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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Devil in a Robe by Kate Donnelly is a psychological thriller with strong themes and richly developed characters, and the conflict is intense. Forty-two-year-old Esther has chosen a profession that addresses abuse because she has been bullied and abused. She works in a women’s refuge in the British Midlands, offering protection and support to children and women with similar experiences. But when she meets Louisa, the wife of an influential authority figure, she knows it’s her biggest challenge yet. Louisa is in an abusive relationship and her partner inspires fear, plus he has the power and the connections to get whatever he wants, including hurting those who stand in his way. And that is why Esther is even more determined to pursue the case. Can she get justice for Louisa and her daughter? Or will she end up putting them in even greater danger?
Kate Donnelly writes about abuse in an intelligent manner and it is interesting to navigate the world of her characters. While this is an entertaining work, it provides powerful insights into the psychology of a misogynist and an abuser. Louisa is a beautifully developed character and she represents the victims of different forms of abuse. The fear factor that abusers inspire in their victims is so strongly evidenced in this narrative. The plot is cunningly done and the twists are surprising. Esther is a fighter and I loved the way the author develops her humanity and personality. Instead of becoming a victim, she chooses to rise up and fight for herself and others like her. Devil in a Robe is beautifully written and engaging from the very first page, and the author keeps it realistic.