Publication Date: 25/04/2024 ISBN: 9781399805001 Category:

Speak of the Devil

Rose Wilding

Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 25/04/2024 ISBN: 9781399805001 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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‘A clever and utterly absorbing thriller which marks the arrival of an author to watch’ i News

‘A powerful feminist thriller . . . twisted in the best way’ Clemence Michallon, author of The Quiet Tenant

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she didn’t. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who did.

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.

A beautifully written debut thriller about love, loyalty, and manipulation, Speak of the Devil explores the roles in which women are cast in the lives of terrible men . . . and the fallout when they refuse to stay silent for one moment longer.


‘A devilishly immersive read – Rose Wilding is a wonderful new talent’ Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire

‘Get ready to cheer these women on’ Prima

‘I loved it’ Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

Publisher Review

A clever and utterly absorbing debut thriller which marks the arrival of an author to watch * i News * Get ready to cheer these women on * Prima * The action kicks off in a seriously dramatic setting . . . * Bookseller * Seriously good * Living North * What’s most distinctive here is not the question of whodunit or even the piercing group portrait of the women in Jamie’s life but the delicate care with which Wilding ensures that even the most routine revelations . . . arrive with a jolt. Man-hating driven to a furious point * Kirkus * This captivating debut literary thriller entwines the searing stories of several women who suffered at the hands of the same man. This cautionary tale satisfies in its culmination of long-overdue justice for spurned women * Library Journal * A devilishly immersive read – Rose Wilding is a wonderful new talent — Kamila Shamsie, author of HOME FIRE 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, author of BLOOD ORANGE 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 author of LITTLE SISTER 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, author of THE READING LIST 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, author of THIS LOVELY CITY 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 — Clemence Michallon, author of THE QUIET TENANT In Speak of the Devil, Rose Wilding takes an axe to toxic masculinity. 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, author of DEAD END STREET 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 . . . a clever, multi-layered story — Kate Rhodes, author of THE BRUTAL TIDE Utterly unputdownable, absorbing, dark and at times ineffably beautiful, Speak of the Devil is the masterful work of a born writer. Rose Wilding’s propulsive and assured debut is the sort of rare gem that, once you turn the final page, makes you think ‘this. this is why I read’. With unforgettable, complex characters and a sympathetic, painterly eye for detail that makes them and the landscapes they inhabit leap from the page, Wilding conjures their stories to life in all their knotty, vibrant glory. The result is not to be missed — Lauren Brown, author of HANDS: AN ANXIOUS MIND UNPICKED 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, author of THE GIRLS OF SUMMER Truly outstanding — C. J. Skuse, author of SWEETPEA 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, author of KEEP HIM CLOSE 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, author of THE OLD RELIGION Speak of the Devil has an epic hook and the execution is flawless. With incredible characterisation and beautiful prose, plus all that rage simmering below the surface. Bravo! — Laura Pearson, author of I WANTED YOU TO KNOW 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, author of THE HOUSE OF BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES

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