You only have to read Billy Coffey’s blog a few times to realize that he has a unique gift for getting to the heart of a matter and seeing things that many of us miss. A greater gift is the beautifully eloquent way he manages to express himself with actual words. In “The Devil Walks in Mattingly”, Billy has taken his gift to a new level with a haunting supernatural story that reaches into the very souls of the primary characters.
Three people in or near Mattingly have carried a secret for twenty years. Each of them feels responsible for the death of a young man. The guilt has eaten at them for all those years and has affected each one differently. One of them puts on a good front but is eaten up with fear and suffers from terrible nightmares. Another tries to assuage the guilt by taking care of others, especially those whose circumstances are similar to the boy who died. The third has spent the years isolated and alone in Happy Hollow, a place the people of Mattingly fear. The years have not been kind to him and he has more or less become delusional. Despite their coping mechanisms, none of the three has managed to find closure or peace.
The plot of “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” is so deftly written that the secrets are revealed quite slowly. The reader gains an intimate look into the tortured lives of the characters but must continue reading to gain a true understanding. Certain supernatural aspects of the story are left to the reader’s imagination and one might be undecided about what is real and what is not. Ultimately, that is not the point of the story. It is a story of grace and the redemption and peace that is possible only when one finally releases their guilt and shame to the Lord and stops trying to carry the burden themselves.
“The Devil Walks in Mattingly” is sometimes dark and seemingly hopeless but there is a light that shines through that darkness. It is a story that should be savored slowly and then pondered for awhile.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.
It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.
Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.
Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
|Billy Coffey’s critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.|
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