated mess and I fell in love with her within the first few chapters. Nat, Amber, Molly, and John don't get as much development but they are still drawn with care and I felt like each had their own voice and agenda. I hope they all show up in the rest of the series but I am not optimistic with the move from Staten Island to New Orleans.
However, the setting change should give Maureen more choices in all aspects of her life. Excellent characters that make the weaker aspects of the story less noticeable. I will definitely continue with the series. Jul 13, Amy rated it liked it Shelves: Maureen Coughlin is ready for a change. After almost a decade of cocktail waitressing in Staten Island, she acknowledges that her life has stalled. What happened to her plans for college? Determined to change her trajectory, she sets off for her night shift with a new future in mind.
Unfortunately, fate has other plans. After a night of heavy drinking and a few lines of coke, Maureen stumbles upon a scene that puts her in danger. After years of a misanthropic lifestyle, she realizes that she must reach out to others for aid. Loehfelm Fresh Kills; Bloodroot weaves a high-action tale of suspense and intrigue. A gutsy heroine who rings true, a corrupt politician, and the seedy underbelly of New York nightlife all combine for a pleasurable read.
This character-driven novel with a strong sense of place will find mass appeal with fans of the suspense genre. May 03, Joyce Peacock rated it it was ok. The book was ok as the 2 stars imply. The protagonist, Maureen Coughlin, was edgy, but dumb. She was dumb in the way horror film characters are.
I was barely able to contain my dislike of her, let alone care what happens to her. The only reason I finished the story was because I felt sorry for her. Aug 16, judy rated it really liked it Shelves: I've read the other books in this series but not in order. Wish I had because this one is close to a 5. His description of Maureen as a waitress is magnificent.
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- THE DEVIL SHE KNOWS by Bill Loehfelm | Kirkus Reviews.
I found it completely believable--especially the times Maureen was in serious doubt about what to do. A very human book. Jul 23, Chris rated it really liked it. Well written, edgy crime fiction with a good plot and an engaging, complex protagonist. I look forward to catching up with this series and other books by this author. Given that this was the first in the series, I was willing to give the author some leeway in repetition and wordiness as he was trying to establish characters. The seediness of Maureen's world was well described: It was no wonder she found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time!
After binging on alcohol and drugs while doing an overtime shift at the bar, The Narrows, she witnessed a co worker, Dennis, and a contender for the state senate, in a compromising position. She did not intend to do anything with this information. She was quite content to forget it all. But then Dennis was murdered and the political candidate, Sebastian, threatened her. He turned out to be a nasty piece of work who hounded Maureen and tried to intimidate her.
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I will read the next book in the series to see how the author develops this character. I come from Staten Island spent 51 years there I lived on the North Shore where the Narrows was and the South Shore where amber lived I've been to the place the black Garter was set, that area always gave me a creepy feeling my guess it gave the author the same feeling. It was like taking a visit. The story was entertaining I loved Det. Waters felt sorry for Amber and rooted for Maureen, it had a slow start then picked up to a nice pace.
Nov 27, Heather rated it really liked it. I love when a bored out of their mind, but not changing any habits person is forced to change their standard operating procedure and it saves their life.
The Devil She Knows
That's what happens in this book. Jul 17, Michele Menard rated it liked it. I didn't like the start of this book, and almost gave up on it, but it was a bookclub selection so I needed to keep going. I'm glad I did. I will likely continue with the series - Maureen is a tough cookie. Feb 16, Marianne rated it liked it Shelves: This was an entertaining book to listen to while I worked out. Jul 02, Eruth rated it really liked it. Some interesting characters are introduced and I look forward to reading on in the series.
Sep 05, Shelly M. Sampon rated it liked it. Pretty average, but readable.
Jul 01, Susan Creekmore rated it really liked it. Jan 09, Sally Sinclair rated it it was amazing. Can't wait to read 2!! Feb 01, Maria Arra Perez rated it it was ok. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I found "The Devil She Knows" Bill Loehfelm at my favorite bookstore while waiting for a friend and I certainly didn't have regrets buying it. TDSK had a good plot; it was my first time to read a thriller with a political angle to it. The book wasn't also overdone; a steady storyline without the unnecessary lengthy dialogues.
