The Devil's Hand

Fiction - Western
263 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Devil's Hand is a work of fiction in the western and adventure subgenres and was penned by M. J. Hayes. The work is suited to the adult reading audience but contains no explicit or graphic material, only references to violence and sexual situations. Set in 1903, this historical and enjoyable tale covers multiple characters and plot strands that converge into a highly exciting read. We explore a tragic and bloody history through three major character studies, from the young and naïve Billy, who is taken in by the dangerous charmer Elmer ‘Kas’ Kaschak, to the Texas Ranger Ricardo “Ruck” Rivas, tasked with bringing Kas’s gang to justice for a brutal kidnapping. What results is a thrilling read that’s not to be missed by western fiction fans everywhere.

Author M. J. Hayes offers a truly superb and accomplished western that contains all the essential elements a reader could want: gritty and dangerous characters, an intricate and exciting plot, and a powerful thirst for justice that really makes you question just what that means in the cold light of day. I loved the fact that the work is unashamedly harsh and accurate in the brutality of the period, without romanticizing or glossing over the dark nature of human history. Kas was a truly fascinating character, enigmatic in his dialogue and sharp as a razor blade whenever he cut into the narrative. I also really admired the storytelling style and unusual presentation, which delivers different perspectives on the same issue. Overall, I would call The Devil's Hand an unmissable new read for the western genre.

Friendly Neighborhood Reader

I am glad to see this book on here! I bought it on Amazon and really enjoyed it. Here is the review I left on there:

Came across this book in my recommended and decided to give it a try. So glad I did. It’s a quick read packed with action, suspense, and character. What is really impressive is the mixing of perspectives, with the journalist main character giving an objective, logical view of the plot and with Billy’s first person account giving an emotional view. The resulting dramatic irony makes your heart break for Billy, and offers an examination of how a narcissist poisons a susceptible mind. Kas (the narcissist in question) is an intriguing villain, and is a realistic depiction of a sociopath—gaslighting the audience with his charm when he is seen through Billy’s eyes. It is a tale of innocence lost and evil.