Have you ever lost someone who meant more to you than your own soul?
Ford Newcombe has. For years he loved his wife, Pat, more than anyone -- and anything -- in the world. She came into his life when he was just an inexperienced college student with big dreams of becoming a published author. With love and humour, she guided him down the path that would eventually lead him to more success than he ever dreamed possible. Since Pat's death six years ago, Ford has lived a life of solitude, barely able to put pen to paper, and rumours are flying that it was Pat who actually created the books the world so loved. If there's one thing that Ford needs it's inspiration, and it finally comes in the guise of Jackie Maxwell -- a smart, sassy university researcher with just enough attitude to match Ford's sharp intellect. But it's her intimate knowledge of the story of a young woman's friendship with the devil -- and what the townspeople did to her -- that persuades Ford to hire Jackie as his assistant and to move to Cole Creek, North Carolina, where the story is said to have taken place. They soon learn that even though the inhabitants of Cole Creek try to deny it, they are still plagued by the consequences of the otherworldly tale of passion and death. As Ford and Jackie work to unravel the truth, they discover a connection between their lives and the past, a connection that not only helps them solve a long-ago crime but offers the promise of new love.
Forget garden-variety ghosts and poltergeists the devil himself makes an appearance in bestseller Deveraux's latest romantic suspense novel. When famed mystery writer Ford Newcombe loses his beloved wife, Pat, he can't bear the thought of writing without her. Six years later, Ford is moving from one small town to another in an attempt to cure his writer's block when he hears the story of a woman who was murdered because she loved the devil. Fascinated by the tale, he decides that he must investigate it and approaches Jackie, the storyteller, to offer her the job of assisting him. Needing a change of pace, Jackie agrees to accompany him to Cole Creek, N.C., and strange things begin to happen when they arrive Jackie instinctively knows her way around the town, she begins to have frightening premonitions that come true and the townspeople insist that the devil tale is just a rumor. Not one to give up, Ford continues to investigate and discovers an article about a 20-year-old murder. As he uncovers more gruesome details, he begins to suspect that Jackie may have somehow been involved in or witnessed the murder. Meanwhile, Jackie meets a man who seems too good to be true, who is also interested in the devil story. As Ford and Jackie work their way closer to the truth, it becomes clear that the story about the devil may be horrifically true. Deveraux's writing is sloppy ("I tried to pep Jackie up because she was looking as forlorn as an abandoned puppy"), but her plotting is effective, and she does a superb job of building up to her chilling conclusion.