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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (A Niki Slobodian Novel: Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

J.L. Murray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

Niki Slobodian sees things - things that aren't supposed to be there. Labeled an Abnormal by New Government, her name is tacked onto the Registry, which seems to be getting longer these days. Now she can't work or she'll end up the same place as her father: in prison. But with no money coming in, Niki's getting desperate. 

So when a mysterious client offers to get her off the Registry in exchange for taking his case, Niki jumps at the chance. All she has to do is round up a homicidal Dark that's escaped from Hell and is cruising around the city in borrowed bodies. The murders are piling up, with Niki's notorious father somehow involved, and Niki's running out of time. And it seems the Dark isn't the only thing that escaped...

The Niki Slobodian Series:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
The Devil Is a Gentleman
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
The Devil Was an Angel
The Devil's Backbone (Releasing 2014)

Editorial Reviews


"Made of awesome, with awesomesauce and itty bitty awesome sprinkles."

~Lisa Olsen, author of the Forged Bloodlines series.

"As you have Niki and Bobby hunting down the denizens of hell through the city, you're taken on a wild ride. The plot is quick paced but it's not rushed. There are pauses here and there for it to slowly build back up again. There are also enough twists and turns in the story to keep it from going stale. It was exhilarating and I felt like I was on one fun roller coaster. I had a ball with Niki and I hope there are many more books to come in this series."

4.5 stars.

The Akamai Reader 

From the Author

Officially endorsed by Grub Street Reads. 
"The best indie authors come from Grub Street."

Product Details

  • File Size: 331 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1469998017
  • Publisher: Hellzapoppin Press (January 29, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073998MC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,109 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entrancing modern take on a classic noir March 28, 2012
By Rich M.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to say that I really enjoyed "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea". The book is an excellent modern "noir" tale, somewhat along the lines of Jim Butcher's "The Dresden Files", with a touch of dystopia thrown in for good effect.

The book pulls you in like a good hard-boiled detective story, and keeps you interested with some great characterization. I think J. L. Murray has a possible series star here with her ghost-seeing detective Niki Slobodian. She's not Jim Dresden and she's definitely not Buffy - she's an enjoyable character all her own. And the big selling point of the story for me: No vampires, no zombies! The cliches' Murray uses are not the ever-popular ones that the fans lap up like dogs today. This is an old school mystery with magic, ghosts and devils woven into the fabric.

This has to be the most enjoyable indie-authored book I've read since William Meikle's "The Midnight Eye: Amulet". After this fun read, I'll definitely pick up the next book by J. L. Murray.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading at the Speed of Niki Slobodian February 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some stories take you places, some in time and some in a blur of entertainment. And then there is Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. The author takes you on a voyage between good and evil but doesn't really tell you exactly which side is which. Although lots of stories can have interesting sections, the characters in this story propel you forward rather than just suggest that you might want to turn the page. The main character is strong, but believable not really moonlighting on the classic hard edged paladin of good or the damsel in distress. Her catch phrases are memorable, adding a hint of hilarity amongst bloodshed and devilish mayhem (literally). All in all, I strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to enjoy a quick, creative read.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Read February 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
J.L. Murray has created a new twist on the age-old struggle between good vs. evil and heaven vs. hell in "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." This dystopian novel portrays a society where those who have paranormal abilities are shut out from participation in normal society. The author's multidimensional heroine is one such person. The writing is smooth yet hardy. The author understands how to build suspense, get the reader to invest, and is savvy in developing an intricate plot. The author brilliantly takes the reader to the edge--almost into horror--but then pulls back just a bit to allow the reader's imagination to fill in the rest. Writing in this way is an advanced skill as an author, and shows the prowess of J.L. Murray. A worthy read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary May 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Something occurred to me after reading J.L. Murray's exemplary noir offering "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea". Knowing I'd just finished an excellently written example of the sub genre "female noir", I couldn't quite place it at first. After a few days of reflection, however, I realised what it was: Murray has held something back here. This novel moves along at a perfectly pitched canter, the language spare and devoid of all ostentation, the characters wonderfully drawn and realised, the dialogue natural and incisive, but what is missing turns out to be a positive: this sense that she has not shown her entire hand, but has delivered a winning hand regardless. Which bodes well for future Niki Slobodian novels and Murray herself, who will hook more readers as a result.