Narration was also okay and the author wasn't trying hard to tell a story he didn't know. Maybe Loehfelm has yet to explore the depths of this genre, but he has grasped his own style that truly shows his voice. My problem -- or more like my frustration -- with the book was on character development. I haven't fallen in love with any single character in the book and all throughout I did not find anyone whom I would want to root for.
This book did not produce lovable characters and were all forgettable to me. It had weak characters and it was solely focused on Maureen, its main protagonist, while it had a bunch of characters with all the potential to be developed. Say, Sebastian -- it was not even clear why he does what he does. Sure, a politician and an ex-policeman with all the power and money in his hands -- but had no character at all. He had no clear motive for being who he is. Dennis, Tanya, and everybody else who just died out thin air -- who are they, really?
The Devil She Knows (Maureen Coughlin, #1) by Bill Loehfelm
The reader is not after full-blown exposure of these characters; the reader just wants to realize how essential each character is in the full course of the novel. The character needs to have character and that's what's lacking in this book. I've had one too many of this genre and I enjoy every second of my exploration and discovery of stories and authors to watch out for. Loehfelm should be given the chance. May 24, M. Vesseur rated it really liked it. A good novel needs people more than it needs crimes. And that goes for crime novels too.
The lead is for Maureen, a young woman that comes to life so exquisitely that the author wrote another novel for her, as the start of a series no doubt. Maureen works in a bar and though her life looks sort of glamorous on the outside, on the inside it totally sucks. Cracks A good novel needs people more than it needs crimes. Cracks are starting to appear on the surface, because working late nights in rough environments takes its toll.
Loehfelm takes his time to make sure the characters grow and also he gives them time to interact. I deed feel a certain rush myself because at many moments I was anxious to find out what was going to happen. I have to make a personal observation here. That is the main ingredient for me: Maureen takes refuge with her mother, an unsympathetic scold, but Sebastian tracks her down. All he asks of Maureen is that she lie low.
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She ignores his advice. Armed with a switchblade, she confronts Sebastian at the gym. Her behavior is as dumb as that of Sebastian, whose mobster antics clearly imperil his election campaign, though the truth is we never believed in that anyway. The background, the hard grind of keeping customers happy, is authentic; most everything else feels fake. Loehfelm struggles to maintain suspense, then overcompensates for a sluggish pace with a high body count and an absurdly melodramatic ending.
Paperback , pages. Published June 1st by Brava first published May 5th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Devil She Knows , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Nov 27, Carolyn F. This book was just mediocre. Sometimes the dialogue was so stilted it was like a high school play. I felt nothing for either the hero Gareth or the heroine Portia. And her recovery from years of sexual abuse by her husband was too quick to be believable.
I've read a short story by this author and liked that more. Feb 15, Racine rated it it was amazing. The book was phenomenally written it was one of those books where I did not need to force myself to finish it , it had me hooked from beginning to end. Aug 27, Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill rated it it was ok. This was not one of the better books I've read. I didn't care about any of the characters although I did have a twinge of compassion for Gareth for a little bit.
I found the settings to be distracting. It starts in Arizona, goes to New York with no sort of indication that it was going that way then it ends up in England and from there through a maze of places, it ends up in Constantinople where the majority of the story takes place. I didn't find the setting to be interesting at all and since I This was not one of the better books I've read.
I didn't find the setting to be interesting at all and since I was so down on the setting, it was hard for me to get into the action of the story. Needless to say, the story ends in California via England The transition from one place to the next was so choppy. I'm reading along and then suddenly BAM! It got kind of irritating and I found myself going back to re-read a couple of pages before the "trip" because I thought I'd missed something.
I think the story would have been more interesting if more time had been spent cultivating the relationships with Portia and Gareth and Portia and St Arles. They just appeared and it was like getting in on a story in the middle. I also think that knowing more about her life in England would have made this more interesting.
Now in all fairness, this is the first book of the series that I read and it is 6. Maybe I should have read the others before I read this one, I don't know. I might see if I can track down the first one and see if it makes a difference in how I perceived this one. Maybe they're all linked together. Dec 11, Kathy Davie rated it did not like it Shelves: Oh, this started out so promisingly. And within 10 chapters turned to crap. I'm still not sure how I managed to read my way through the dreck.
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