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Retro Reading: Speak of the Devil by Shari Shattuck


When all good things come to an end they really mean it and unfortunately, this second and final installment of the Greer Sands thriller doesn't come close to satisfying.

As the book opens about ten months following the first thriller, psychic Greer Sands begins to see the countryside of their somewhat rural community up in flames. She only sees these events in certain paintings by R.J. River along with a key attached to the impending disasters.

On the other hand, her son, Joshua's psychic abilities are also beginning to mature and he's now capable of seeing through the eyes of those who are close to him when in danger.

This pretty much sums up the plot of the book, but, whenever actress turned writer Shari Shattuck writes the action scenes, I was beginning to have hope in the book.

The book starts off slow and continues at this pace for a majority, until maybe the halfway mark. It is peppered with a couple of action sequences but really nothing noteworthy. Of course, a charred body is found following one of the fires, but even that can't bring this book up to par with the first installment.

There were many missed opportunities and even this time around, it felt as though the book had to be written as part of a contract obligation. I even felt as though the characters didn't want to be a part of the story.

However, Shattuck did a great job of making you guess who the arsonist is, but unfortunately, there weren't enough clues. There were just enough to keep me guessing and during the reveal, I couldn't wrap my head around it (but it was a somewhat effective reveal).

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As far as the ending goes, I'm still shaking my head.

I'm not sure what Shattuck was thinking during the bizarre conclusion, but nothing is really resolved. I think there was possibly room for a third installment, but like I said, it's a very unsatisfying ending.

You may want to skip this installment and just read Eye of the Beholder instead and pretend this never happened.

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