Authors Showcase: The Devil Laughed by Gerrie Ferris Finger
March 18, 2014
The Book: The Devil Laughed
The Author: Gerrie Ferris Finger
The Story: In this Moriah Dru/Richard Lake mystery series entry, Dru, owner of Child Trace, and Lake, an Atlanta police lieutenant, have been invited to Lake Lanier in the mountains of North Georgia for the scorcher of a 4th of July holiday. There, Dru discovers the stern of a boat protruding from a deep water cove. Extreme drought had uncovered the sailboat Scuppermong, missing nearly four years.
Two couples – Johnny and Candice Browne and Laurant and Janet Cocineau – had been partying on the boat in a year when the lake was full pool. Johnny’s body was discovered with his head bashed in near the marina, but the sailboat and the other three disappeared that night without leaving a trace or a clue.
Raising the sailboat yields no bodies but a cadaver dog alerts. However, investigators find no bodies and theories continue to run rampant. Popular among them is that adulterers Candice and Laurant also killed Janet then skipped to Rio, a country they visited together. The cadaver dog alerts to a body in the lake. It’s not one of the boaters, but a woman from Yarrow, the small mountain town on the lake. It brings that tight community – heretofore not suspected – under suspicion. The investigation also takes Dru to Cape Fear wine country, the region the boaters called home.
In a reverse of her child finder role, Dru is hired to find Candice by thirteen-year-old Evangeline, a precocious girl who has unshakeable faith that her mother is alive.
About the Author: In 2009, Gerrie won The Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Minotaur Best First Traditional Novel Competition for THE END GAME. She grew up in Missouri, then headed further south to join the staff of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
There, she researched and edited the columns of humorist Lewis Grizzard and co-wrote a news column with another reporter for three years. Lewis became her mentor, and when he passed away, Gerrie joined the newspapers’ Southern Task Force. As a reporter, she traveled the Tobacco Roads of Georgia, Virginia and Alabama, and the narrow, historic streets of New Orleans.
She wrote about Natchez, Mississippi’s unique history, Florida’s diverse population, and the Outer Banks struggle to keep the Cape Hatteras light house from toppling into the sea. She also served on the National News Desk and on the City Desk’s City Life section.
Gerrie’s life has been busy but she always knew when she retired, she’d write crime fiction. She covered crime for the newspaper. Real crime is sordid, with no romance or redeeming features. Justice often doesn’t prevail. Real people go back to miserable lives. “In writing fictional crime,” Gerrie says,”I can make the good guys winners and give the bad guys what they deserve.”
Review by Jay Mittener: This book was a breath of fresh air from some heavier books I’ve been reading. It’s well written and truly a character driven novel. This is the third in Finger’s Lake Mystery series (Not to be confused with the finger lakes!).
I found myself so involved with the characters that my heart raced though a lot of the book. I love that fact that there are so many sub characters and incidental happenings going on, this is especially important in a series because not only do I enjoy the story but I get to spend my time after wonder where the next spin off will come. The characters live on for me.
All along you find yourself rooting for Moriah and Evangeline as a little girl seeks to find the truth about her missing mother, and unfolds a world of mystery with a backsplash of Southern charm and jargon that will make you feel at home if you’re Southern and will make you wish you were if you aren’t.
Please click the book cover image to read more about The Devil Laughed.