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Devil at the Crossroads Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 1, 2009


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Devil at the Crossroads + Footprints of the Devil (Magna (Large Print))
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Constable (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156947592X
  • ASIN: B005Q8AQG4
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,917,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Etchells's third contemporary procedural set in Cornwall to feature Det. Chief Insp. Bill Channon (after 2006's Footprints of the Devil) offers little new in terms of either character or plot. After someone slashes the throat of Paul Stradling, a young man with the reputation of a rake, and props the body against a standing stone, Channon and his team, including his ambitious but rough-edged assistant, Sergeant Bowles, investigate. They conduct the usual interviews, quickly focusing on the Pascoe family as people of interest. The oldest Pascoe daughter reveals she was in love with the victim, and her mother admits she was coincidentally at the scene of the crime, near a crossroads, around the time of the murder. The detection consists simply of good, dogged police work, while the tension between Channon and Bowles over the latter's attitude doesn't add much. Other mystery authors, such as Robert Goddard in Beyond Recall, have made better use of the Cornish setting. (Aug.)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. brownlie on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a frequent visitor to Cornwall, I was excited to find Olive Etchells writing books about the very areas I am familiar with from walking tours of much of Cornwall. Having read her two previous Cornish setting books, I was pleased to find this recent release about still a third area I know. Since I also love mysteries, Etchells covers two favorites for me. I like her characters and her descriptions of their movement through local villages, towns, ferries, and ancient stones accurately evoked memories of this unique land and its wonderfully different people. Not since Janie Bolitho and Daphne du Maurier's books have I felt like I was truly revisiting this magical land. Also found her mystery believable and riviting - had a hard time putting the book down once I started reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Devil at the Crossroads is a modern day murder mystery of a well-to-do 26 year old man from London who has a weekend home in Cornwall. He is murdered one evening in Cornwall and the police learn that many have reason to dislike him; a few have reason to loath him. I think Olive Etchells wrote a very believable story of how a murder is handled by the police, (including how personalities clash within the force but all must cooperate for the greater good), how suspects react and protect loved ones, and how a murderer would behave.
If you enjoy a great mystery that keeps you guessing till the end (I picked the wrong murderer) without gore, I think you would enjoy Devil at the Crossroads.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne M. Stauffer on July 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Mediocre, plodding, amateurish. I picked it up at the library primarily because of positive jacket blurbs from NYT Book Review, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist and because it is the third in a series. That'll teach me. The author insults the reader's intelligence by not leaving anything to the imagination or interpretation. No action, however small, is not explicitly explained, sometimes at length. Every thought is made plain; nothing is subtly hinted at through language or description.

The Cornish setting is wasted; it could have been set in any locale, other than one minor detail, which is not explored. Unless you know the area, there is not enough detail about the physical setting to gain a clear mental picture, nor are the characters distinctly Cornish. They could be anyone anywhere.

In addition, the resolution of the mystery violates every tenant of traditional mysteries -- information vital to the solution is only revealed at the denoument. The resolution, in addition, relies on the worst kind of stereotyping.
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