Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey - REVIEWED

About the Book:
For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man's untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride's body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since---Philip didn't kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly's sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake's dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies.

Purchase a copy  HERE
My Thoughts:
Pride, not fear, was what had plunged my life into darkness.”  (p. 375)

Billy Coffey’s latest work, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, is one of the most unusual novels I’ve read lately. I mean that in a good way, because Coffey has brilliantly woven suspense, small town angst, dysfuntion at every known human level, and a spiritual depth and analogy that is haunting and a bit frightening.  Phillip and Kate McBride are haunted by the sins of their past.  Taylor Hathcock has been driven mad by that same shared event. Lucy Seekins inserts herself into the lives of this trio on the tail of violence and mayhem in her life as well as in the lives of the other three main characters.  This highly unusual conglomerate of life stories is woven together by folk lore and supernatural events that will keep the reader spellbound.

Bill Coffey writes with a personal introspection that makes each character’s life both compelling and tragic.  As you begin to know them, your heart aches for the relief that has eluded them for so many years.  When the truth behind much of their tragedy is finally revealed, you realize that they have been imprisoned by the same fear, anxiety, self-righteousness and pride that ensnares us all to some degree. Bill Coffey embodies all this and more in the character of Phillip McBride. Yes, the devil does walk in Mattingly and through every mind and soul that leaves the door open with the invitation of sin.

The underlying message in Coffey’s book sort of sneaks up on you – much like Phillip McBride.  What is real?  What is imagined?  What is true? What was never true?  All of these questions beg an answer.  Are you prepared to receive it?  Hang onto you hats, folks!  This is going to be a bumpy ride!!

About the Author:
Billy Coffey's critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Learn more about the author HERE.

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