Book Review: The White Devil – Justin Evans

Title: The White Devil
Author: Justin Evans
ISBN: 9780061728273
Pages: 384
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

When American student Andrew Taylor arrives at Harrow School in England, he knows it’s his last chance.  He won’t be able to get into college if he doesn’t make something of himself during the year he’s at Harrow.  But as soon as he arrives, he is overwhelmed by something he can’t see, a creepy feeling that sends chills down his spine.  When a fellow student dies, and Andrew sees the murderer – an otherworldly figure that can only be described as a ghost – he realizes he is in over his head and must reach out to those around him for help.

Review:

The White Devil is an incredibly creepy novel that successfully straddles that thin line between mystery and horror.  From the beginning, Andrew is a fish out of water.  Overwhelmed by the knowledge that, if he messes up in the least, his parents will be finished with him, all he wants to do is keep a low profile for his year at Harrow.  It doesn’t help that he catches the eye of the one girl at the all-boys’ school, one with a reputation. The boys around Andrew are really merciless, and the reader really sympathizes with Andrew as he desperately tries, and fails, to stay under the radar.

The novel centers around the historical figure of Lord Byron.  Andrew is cast as Byron in a play being directed by Andrew’s housemaster, Fawkes, as Byron was an alumnus of Harrow.  This literary basis for the novel elevates it from a basic ghost story and makes it appeal to the thinking mind rather than the gut instinct of fear.  As Byron becomes an increasingly important player in the central storyline, readers will appreciate being able to learn something, while also being simultaneously entertained and spooked.

Evans deals with teen bullying very deftly in The White Devil.  He provides a commentary on the incredibly important issue without preaching about it to the reader. It can be graphic at times, but it has an important place in the story, and I think Evans handled it well.

I don’t want to say any more about The White Devil for fear of giving away too much about the plot.  It’s one of those novels that readers will get lost in, and knowing too much about what is going to happen will likely take away some of that magic.  I really enjoyed the shivers this book sent down my spine, and I can’t wait to see what Evans does next.

Affiliate Links:

Buy this book from Powell’s Books
Buy this book from Amazon.com
Buy this book from your local Indiebound bookstore

Comments

  1. SOLD!

  2. SOLD!

  3. Yes! So glad to hear you loved this one! It’s quite a unique book, not many published like this recently!

  4. Yes! So glad to hear you loved this one! It’s quite a unique book, not many published like this recently!

  5. A new author to me. Sounds like a good mystery.

  6. A new author to me. Sounds like a good mystery.

  7. I’m wondering if this might be too creepy for me.

  8. I’m wondering if this might be too creepy for me.

  9. Dang — I am a wimp — I might be like Bermudaonion in the creepy factor :)

  10. Dang — I am a wimp — I might be like Bermudaonion in the creepy factor :)

  11. Huh, this sounds interesting. I’m not usually a paranormal fan, but it’s intriguing me more than usual. Might need to check this one out!

  12. Huh, this sounds interesting. I’m not usually a paranormal fan, but it’s intriguing me more than usual. Might need to check this one out!

  13. Eeek. I really want to read this, but I am a big chicken. When I read The Historian years ago, I couldn’t sleep until I finished it and had to leave my bedside lamp on. (Yes, I know I’m a dork.)

    I need to toughen up so I can read this one. I’ve heard such great things.

  14. Eeek. I really want to read this, but I am a big chicken. When I read The Historian years ago, I couldn’t sleep until I finished it and had to leave my bedside lamp on. (Yes, I know I’m a dork.)

    I need to toughen up so I can read this one. I’ve heard such great things.

  15. I have been waiting to see a review for this one, so I am happy to have come across yours. It does sound like a really interesting book, and I am all for scary and creepy books, so this one goes right on the list. Thanks for the great review, and especially for not spoiling anything!

  16. I have been waiting to see a review for this one, so I am happy to have come across yours. It does sound like a really interesting book, and I am all for scary and creepy books, so this one goes right on the list. Thanks for the great review, and especially for not spoiling anything!

  17. Ahhh! I keep seeing these positive reviews, and I have the book right there on my nook, but dagnabit I have reading commitments to get through first!

  18. Ahhh! I keep seeing these positive reviews, and I have the book right there on my nook, but dagnabit I have reading commitments to get through first!

  19. I really enjoyed reading this book. The author created such a wonderfully creepy atmosphere…I had a hard time putting this book down at times. Great review!

  20. I really enjoyed reading this book. The author created such a wonderfully creepy atmosphere…I had a hard time putting this book down at times. Great review!

  21. I just read another review of this book that echoed what you said. I MUST read this book. Maybe for the RIP challenge in October.

  22. I just read another review of this book that echoed what you said. I MUST read this book. Maybe for the RIP challenge in October.

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.