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Publisher's Summary

In each of her previous 10 critically acclaimed and hugely popular novels, Minette Walters has explored the dark terrain of the human psyche to give us thrillers of exceptional psychological complexity and suspense. Now, in The Devil's Feather, she gives us her most unexpected and electrifying novel yet.

In 2002, five women are discovered barbarously murdered in Sierra Leone. Reuters Africa correspondent Connie Burns suspects a British mercenary: a man who seems to turn up in every war-torn corner of Africa, whose reputation for violence and brutality is well-founded and widely known. Connie's suspicions that he's using the chaos of war to act out sadistic, misogynistic fantasies fall on deaf ears -- but she's determined to expose him and his secret.

The consequences are devastating.

Connie encounters the man again in Baghdad, but almost immediately she's taken hostage. Released after three desperate days, terrified and traumatized by the experience -- fearing that she will never again be the person she once was -- Connie retreats to England. She is bent on protecting herself by withholding information about her abduction. But secluded in a remote rented house, where the jealously guarded history of her landlady's family seems to mirror her own fears, she knows that it is only a matter of time before her nightmares become real.

With its sinuous plot, its acutely drawn characters, and its blistering suspense, The Devil's Feather keeps us riveted from first to last.

©2006 Minette Walters; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Masterful." (Kirkus)
"Agatha Christie with the gloves off." (Publishers Weekly)
"Walters successfully keeps the suspense high." (Library Journal)
"Walters really knows how to write convincing, ever-escalating psychological suspense." (Booklist)
"The story is so involving...that you hardly realize how skillfully Walters has worked her unifying theme into three intersecting plot lines." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Just Stunning!

This is a first rate, riveting psychological thriller. The writing is clear and evocative, the READER is absolutely wonderful with a delicate sly nuanced style perfect for this book. I love the main characters, the protaganist is believable and remarkable at the same time. If you like Nevada Barr or Lisa Scottoline you'll love this -- although this is somewhat better writing. If you like Ruth Rendell you'll love this -- although nobody writes better psychology or thrillers than she does.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kathleen
  • Lafayette, CA, United States
  • 03-22-07

A Real Novel & Mystery Thriller

This is a great listen, the characters are highly crafted, the plot incredible to the last word... whatever negative reviews there are must be looking for a fast moving book... this is the older tradition of unfolding and moving within the multiple plots a Peroit quest by an upstart smart woman journalist ~ and yes the first chapter is explored in depth later in the book so you will read all about it ~ but the prose is beautiful and the narration one of the finest on audible ~ English country side, old families with and without money, new politics and a taste of ad hoc terrorism delivered in a personal psychopathic way and rewarded twice over :) ~ If you love Mo Hayder's books, or Shadow of the Wind, this book is for you.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved It, Give Me More

I downloaded this book because it was on sale and I am so glad I did. I think it ranks up there with the greatest contemporary British crime stories. I loved the ambiguity of the ending, the character development, and the wonderful plot.

I hope Audible decides to offer more from this author. I have become a fan. I might even be forced to buy it in print, however I love audiobooks because I am able to multitask while "reading" them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Tense in a good way

This one is a great match between book and narrator. The heroine is smart and tense and complicated and doesn't scare easily--but when she DOES get spooked, so do we. The narrator's effects are subtle, and she does a terrific job of conveying the foreboding tone. Even walking down the street in bright sunshine, I had to turn this one off sometimes, so convinced I became that something was going to tap me on the shoulder!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Largo, FL, USA
  • 11-22-06

Difficult to follow

I have to agree with the first reviewer. I found the listen to be very difficult to follow. All the advertized action happens in the first 1/2 hour . . . then nothing for hours except confusing story line that jumps back & forth in time. The reader does little to help the listener follow the time line. I found myself using the book as background noise for my commute.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Terrific psychological book

This is a great book that I listened to in one weekend. Two story lines intersect to shed light on two different pathological and sadistic personalities.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Melinda
  • Melrose, MA, USA
  • 11-12-06

A big disappointment

I'm sorry to be the first one to write a review, because I've just given the book up after suffering through several hours. It's not that it's a bad book, it's just that the promotional material was misleading; I definitely didn't get what I thought I was paying for. The critic's review upon which I based my purchase consisted of many paragraphs about murders in Sierra Leone, the protagonist as a news corrrespondent who is abducted by terrorists in Iraq and then released... exactly my cup of tea. But what I got was -- a cup of cold tea! I got all of the above in only about a half-hour, then hours of insufferable English countryside and boring-compulsive small-village characters. I asked myself, "If I hang on for a little while longer, maybe it'll get interesting again." I decided it was too painful. Those listeners who love the suffocating English theme might well enjoy it. I obviously did not. The narrator was good, though! Too bad.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • williow grove, PA, USA
  • 03-27-08

the best

this book was the best read for me in a has all the workings of a great plot and is read with real fear,drama,and humor. if your hearing this in bed at may want to lock your
doors and keep a basebll bat next to you. have fun!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Nothing happens

I rarely abandon a book mid-listen, but I just could not wait any longer for something interesting to happen. I'm OK with books focusing on characters, but this book pretends to be a thriller yet spends two-thirds of the book doing soap-opera in the English countryside. It may eventually get back to the original premise (mercenary murderer confronted by intrepid journalist), but I couldn't last through the endless diagnosis of the village history to find out. If the premise and the soap opera ever did tie together in any concrete way (other than in the journalist's panic-driven analysis), it would be too much of a coincidence to believe anyway. You want thrillers? -- listen to Frederick Forsyth. You want characters? -- listen to Bel Canto. This book is a waste of time.
(BTW, I rarely review books, but I wanted to warn people off of this one.)

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ho Hum!

I usually don't bother writing anything after listening to an audio book as I find that others have already expressed my sentiments. I make an exception in this case as I really thought that this was an incredibly boring story told in an equally boring fashion. I did follow it through to the end as I hoped that it would improve but now understand that my instincts about halfway through part 1 were correct. What is bothersome to me is there was true potential for this to be a great book. Maybe that's true for all books...

I would not recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a captivating and fast moving story that hooks you in early and holds you to the end.