All the Devils is the third installment of the Doug McGregor/Susie Drummond series written by Neil Broadfoot. Doug McGregor is a journalist who has formed an unlikely friendship with DS Susie Drummond, giving us crime, with a journalistic slant.
All the Devils sees Doug suffering the ripples of his clash with a psychotic killer. He’s trying to balance the changes this has made to his life, when he receives a call that threatens both his fragile relationship with Susie, and his own faltering self belief.
I have read Falling Fast and The Storm, the two books in the series prior to this, and just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, along comes All the Devils. The first few pages give us a tight, gripping opening, throwing our hero into a place it appears he cannot get back from. What’s not to love about a story that opens like this? It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book and at the end of chapter one gone ‘Ooh!’ out loud with the anticipation of what’s to come.
All the Devils is a series book, so do I have to read the other two first? I hear you ask. No you don’t, but I would highly recommend it, especially if you’re like me and enjoy reading a line that refers back to a previous book and feel like you’re sharing a secret with the characters other people may not know. If you want to dive straight in with All the Devils you can. There are no great dumps of information relating to previous books and the narrative is clear without knowledge of them. You will end up going back to read the other two however, once you get hooked into the lives of Doug and Susie.
I love reading dark crime, and by that I mean characters taken to dark places in a story. Characters that take me down worm-holes in their lives, allow me to experience the darkness from the comfort of my couch. In All the Devils Doug McGregor does this, and then some. Doug’s character becomes more rounded throughout this book; we get to see the impact of things that have happened to him take effect. This makes him both believable and interesting. Believe me when I tell you I was shouting, ‘Why would you do that, Doug?’ and ‘No! That won’t end well,’ whilst reading.
There are far too many things I enjoyed about this book to mention them all here, but I will share a couple with you in the hope it will inspire you to read a book that shouldn’t be missed.
As a writer myself, it annoys me when I hear people say, ‘I can’t believe that male writer managed to write so convincingly from a female perspective,’ or vice-versa. Is that not a bit like people being aghast Hugh Laurie can do a convincing American accent in House (It’s his job) however….. yes, I am about to go there, there are parts of this book where I had such empathy with Susie, due to her opinions and thoughts as events unfolded, I wanted to call her up and ask if she’d like to meet for a coffee. I don’t think it gives too much away to mention a scene where she recalls a drunken one-night stand with a married man. She hits the nail on the head with her own anger that she was painted as the slutty home weaker, something people are very quick to do in society as a whole, while the husband got away relatively scot-free.
One of the themes of the book is revenge porn, but revenge porn with a twist, something I really should’ve come to expect if Doug is involved. In this story the revenge porn is not that of a scorned lover after a relationship has gone wrong, but the tip of a far darker iceberg that holds a mirror up to Doug and Susie’s relationship as well as being integral to the plot. A sensitive, pertinent subject handled well.
All the Devils introduces us to more character perspectives than previously, allowing us to get to know smaller, interesting characters, as well as filling us with glee that we know things other characters do not as the pace of the book increases.
For me the book works wonderfully. I was left with that beautifully satisfied feeling alongside ‘what just happened?’, as the pace is high right to the end. Your cup of tea will be cold and you will not be relaxed ready for sleep. Twist in the tail? Not half.
But fear not, Doug and Susie lovers, it would appear there is more to come…. at least I hope there is… should Neil Broadfoot be reading this…. stop… at once… and go get that next book written…..