A Review By Don Sloan
Satanic rituals, a beautiful young woman, and a former NFL quarterback all come together to form the heart of this sensational mystery, carved out of the Florida Everglades and woven tightly with spellbinding suspense. This is an exceptional piece of first-class fiction, with a strong dose of Stephen King horror thrown in for good measure.
Jack Walker is just looking for a quiet restart to his life when he meets Sarah, a petite twenty-something who promises Jack a very good time if he can just accept one little thing about her — she’s a devil worshipper, a devout member of the Brotherhood of Set.
Jack doesn’t want to jeopardize his job working for a prominent state senator, but the flesh is oh-so-weak, and he winds up agreeing to deliver a packet stuffed with hundred-dollar bills to an old plantation house late one night.
What he finds there is a bloody knife, two dead bodies, and a frame-up custom-made to indict him. To make matters worse, his new girlfriend has disappeared, and he has to kill someone who is at her apartment waiting for him. The police quickly start pursuing Jack and, out of options, he flees to the Seminole reservation nearby, where he enlists the help of his family — native Americans with the ability to hide him in the trackless swamps.
Meanwhile, Jack’s luck is about to run out as both police and the Satanists begin closing in on him. The McFaddens — deranged good old boys in deep with the Devil worshippers — are seeking revenge for the brother who was killed when Jack fled Sarah’s apartment. They are the creepiest characters in the book and if they don’t produce at least one nightmare from you as you read this, you are either on high doses of Valium or not paying attention.
The author does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as one event after another spiral things out of control. A hundred-year-old witch named Henrietta LePley figures prominently in the growing and grisly death toll, and characters for whom you’ve developed a strong emotional attachment begin falling under her spell — and worse. Much, much worse.
The story builds inexorably from its well-drawn beginning to its heart-stopping finish. Indeed, the entire last one-third of the novel will keep you riveted to the action as blood-thirsty gators and ten-foot-long bull sharks join in a feeding frenzy with one terrible objective — the painful death of Jack Walker and anyone who helps him.
Five sterling stars to Devil In the Grass, a stunning debut novel by Christopher Bowron, a talented writer with tremendous authorial expertise. We look forward eagerly to the sequel, and perhaps an action-packed movie as well.
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