The Devil and The River

Published 6th June 2013: The Devil and The River. When the rains came they found the girl’s face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared…

On a perfect summer evening in 1954, sixteen-year-old Nancy Denton walked into the woods of her hometown of Whytesburg, Mississippi. She was never seen again. Two decades on, Sheriff John Gaines witnesses a harrowing discovery.

A young woman has been unearthed from the riverbank, her body perfectly preserved, yet she bears evidence of a brutal ritualistic killing. Nancy has come home at last, but her return does not bring closure to her family, nor to the townsfolk of Whytesburg. Already haunted by his experiences in Vietnam, Gaines must now stretch his abilities to the limit, pushing himself ever closer to breaking point. What really happened to the beautiful and vivacious Nancy? And why do her friends refuse to talk? As Gaines closes in on the truth, he is forced to not only confront his own demons, but to unearth secrets that have long remained hidden.

And that truth, so much darker than he could ever have imagined, may be the one thing that finally destroys him.


  • RJ Ellory sets out his stall with terrific vim and a gripping premise in his latest thriller… an energetic and winning exercise in pulp fiction with a Southern Gothic flavour. (METRO)
  • Voodoo and murders and gothically imposing southern dynasties – what’s not to like? There are moments of genuine chills, fearsomely speedy page-turning and real humour. (OBSERVER)
  • Another page turner… an enjoyable whodunnit that keeps the twists and turns coming until the very end. (NEWCASTLE JOURNAL)
  • A great read (IRISH EXAMINER)
  • Ellory’s a mighty talent who writes insightfully about love and redemption and loss and damnation. (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)
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