The Devil's Witches

Fiction - Horror
228 Pages
Reviewed on 06/18/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Devil’s Witches is a contemporary horror novel for adults written by Madeleine McLaughlin. Our hero is a man named Benjamin Coffey, a fifty-two-year-old detective who is old enough to retire from the traumatic world of homicide, but still young enough to fail to resist the call of duty. The scene which draws him back into the investigative world is one where the bodies of teenage girls are draped in black face-veils, seeming to indicate some cult or ritualistic killing. When Benjamin drags his aching limbs out of bed to visit the crime scene, it’s clear that he’s not prepared for the chilling adventure that’s still to come. This mystery will be the most intriguing of his entire career – if he can survive long enough to solve it.

I was absolutely delighted to find a realistic fifty-plus hero in The Devil’s Witches, having read so much horror and mystery lately where the investigators seem to be far too young to know what they’re doing, or described as older but still zipping about with all the energy of youth. Right from the start, Madeleine McLaughlin describes Benjamin with all the reality of a seasoned detective, whose creaking bones and prior mental trauma only add to the chilling reality of what he’s investigating. The plot of the veiled girls is well constructed and not predictable, and the horror elements of the novel are brought to vivid life but are not so gratuitous that it would ruin the smooth flow of the rest of the story.