This was a wholly unique take on grief horror…oftentimes, The Devil’s Pocketbook is a gut wrenching horror story of loss and the many ways it can destroy us. Even in its calmer moments, there is a perpetual sense of dread that a storm will soon befall the coastal town and ruin everything our broken couple is barely clinging to.
Now, I’m someone who doesn’t usually read a book’s synopsis prior to reading it. I either know the author already and go on that faith alone, or I’ve heard so many friends rave about the book that I get it on recommendation. As such, I was not aware this story would be about sirens. And following that surprise, I came to learn so much more about sirens that I didn’t know (like how they’re aquatic hawks of a sort). Granted, I have no idea how much of this is creative licensing on RJ’s part but I thought it was fascinating, nonetheless.
What you SHOULD know going into this story is that it deals greatly in the grief of losing a child. Honestly, I’m surprised I was able to handle it (because for years now, since the birth of my kids, I have not been able to handle stories like this) because the grief is constantly at the forefront of this novel. It is deeply saddening throughout; your heart will break again and again.
Though I will admit the first half of this novel was a little too slow, it really picks up half way through and, once it does, it does not slow down until the end. It’s exhilarating and frightening and you can’t help but fear the worst the entire ride.
Though I already knew this from Milk Kisses, The Devil’s Pocketbook has reminded me that Ross Jeffery is a powerful force in emotional horror and character building. This is definitely a recommended novel for anyone that can stomach the subject matter of falling apart following the death of your child. I can’t stress that warning enough.
Well done, Ross! I am now moving onto Only the Stains Remain.
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