The Devil’s Footprints
Author: Amanda Stevens
Copyright: 2008 (Mira); pgs.377
Who: Sarah DeLaune
Where: New Orleans and Arkansas
From the back: In 1922 a farmer in Adamant, Arkansas, awakes to a noise on his roof and finds his snow-blanketed yard marked with thousands of cloven footprints. The prints vanish with the melting snow. . .only to reappear seventy years later near the gruesome killing of Rachel DeLaune. Years after her sister’s unsolved murder, New Orleans tattoo artist Sarah DeLaune is haunted by the mysteries of her past. Sarah as always believed that her sister was killed by a man named Ashe Cain. But no one else had ever seen Ashe. He had “appeared” to Sarah when she needed a friend the most, only to vanish on the night of her sister’s murder. The past bleeds into the present when two mutilated bodies are found near Sarah’s home, the crime scene desecrated by cloven footprints.
Comments: Sarah DeLaune was always an outcast, even in her own family. Rachel was Judge James DeLaune’s pride and joy. There was nothing that Sarah could say or do to make her father love her. The only person who understood her was Ashe Cain, the mysterious stranger she met one day while out walking her dog, and never saw again after her sister’s murder. Sarah begins to question whether he was real or not, and if he wasn’t, does that make her the killer?
Sarah’s past comes back, in more ways than one, when her former lover — and homicide detective — Lieutenant Sean Kelton asks for help on his new case. The victim has tattoos, and Sarah knows the handiwork of all the local artists. Sean and Sarah had been in in relationship for two years before Sean walked out. Sean had looked into Rachel’s murder, but things weren’t adding up and Sarah wouldn’t confide in him. Sean also has his own troubled past that played a part in his leaving. He still cares about Sarah very much, and neither has really gotten over the other. If they both can overcome their pasts, they might have a second chance at a life together.
Sean and Sarah aren’t the only characters with troubled pasts. Nearly everyone we meet has some trauma in their past that helped conceal the identity of murderer. There were several times where I feared for Sarah’s safety because the author kept me guessing. I was shocked when I learned the identity. I never would have guessed, and that’s rare. Very creepy book, but I enjoyed it very much.
Started: 14 October 2008
Finished: 21 October 2008