Where the Devil Won't Go starts out differently than most detective novels - a detective acts the hero but a small backfire happens, something that he feels guilty about for most of the novel. I found it intriguing and plausible that this could happen, and I'm sure it would be natural to feel embarrassed about it. He's drawn into the life of the girl he saved first through rescuing her, and then by having to break horrible news - her sister has been killed in a vicious way. The story begins to take turns being told through the point of the view of the woman Cozy, who comes hardened from a damaged past and determined to solve the crime on her own, and the detective and his partner while they try to solve the case the legal way. Who will reach the finish line first?
It kind of has the femme fatale feel to it - Cozy is a tough as nails protagonist who does what it takes and isn't squeamish. She's not black-and-white tough, but she takes it far, being bitter from a violent past that has already formed a tough facade before her sister's death. I loved the main detective Peyroux because he was so realistic. He was tough and fair with a good heart, but he isn't stereotypical tough or dense when it comes to difficult situations.
The world-building is gritty - from stripper clubs to perverted parties, these touches add a sense of seediness for the dark and disposable lifestyle of these women. The strong sense of the deep south with alligator necklaces and a small community that turns its back on family as willingly as it would seek vengeance was intriguing.
The pacing isn't lightning-quick but it's evenly distributed. Since the book focuses on the mystery of the crime and the journey more than the outcome, the pacing suits it. There were a few plot twists and surprises I didn't guess, including an ending that dishes out some light on dark times in a way that doesn't feel fabricated.
Although it shifts point of view, it doesn't do it too often, and mainly sticks to the major two. Findorff writes well, especially dialogue, but every once in awhile there were editing errors.
Recommended for crime fans and those who enjoy vigilante focused plots.
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