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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Devine's Providence: A Novel by Stephen Reney is a crime thriller with a good plot and memorable characters. Harry Devine is a private detective and a former cop, a man who suffers from depression and alcoholism. When Chelsea Woodstern, a true-crime blogger who is not a fan of law enforcement, turns up at his door asking for his help in an investigation, Harry’s world comes alive. An investigation into government corruption unveils other ills in the system, including kidnapping and murder. The plot gets twistier and the crime more complicated than they had thought. Can they get to the bottom of it and can Devine, even with the help of an old partner, Jake, overcome his feelings for Chelsea and get to the bottom of the crime?
Set in the city of Providence, Devine's Providence is for fans of sleuth and crime thrillers. I adored the characters. Chelsea is a complex character, opinionated and driven, and I enjoyed the effect she has on Harry. The characters are real and the journey that Harry makes in the story, from a broken, depressed alcoholic to finding balance as he investigates a crime, is interesting. I love characters who are genuinely flawed and Stephen Reney has the gift of creating such characters. The plot is twisty, with surprises that delighted me. The story is written in beautiful prose and with dialogues that augment the drama through every page. The descriptions, especially of the setting, are stunning and vivid, like the stench of the river, of the city, and rotting trash that hangs so heavy it clings to your skin as you walk through it. The author makes readers feel, see, and experience the environment in the same way they feel the characters. And that first-person narrative voice wouldn’t let me go. Fabulous story.