The novel itself I won't spoil by over analysis. Suffice it to say it's a dystopian supernatural noir story reminiscent of Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim" series, albeit more contemplative and subdued, in which the forces of Hell are pitted against a handful of interesting human characters with paranormal abilities, not least the main protagonist, Niki Slobodian. When I say subdued, I am not suggesting there's a lack of fireworks, just that the novel is less garish, less comic book, than you might expect, given the conventions of the genre. Personally, I like that; by giving us only one barrel instead of two, Murray has whet our appetite for more.

This is a cleanly-written novel, packed with psychological insight, imaginative world building, as well as some well-staged action scenes, and I will certainly look out for more of Murray's work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away! February 6, 2013
After reading some of the reviews on the series I was looking forward to reading these so much that I bought the omnibus AND I WAS NOT LET DOWN!!!

I love the main character, Niki. I love the way she talks, I love the way she thinks, I love that she's tough, smart and funny and her back story. The world Murray has created is a character all of its own too which is always a great accomplishment for any author. The only thing that came close to being a disappointment was how quickly I was able to finish the book. Fortunately I already have the next two downloaded :-D

Murray is definitely my favorite new author and is probably in my top five right now. I'll be keeping an eye on her and buying any subsequent books that come out so I hope there are many, many, man more.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly characterized January 2, 2013
By Eliza V
Format:Kindle Edition
This book reminded me of an early Anita Blake, and sassy detective looking to solve a crime and not die while doing it. Along with a cast of varying talented men, the book is a fast read.

My biggest issue with this novel is the characterization of all the minor characters. They all sound the same and they're poorly developed. I didn't care about any of them. And because I didn't care, I ended up not liking this book at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent paranormal mystery/action novel
I loved this book. This is the first book of the series and introduces it wonderfully. The writing is excellent and well edited with rare typos. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cindy DeGraaff
2.0 out of 5 stars Very slow start
I'm all about giving a book a chance but the action in this book is slow slow it's exhausting. I expected better.
Published 5 months ago by Fletch
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
so many aspects to this story. heaven and hell, demons spirits, politics. it gets deeper as the story goes. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive reads, 5 stars (for the entire series- 4 books as of right...
So I got the first book for free...and then I was hooked. I read all four, "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", "The Devil is a Gentleman", "Before the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amy Kufert-Brennan
4.0 out of 5 stars Something Different this way comes. . . .
Offbeat and interesting Urban Fantasy. The characters are well written. It makes you analyze the devil in a different light. Lots of fun to read!
Published 7 months ago by E. L. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
I really quite enjoyed this book. I found Niki to be a strong, quick-witted heroine. Her sidekicks were useful and there was a surprising amount of humour. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sadie Forsythe
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good
This one caught me by surprise. It's a short book but very satisfying. Looking forward to more in the series.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Original
I like the first books of the series more than the later ones.
After the last one, I had a where do you go from here question.
Published 11 months ago by Jan Horemans
5.0 out of 5 stars Niki is not what you are prepared for
Niki is the main character and everything actually revolves around her. She is not what you see into today's world, but her world is not today's world either. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Marianne M. Popp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a really top level urban fantasy book. Same level as Anita Blake's first books, or October Daye ones. Read more
Published 12 months ago by mirba
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More About the Author

J.L. Murray grew up in Northwestern Montana in a rural logging and mill town. Like most writers, she started writing at a very young age. She overcame great odds before returning to school and focusing on her craft.

J.L. lives in Hawaii where she now writes full-time, with help from her husband, the writer and editor John Q. Murray, and two sons. She writes the Niki Slobodian series, the After the Fire series, and The Thirteen series (Jenny Undead). She can be reached through her website at


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