Speak of the Devil: A Novel
Seven women, inextricably linked by one man, must figure out which of them killed him in order to protect one another in this electrifying debut thriller.
New Year’s Eve, 1999.
Seven women are gathered in a hotel room at midnight; a man's head sits in the center of the floor. They all had a motive to kill Jamie Spellman. They all swear they didn't. But in order to protect one another, they have to find out who did.
The ex, who drowns her darkest secret in a hip flask as the woman she loves drifts further away.
The wife, living out her fairytale marriage in a house tucked into woods so thick no one can hear a scream.
The widow, praying to a past she no longer knows whether she can trust.
The teenager, whose wide-eyed crush has trapped her in an unrecognizable future.
The mother figure, battling nature versus nurture under the weight of her own guilt.
The friend, forced to choose sides over and over, until she learns the price of choosing wrong.
And the journalist, who brought them all together—but underestimated how far one of them would go to keep believing the story they’d been told.
Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer. Marking the debut of an extraordinary new talent, Speak of the Devil explores the roles into which women are cast in the lives of terrible men…and the fallout when they refuse to play pretend for one moment longer.
Praise for Speak of the Devil: A Novel
“With seven unreliable narrators, the twists in this one will keep readers guessing.” –Parade
“Wilding delves deep, focusing on a character-driven story in her deliciously tense debut.” –South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“This captivating debut literary thriller entwines the searing stories of several women who suffered at the hands of the same man. This cautionary tale satisfies in its culmination of long-overdue justice for spurned women.” –Library Journal (starred)
“What’s most distinctive here is not the question of whodunit or even the piercing group portrait of the women in Jamie’s life but the delicate care with which Wilding ensures that even the most routine revelations...arrive with a jolt.” –Kirkus Reviews
“A clever and tight thriller that demands to be read in one setting.” –Crime Reads
“[The women’s] stories converge in a way that will appeal to Kate Atkinson’s readers…This debut author is one to watch.” –FirstCLUE
“Mesmerizing and unflinchingly dark...Wilding is a powerful new talent whose captivating characters will stay with readers long after they’ve finished the book.” –Rachel Kapelke-Dale, author of The Ingenue
"A propulsive and complexly layered story...Fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware won’t want to miss this one." –Nora Murphy, author of The Favor
“Harrowing and haunting, Rose Wilding’s assured debut is full of nuanced, complex, beautifully flawed characters...completely compelling.” —Sara Nisha Adams, author of The Reading List
"Absolutely, barnstormingly brilliant. Beyond gripping, with wonderful characters you know and care about, feel rage for and with. Perfectly paced and plotted, I loved every dark, clever, powerful page." –Cressida McLaughlin, author of The House of Birds and Butterflies
“Wilding takes an axe to toxic masculinity...maneuvering her vivid characters around like a virtuoso puppeteer. It’s a powerful, accomplished and important debut from a writer who has not only found her own voice but given one to others who have previously been silenced.” –Trevor Wood, author of Dead End Street
“Assured & compelling…Rose Wilding’s evocation of the Newcastle setting & pitch-perfect ear for dialogue make every one of her characters live & breathe. I love the way she can unpick their lives before our eyes, exposing every secret.” –Kate Rhodes, author of Crossbones Yard
“Utterly unputdownable, absorbing, dark and at times ineffably beautiful...With unforgettable, complex characters and a sympathetic, painterly eye for detail that makes them and the landscapes they inhabit leap from the page, Wilding conjures their stories to life in all their knotty, vibrant glory. The result is not to be missed.” –Lauren Brown, author of Hands: An Anxious Mind Unpicked
“A very accomplished debut...I loved it.” –Harriet Tyce, bestselling author of The Lies You Told
‘With beautiful, gripping writing and depth, Speak of the Devil is a mesmerising, moving story that is impossible to look away from. Superb!’ –Gytha Lodge, bestselling author of Little Sister
"A smart and totally compelling tale of revenge - with brilliantly complex characters. It hooked me from the opening page and kept me guessing right up to the end." –Emily Koch, author of Keep Him Close
“A story with a fiercely feminist heart [and] lots of moments that stopped me in my tracks.” –Katie Bishop, author of The Girls of Summer