Caleb and Linda Pirtle Award for Best Cover Design of a Mystery: The Devil of Light
February 12, 2013
Caleb and Linda Pirtle is pleased to announce the winners of its Best Cover Design for Mystery Novels. The awards will be announced each day, and they will be given in the genres of International Thriller, Mystery, Conspiracy Thriller, Crime, Historical Crime, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Thriller, Detective, Spy Thriller, Crime Suspense, Hard-Boiled, Political Thriller, and Suspense.
The Award for Best Cover Design for Conspiracy Thriller will be announced tomorrow.
THE AWARD FOR THE BEST COVER DESIGN FOR A MYSTERY GOES TO THE DEVIL OF LIGHT, WRITTEN BY GAE-LYNN WOODS, PUBLISHED BY DEAD HEAD PRESS, AND DESIGNED BY ARES JUN.
The Story: A BIZARRE MURDER
When young Detective Cass Elliot responds to a report of domestic violence at the home of a prominent businessman, she finds him violently murdered in the barnyard with his battered wife unconscious near the tool that killed him. Still raw from her own unsolved attack six years ago, Cass is stunned when confronted with graphic photographs scattered across their kitchen floor, and she wonders if the wife might have had cause to kill her husband.
Cass and her partner Mitch Stone delve into a cunning world of blackmail and violence – and find a cult concealed for nearly a century beneath the genteel, small town façade of Arcadia in East Texas. Their investigation triggers a brutal response from powerful men who will protect their identities at any cost. They unleash a ruthless killer whose actions create a media frenzy and destroy the fabric of trust within the police department.
A PERVASIVE EVIL
Cass and Mitch circle closer to the cult’s few members, following a slim lead into a night lit by fire. A night that begins with a blood ritual and ends with Cass holding a man’s life – or death – in her hands and struggling to walk the fine line between vengeance and justice.
Review by CarrieGreenBooks: The Devil of Light begins with a classic plot device of ‘a stranger comes into town.’ In this case it’s the East Texas town of Arcadia, and the stranger is Hitch, an ex-con and a murderer.
His evil nature is recognized, at a glance, by the ‘Old Man,’ the leader of a religious cult that has been operating in this seemingly quiet rural community for generations. The Old Man offers Hitch employment. This act sparks the fire that will illuminate, to the general public, the activities of the secret society known as The Church of the True Believer.
Slowly uncovering all of their criminal activity is newly promoted, Cass Elliot, the first woman detective in Forney County. She has secrets of her own and a hidden agenda in pursuing law enforcement. Her secrets and those of the town collide in the stunning finale of this book.
Author Gae-Lynn Woods supplies a well-drawn cast of characters, supplying believable motivations that move the action forward. Her writing is lyrical and eloquent. You’ll be reluctant to put this book down, once you start reading it, and look forward to the next book in what promises to be an engrossing series.
Review by Hadjer 2001: Be aware! Go anywhere near Gae-Lynn Woods’ debut novel and you will be sucked in and spun around amongst the goings-on in Forney County until you’ve read every word of it. This is a work of crime fiction which stands right up there amongst the best. The writing is so effective that even this reader’s overbearing sense of editorship was cast aside and I found myself carried along by the story, the wonderful characters, the riveting sense of place and the real trauma of a community in crisis. Cass Elliot and Mitch Stone make great detective partners.
The supporting cast of law-enforcers, law-breakers and members of the close-knit community all come to life in the midst of Woods’ assured prose. There is plenty of evil about in Forney and plenty of good to combat it. Criminal investigation, crisis, violent action and the normal intercourse of ordinary people are all handled with aplomb. There is no sense of stepping back from the often gruesome, sexually disturbing and manipulative nature of the events which have been secretly enacted over generations and now explode into the present.
A truly excellent work of fiction.