A Dance With the Devil

the devils claw

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jennifer Dorey has returned home from London to be with her mother after the death of her father, a fisherman who fell overboard off his boat.. or she tells herself that this is the reason.

“I’m not afraid of the darkness. Only what hides in it.”

Returning to her childhood home in Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel,

There was a joke about it: something about sixty thousand people clinging to a rock. At twenty-four square miles it wasn’t quite a rock, but it wasn’t far off.”

she thinks she will slip into a quiet reporter job at the Geurnsey News. Then a girl is found dead on the beach and everything changes…

When Jenny starts to find similarities between this girl and other girls who had drowned in the past she thinks that maybe they are more alike than she’d like and begins to delve into the folklore and history of the island and those who have been living on it

Le Table des Pion, or the Fairy Ring as everyone called it, was a rough table hewn into a grassy plateau, surrounded by a ring of stones. On one side, dense foliage of bracken and gorse formed a natural windbreak, and on the other, flat, grassy headland led to sheer cliffs and beneath them, the sea.

Built as a picnic spot for officials who’d inspected the island’s roads hundreds of years ago, locals preferred the other stories surrounding the place. About witches. And the Devil. The Devil came here, disguised as a goat or a wolf, or a big, black dog and danced with witches. There was a tunnel somewhere here too. Not a real one, at least as far as Matt knew, but according to legend all of the Devil’s cronies used tunnels to get around”

As Jenny delves deeper into the deaths of these girls, with only Detective Chief Inspector Michael Gilbert to listen, she realises that the Devil may never have left the island… and he may be one of the sixty thousand still clinging to that rock closer than  she thinks. Only

This was a nice cosy mystery. It was a little predictable, but I really enjoyed the descriptive way that it was written. It had some very beautiful descriptions that really made me feel like I was actually there:

“London, two years ago. An unpleasantly hot summer, untempered heat absorbed by roads and pavements and then thrown back up in hazy, iridescent waves floating above the sticky Tarmac. No breeze. No whisper of sea spray in the air to cool hot cheeks with its fresh, salty touch.”

“He parked up and walked down to the shoreline , which was swathed in slick brown ribbons of vraic, the islanders’ name for the local seaweed. It covered the wet, leaden sand in thick banks, lighter-coloured branches reaching up out of the piles, like emaciated arms searching for daylight. In the summer, the smell was overpowering, rotting and stale, and the flies were legion. Now, in November, the smell was bearable, almost pleasant, a sea-earth hybrid of salt and vegetation with only the odd sleepy bluebottle taking a break from the tip down the road to hover around a dead fish, scales shimmering between the seaweeds’ fronds.”

My main complaint was some of the mentions that went nowhere. DCI Michael and his affiliation with the Christian Fellowship Foundation, everything that made Jenny leave London, etc. I understand that Lara Dearman was leaving these things open for more books… I assume, and I would like to check out another one if she writes it, it was just that there were things that I felt didn’t have to be mentioned in this book that probably could have waited until they were going to be a focus of some sort.

All in all though it was an enjoyable read for a rainy night!

The Devil’s Claw is Best Served with

Fisherman’s Folly

Ok, so I’ve been told that it may be in bad taste to base my drink of choice off the death of Jenny’s fisherman father… but, it was just too perfect to pass up!! And before you look at the ingredients for this drink..

  1. I did not some of with this one!! I have to give credit where credit is due and I found this on “Tasting Table” at https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/fishermans-folly-cocktail-funky-fish-sauce-pickle-juice
  2. Yes. I really did try it!! It’s not as bad as it sounds!!

fishermans folly

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • One 2-inch-wide strip grapefruit peel
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Ice
  • 1½ ounces sake
  • 1 ounce gin
  • ½ ounce pickle juice
  • ½ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • ¼ teaspoon matcha tea powder

Directions

  1. Place the salt on a small plate. Rub the grapefruit peel around the rim of a rocks glass. Rim the glass with salt.
  2.  In a small spritz bottle, combine the fish sauce and water. Spritz the bottom of the rocks glass once with the fish sauce solution. Fill the glass with ice.
  3.  In a cocktail shaker, combine the sake, gin, pickle juice, grapefruit juice and matcha powder. Fill the shaker with ice. Shake and pour into the prepared rocks glass. And serve.
  4. CHEERS!!

10 thoughts on “A Dance With the Devil

Add yours

    1. I take notes as I go! I’m a purist who loves me physical books and can’t bring myself to write in them.. So, for them I actually have little notebooks in, but.. I can’t lie that my kobo and kindle are a little easier to highlight things I love and just go back to it after to figure out what to put in a review. It may not all make it in, but I have everything I loved or thought important for my own reference. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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