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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The Devil of Light begins with a classic plot device of 'a stranger comes into town.' In this case it's the East Texas town of Arcadia, and the stranger is Hitch, an ex-con and a murderer.

His evil nature is recognized, at a glance, by the 'Old Man,' the leader of a religious cult that has been operating in this seemingly quiet rural community for generations. The Old Man offers Hitch employment. This act sparks the fire that will illuminate, to the general public, the activities of the secret society known as The Church of the True Believer.

Slowly uncovering all of their criminal activity is newly promoted, Cass Elliot, the first woman detective in Forney County. She has secrets of her own and a hidden agenda in pursuing law enforcement. Her secrets and those of the town collide in the stunning finale of this book.

Author Gae-Lynn Woods supplies a well-drawn cast of characters, supplying believable motivations that move the action forward. Her writing is lyrical and eloquent. You'll be reluctant to put this book down, once you start reading it, and look forward to the next book in what promises to be an engrossing series.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'm an indie author, and I read lots of indie books. THE DEVIL OF LIGHT was the best-written indie book I've read to date. This book features clean and easy-to-read prose. I love the way its sentences turn into paragraphs, that turn chapters, that turn into a story. Regarding the story, all I can say is... I'm glad I don't live in Forney County and I'll never be able to eat round items again. This tale has a twisted plot and wonderful dialogue, including some all time great lines. It also has a fantastic lead female character, Cass Elliot. At times THE DEVIL OF LIGHT was a bit too evil for me, but if you like crime novels, this is a must read. This is a super debut novel. And the good news is a second Cass Elliot novel has just arrived, which I just bought. 5-Stars.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
WOW!!! The Devil of Light is a fantastic book...one of the best I have read in a long time! It is shocking that this is the first book published by this writer. What a talent! This book was one heck of a roller-coaster ride. I never wanted to put it down, and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. Hurry and download this book. It is only $2.99, and for me personally, that is one of the best "steals" I've ever gotten. I want to get the word out on this writer because I see a great career ahead of her. Word of mouth is the best advertisement I know, so I'm trying to do my part. Take a chance on this one...you'll be glad you did!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
There's a consensus brewing about this novel...and I for one have to absolutely agree. The writing is eloquent, timely, descriptive without being overly burdened, and the mystery element is THERE. Really, right there. I loved this book. I read it very quickly when I first downloaded, and then, I went back and re-read it, just for the deliciousness of the text, the wonderful way it weaves itself, the marvelously defined characters, Cass, of course, WOW! But, also in the supporting characters. There's an elegance to this thriller. Not just your average paint-by-number mystery, but the author really wants you to feel, really wants you to GET into the souls of these people...as inhumane and disgusting they may be. I'm hooked. I cannot wait for the next foray to FORAY County, (no pun intended) I will be here, front and center, digesting all that Gae-Lynn has to offer. Hats off! I LOVED IT!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Be aware! Go anywhere near Gae-Lynn Woods' debut novel and you will be sucked in and spun around amongst the goings-on in Forney County until you've read every word of it. This is a work of crime fiction which stands right up there amongst the best. The writing is so effective that even this reader's overbearing sense of editorship was cast aside and I found myself carried along by the story, the wonderful characters, the riveting sense of place and the real trauma of a community in crisis. Cass Elliot and Mitch Stone make great detective partners. The supporting cast of law-enforcers, law-breakers and members of the close-knit community all come to life in the midst of Woods' assured prose. There is plenty of evil about in Forney and plenty of good to combat it. Criminal investigation, crisis, violent action and the normal intercourse of ordinary people are all handled with aplomb. There is no sense of stepping back from the often gruesome, sexually disturbing and manipulative nature of the events which have been secretly enacted over generations and now explode into the present.
A truly excellent work of fiction. My only complaint is that I now want to know what happens next. Where is the sequel, Ms Woods?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This murder mystery has all the elements of a great book. A beautiful detective with a troubled history; bodies turning up in strange circumstances; a villain who himself is only the tip of the iceberg. If that sounds like cliche, think again. The Devil of Light is full of surprises.

It all starts when they turn up a half-buried body out in the woods. The strangest thing about this body is that it's missing a foot. Mystery lovers will enjoy putting the pieces of this puzzle together. There's a mysterious fire at a local greenhouse. Then a local rancher is impaled on a hay dolly, a sort of giant pitchfork mounted on the front of a tractor. That's the end of him. What's interesting here is why the sheriff refuses to arrest the rancher's wife, who freely confesses to driving the hay dolly.

A large number of colorful Texas characters populate this mystery, from the hard-bitten detective, Mitch, to the pudgy Baptist minister, David Cronus. Wallace and Wilbur Pettigrew are twin ranch hands who play a role in the story. The star of the show is Cass Elliot, whose personality is complex, strong and lovable. This is a woman for whom work and career come first, but the choices are never easy.

The author masterfully identifies the main characters with their quirks, like the old man and his sweet smelling pipe, and the way a person listening on the phone hears
the pipe stem clacking against his teeth. Or the crime scene investigator who sniffs the air and declares that there has been no accelerant used for the fire, but maybe cooking oil. Wow, I like the way the author doesn't skimp on details like this.

The dialogue is equally masterful, establishing these characters in their roles, and fixing them in the reader's mind. The story takes place in a small town in East Texas, near the Sabine River. Racing up and down the back roads in this county, picking our way down the rutted trail through the forest down to the river bottom near Deuces Flat, I just felt as if I was there, smelling the mud and the smoke and the blood.

Bottom line: The Devil of Light is an extremely well crafted mystery, a complex web of treachery and betrayal building to a killer finale. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery, or just good writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is definitely one that grabs the reader by the hand and drags them down into a shadowy world of cults, cops and corruption. I enjoyed this book, right up to the end. The end... well, without giving it away suffice it to say the ending leaves you wanting more.

If you enjoy stories about troubled female heroines, murder mysteries and cults wrapped up in twists and turns throughout then this book is for you. Just be advised once you read the first book in the series you won't be able to wait to read the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Reading The Devil of Light was truly an exciting adventure ! I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next as I turned each page. I must find out what lies in store for Cass Elliott around the next corner and get to know her circle of friends, family, and foes even better! I'm thrilled Book 2 is available so that the fun can continue without delay.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this novel. Ms. Woods wrote a compelling story that engaged me from the beginning and didn’t let up. The characters were interesting and fleshed out throughout the book so that I came to love and cheer them on, or hate them.

The plot, set in a small Texas town with some strange murders taking place, was intriguing. Throughout the book I hoped the protagonist, Cass Elliott, and her fellow police officers would discover who was doing the evil deeds they investigated. Ms. Woods used enough detail in setting scenes that I could easily visualize them without long paragraphs of scene building.

The other thing I found satisfying was very little backstory. There is just enough for the reader to know there is more to the main characters that drives them, or has given them their point of view, without pages of backstory. You learn most of the characters past through conversation with other characters which makes for a more interesting read.

If I had something bad to say about the story, it is the abrupt ending. It comes to a satisfying conclusion, leaving the following novel, Avengers of Blood, to pick up where The Devil of Light left off. But it left many questions that I would’ve liked to have seen answered. This was probably Ms. Wood’s intention as I feel how Cass Elliott answers those questions will be quite involved and will make this reviewer read the sequel soon.

I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good mystery revolving around cult-like activity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I could hardly put it down. Very good. It will keep you guessing. Got to start the next book to see what happens next !
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