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The Devil’s Feather

[Devils feather – [derivation Turkish] – a woman who stirs a mans interest without realising it; the unwitting cause of sexual arousal]
With private security firms supplying bodyguards in every theatre of war, who will notice the emergence of a sexual psychopath from the ranks of the mercenaries?
When five women are brutally murdered in Sierra Leone, Reuters correspondent, Connie Burns, questions the arrest of three rebel soldiers for the crimes. No one listens.  In the wake of a vicious civil war which saw hundreds of thousands killed and displaced, the rape and murder of women is of little consequence. And who cares if child soldiers are beaten into a confession?
With little to go on, except her witnessing of a savage attack on a prostitute, Connie believes a foreigners responsible. A man who claims to have been in the SAS and works as a bodyguard to a Lebanese diamond trader. She remembers him from Kinshasa when he was a mercenary for Laurent Kabilas regime, and she suspects he uses the chaos of war to act out sadistic fantasies against women.
Two years later in Iraq, the consequences of her second attempt to expose him are devastating. Terrified, degraded and destroyed, she goes into hiding in England and tries to rebuild the person she was before being subjected to three days of conditioning in a Baghdad cellar.
In the process, she strikes up a friendship with Jess Derbyshire, a loner whose reclusive nature has alienated her from the rest of the Dorset community where she lives. Seeing parallels between herself and Jess, Connie borrows from the other womans strength and makes the hazardous decision to attempt a third unmasking of a serial killer…
“This is high octane, on-the-edge stuff, at which Walters excels…engrossing reading.”  The Times
“Full of menace and tension.”  Marie Claire
“Walters has succeeded in uniting the traditional crime narrative with a distressing and effective account of the private cruelties that can flourish amid general mayhem…she takes the genre to a deeper level.”  The Independent
“Topical and disturbing.”  Books Quarterly
“Thoughtful and accomplished thriller.” Daily Telegraph
“Skilful plotting…it’s hard not to empathise with [Connie Burns] as the tension builds to a gripping climax.” The Sunday Telegraph
The Devil’s Feather is another Walters tour de force. The combination of fast-moving thriller and acute exploration of the psychotic mind makes this a knockout.”  Peter Guttridge, The Guardian
“One of her best, with atrocities from the Iraq war overshadowing a foreign correspondent now hiding in Dorset. It’s first rate.” Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller
“A new novel by crime writer par excellence…[a] tense psychological thriller.”  Red, Book of the Month
“A multi-layered novel with sharply-drawn characters both good and evil and a wonderfully ambiguous twist in the tail.”  Birmingham Post
“This is certainly another page-turner that will be accompanying many people as the nights draw in.”
“Psychological thrillers don’t come better than this…set to be an instant bestseller, this is Walters at her terrifying best.”  Sainsbury’s Magazine, Book of the Month
“A gripping psychological thriller, it’s the kind of page-turner Minette Walters does so well.”  Choice, Book of the Month
“The kind of psychological thriller that Walters has made her own.” Time Out
“The story is so involving, with its graphic accounts of mind control and sensitive observations about victim psychology, that you hardly realize how skilfully Walters has worked her unifying theme into three intersecting plot lines…[Walters] takes the suspense novel into new territory.” New York Times
“Walters delivers an intense, engrossingly structured tour de force about survival and the secret of freedom, courage.” Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“The latest of her masterful thrillers…Genteel and horrifying as ever.” Starred Review, Kirkus
“Walters…really knows how to write convincing, ever-escalating psychological suspense.” Booklist
“[Walters] maintains a focus on strong characterisation. Her skilful prose makes The Devil’s Featherwholly appropriate for the Booker longlist.”  Myslexia
“War correspondent Connie Burns tangles with a dangerous mercenary in this chilling adventure.” People magazine
“Walters’ strength is her pacing and structure – she doles out sufficient info to keep the reader hooked, but leaving you desperate for more. THE DEVIL’S FEATHER is a book destined to remain in your mind for a long time after you’ve closed it and set it aside.”
“If you need more evidence that crime fiction is at its best when it deals with character and contemporary themes, then you need look no further than Minette Walters.”  Peter Robinson, The Globe and Mail
“[THE DEVIL’S FEATHER] is both suspenseful and satisfying, Walters in fine, new form indeed.”  The Calgary Herald
“The inevitable dramatic climax is masterfully done and the surprise ending satisfying.”  The Toronto Sun
“Walters has succeeded in uniting the traditional crime narrative with a distressing and effective account of the private cruelties that can flourish amid general mayhem. In doing so, she takes the genre to a deeper level.” The Canberra Times
“Every Minette a thrill…the queen of mood produces a chilling psychopath.”  The Courier Mail
“Chilling stuff…a fulfilling read.” Richmond Times
“Walters gracefully balances crowd-pleasing theatrics with a wickedly ambiguous ending.”  Entertainment Weekly
“With a casual, easy-to-read writing style, Walters is a rare breed: the kind of author who can concoct believable characters and set them down in the middle of entertaining plots that address timeless moral issues.”  Denver Post
“It’s a rich mixture – imagine a contemporary version of Rogue Male, as rewritten by Daphne du Maurier. Though the plot has a tendency towards rococo elaboration, the research is reassuringly solid, which lends authenticity to its less plausible elements, and its underlying themes are timeless. Sly stabs of wit vary the tone.
Psychologically, Walters never puts a foot wrong. The novel revolves around two strong but damaged women, Connie and Jess, who need to find their own ways of healing themselves if they are to survive. The result is a thriller that really does thrill – partly because we care about its protaganists, and partly because Minette Walters has an enormous talent for old-fashioned story-telling.”
Andrew Taylor, The Spectator