FIVE WENT INTO THE WOODS.
TWO NEVER CAME BACK.
An unforgettable story of murder, trauma and childhoods lost, by Richell Prize-winning debut author Ruth McIver
Erin Sloane was sixteen when high school senior Andre Villiers was murdered by his friends. They were her friends, too, led by the intense, charismatic Ricky Hell. Five people went into West Cypress Woods the night Andre was murdered. Only three came out.
Ativan, alcohol and distance had dimmed Erin’s memories of that time. But nearly twenty years later, an ageing father will bring her home. Now a journalist, she is asked to write a story about the Southport Three and the thrill-kill murder that electrified the country. Erin’s investigation propels her closer and closer to a terrifying truth. And closer and closer to danger.
An unforgettable story of murder, trauma and childhoods lost, I Shot the Devil is a taut, prize-winning debut novel from an electrifying new talent.
Ruth McIver is a Dublin-born, Western Australian and New York City raised writer currently based in Melbourne, Australia. She is represented by the Story Factory. In 2019 Ruth completed her PhD in the field of true-crime inspired fiction with Curtin University. Her unpublished manuscript, Nothing Gold, was runner-up in the inaugural Banjo Prize (2018) and was one of seven manuscript selected to be pitched at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival (2014). I Shot the Devil is her debut novel and won the 2018 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.
Find Ruth on social media: Twitter: @ruthmciver, Instagram: @rogetstrollope
My thoughts: this was a really interesting way of telling a story – told from Erin’s perspective and several others in the form of written, and highly dubious, accounts, it draws Erin back into a time she thought she’d moved on from.
Looking into the deaths of two of her high school friends – including the boy she was in love with, draws a lot more to the surface. Far from the “satanic panic” the media at the time insisted was involved, there’s a world of drug dealing, dirty cops and property fraud under the surface. And Erin drags it all into the light. Which puts her in terrible danger from unscrupulous people.
The middle section dragged a little, but once Erin decided what to do and heads to Florida to track down her old school friend and other suspects, the pace really picks up. As she digs deeper and the threats increase, the plot kicks into high gear. A dark and sinister thriller.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.