Friday, December 26, 2008

Review: The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens


We’re the same Sarah. Not outwardly, of course. But inside, our souls are mirror images. [pg 57]


The Devil’s Footprints by Amanda Stevens
Mira, 2008
Crime Fiction (S/T); 377 pgs



Sarah DeLaune was 13 when she first met Ashe Cain. He was mysterious and dark, coming at a time in Sarah's life when she felt most alone and out of place. He disappeared just about the time Sarah's older sister was brutally murdered. Rachel DeLaune was killed at the site of a town legend, in an Arkansas farmhouse where it was believed the devil had visited 70 years before, leaving behind his cloven footprints. Sarah does not recall that fateful night, the memories buried deep in her subconscious.

Fourteen years later, Sarah is making a name for herself as a tattoo artist working and living in New Orleans. She is haunted by her past, struggling to survive as best she can despite the night terrors and insomnia that plague her. When she gets a call out of the blue from her former boyfriend, Detective Sean Kelton, she does not know what to think. Their relationship did not end on good terms and he was the last person she wanted or expected to see or hear from again.

A body had been discovered bearing an unusual tattoo. Sean wants Sarah to take a look at it and offer any insight as to the creator or the crime. Sarah's past collides with the present when cloven footprints are found at the scene of the crime. She is forced to remember events she most wants to forget--lives could depend on it.

Sarah is scarred by her past and is guarded as a result. She does not easily let people in. Sean was the one person she let get the closest to her, and even he betrayed her in the end. Sean himself is not without his ghosts, his own past a dark spot in his life. All of the characters in Amanda Stevens' novel, in fact, have their own secrets, and are mired by their pasts in some way. They are complex and flawed. The dichotomy between dark and light is played out in many ways throughout the novel, not just on the back of one of the murder victims in the shape of a tattoo.

Amanda Stevens' The Devil's Footprints is an exciting and fast moving novel that takes readers from a quiet small town in Arkansas to post-Katrina New Orleans in Louisiana and back again. The plot is intricate in execution, and readers get a feel for just how tormented Sarah must feel as events unfold. Author Amanda Stevens is definitely an author to watch for. Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Wendy Runyon, 2008.

Rating: * (Very Good)


Check out Amanda Stevens' website to learn more about the author and her books.

17 comments:

  1. That sounds creepy in a good sort of way.

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  2. It DOES sound good! I like it when the characters aren't perfect; it makes them more believable!

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  3. Kathy - I thought so too! :-)

    Linda - I'm with you. It's definitely more realistic when characters are flawed.

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  4. I love a good crime story, and I am always on the lookout for a remarkable one (there are way too many trashy, forgettable ones out there). I will put this one on my list!

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  5. I haven't read anything by Amanda Stevens but I've seen book trailers for her book The Dollmaker and thought it looked really interesting. This sounds even cooler!

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  6. This one is going on my list!

    Thanks for the great review.

    cjh

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  7. you must quit reading so fast!! I love your reviews and my TBR list is getting out of control!!!

    thanks for the review!

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  8. I keep reading great reviews for this book and it makes me want it more with every good review I read. Thanks.

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  9. Sandy - If you do read this one, I hope you will enjoy it.

    Jen - This was my first by the author too, although I do have a copy of The Dollmaker (which Melody sent me) that I want to read. I'll definitely be reading more by Amanda Stevens in the future.

    CJ - I hope you will like it if you do read it!

    Staci - Haha! You should see my wish list!

    Scooper - I've been wanting to read something by this author since I first heard about her.

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  10. This really does sound good. You're going to make a crime fiction fan out of me yet :P

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  11. Lisa - It is an enjoyable thriller.

    Nymeth - I keep trying. ;-)

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  12. Oh, I've this book in my pile, Wendy! Now I can't wait to dive into it! ;)

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  13. I am sure you will enjoy this one, Melody!

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  14. This one is going on my TBR list! Sounds great :)

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  15. Another one to add to the list. Great review!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  16. Samantha - I hope you like it if you read it!

    Anna - Thanks! I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

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