cover image The Devil Walks in Mattingly

The Devil Walks in Mattingly

Billy Coffey. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4016-8822-6

This inspirational novel of sin and redemption is set in Mattingly, Va., a back-country village where the supernatural is as real as any reality. Throughout their marriage, sheriff Jake Barnett and his wife Kate have kept secret their shared involvement in the death of Philip McBride 20 years ago. But when Taylor Hathcock stumbles into town with knowledge of that event, the past unravels. The entire town becomes involved, from the reporter who alerts the townspeople about contemporary crimes and accuses Jake of cowardice to the motherless Lucy Seekins, seeking love wherever she can find it, even in a criminal’s lair, to the ostracized Justus, whose name symbolizes the novel’s theme. Supernatural events pull the haunted players into a place where all must sacrifice their worst secrets to pave the way for salvation. Coffey (When Mockingbirds Sing) has a profound sense of Southern spirituality. His narrative moves the reader from Jake and Kate’s false heaven to a terrible hell, then back again to a glorious grace. Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Agency. (Mar.)