A few years ago, I was lucky to meet Colorado-based author A.N. Willis in a coffee shop in Denver. At the time, I had read only her first series for young adults. Since then, she has written several more stories, including her first for an adult audience. I was flattered to be asked to be a beta reader for this story, as this was my first time ever doing so. Reading it a second time after it was finalized is delightful both because the amendments A.N. made clarified the storyline and because I rarely get to read books a second time.
Devil’s Night is the story of Penny Wright, a girl who left her home near Eden, Colorado to pursue a career and life in sunny Los Angeles. When a major project comes to her PR office, Penny knows that Eden, a town that haunts her childhood memories, is the perfect backdrop. Returning to Eden opens up old wounds, and when the festival that is set to conclude on the 125th anniversary of the Devil’s Night Massacre begins to live up to its frightening reputation, Penny must face her fears to save those she loves most. Please see my full review here.
I loved getting to reread this story again, especially because the characters already seemed like old friends. References to familiar Colorado landmarks and well-researched historical elements make this book feel like home to me. Bloody Marian, a character in this story, reminds me vividly of Kathy Bates’ character in the New Orleans season of American Horror Story. This connection makes her demeanor all the more sinister as the story progresses.
Written from multiple points of view, this story gives readers complex background knowledge that explains much of the action in the plot. Spanning 125 years, each character has a clear and resonant voice and inspires empathy despite some of the things they do.
Suspense, violence, and romance all find their way into this narrative, propelling the story forward in their intensity. Readers who enjoy a compelling story that blends history with horror will devour this book and look forward to book two.
I’m thrilled to recommend this new book for adult audiences by A.N. Willis. If you’d like to know more about her other work, please see my previous blog here.
Do you know another great story I should feature in my blog? Please message me here and let me know!