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Speak of the Devil

A novel by

Seven women, inextricably linked by one man, must figure out which of them killed him in order to protect one another in this electrifying debut thriller.

New Year’s Eve, 1999.

Seven women are gathered in a hotel room at midnight; a man's head sits in the center of the floor. They all had a motive to kill Jamie Spellman. They all swear they didn't. But in order to protect one another, they have to find out who did.

The ex, who drowns her darkest secret in a hip flask as the woman she loves drifts further away.
The wife, living out her fairytale marriage in a house tucked into woods so thick no one can hear a scream.
The widow, praying to a past she no longer knows whether she can trust.
The teenager, whose wide-eyed crush has trapped her in an unrecognizable future.
The mother figure, battling nature versus nurture under the weight of her own guilt.
The friend, forced to choose sides over and over, until she learns the price of choosing wrong.
And the journalist, who brought them all together—but underestimated how far one of them would go to keep believing the story they’d been told.

Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer. Marking the debut of an extraordinary new talent,
Speak of the Devil explores the roles into which women are cast in the lives of terrible men…and the fallout when they refuse to play pretend for one moment longer.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Harrowing and haunting, Rose Wilding's assured debut is full of nuanced, complex, beautifully flawed characters, whose stories are powerful and moving throughout. Speak of the Devil is completely compelling, smart and sharp and it kept me reading through the night." - Sara Nisha Adams

"A story with a fiercely feminist heart that begins with a murder, and then unfurls slowly to tell a story of seven women scorned. Unique, and with lots of moments that stopped me in my tracks." - Katie Bishop

"This novel is the epitome of gripping. An epic revenge tale set in one of my favourite cities. I couldn't put it down." - Louise Hare

"Speak of the Devil is a smart and totally compelling tale of revenge - with brilliantly complex characters. It hooked me from the opening page and kept me guessing right up to the end." - Emily Koch

"With beautiful, gripping writing and depth, Speak of the Devil is a mesmerising, moving story that is impossible to look away from. Superb!" - Gytha Lodge

"Absolutely, barnstormingly brilliant. Beyond gripping, with wonderful characters you know and care about, feel rage for and with. Perfectly paced and plotted, I loved every dark, clever, powerful page." - Cressida McLaughlin

"Rose Wilding has written a powerful, feminist thriller about a group of women who not only bond over their ties to the same toxic man, but find power in that shared experience. Crafted with unflinching empathy, Speak of the Devil is twisted in the best way." - Clémence Michallon

"One of the most assured and compelling debuts I've read in a long while. Rose Wilding's evocation of the Newcastle setting and pitch-perfect ear for dialogue make every one of her characters live and breathe. I love the way she can unpick their lives before our eyes, exposing every secret. It's such a clever, multi-layered story." - Kate Rhodes

"A dark and distressing story handled with a lightness of touch - it's a very accomplished debut. It centres the survivors of abuse in the story, rather than the perpetrator, showing the awful ripple effects of violence and misogyny but also providing a level of hope, especially given that the story starts with the villain's head on a platter. I loved it." - Harriet Tyce

"Speak of the Devil is a hugely assured debut novel; dark, compelling with a channelled, righteous anger. A fantastic thriller, and Rose Wilding is a genuine find who writes with an authentic, original Northern, working class queer voice. I'm really excited to see what she does next." - Martyn Waites

"In Speak of the Devil, Rose Wilding takes an axe to toxic masculinity. The male perpetrator may lose his head but Wilding keeps hers, manoeuvring her vivid characters around like a virtuoso puppeteer and skilfully ensuring that the readers' sympathies stay firmly with those who really deserve it. It's a powerful, accomplished and important debut from a writer who has not only found her own voice but given one to others who have previously been silenced." - Trevor Wood

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