Title: Devil’s Night
Author: Todd Ritter
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Kat Campbell, the police chief of Perry Hollow, has just begun to relax after the Grim Reaper killings nearly a year before. Things are finally quieting down in her small town, leaving Kat with time to focus on her son with special needs. But when she’s awoken in the middle of the night with the news that Perry Hollow’s museum is on fire, she fears that this is just the beginning—and she’s right. As Kat grapples with her personal life, she must find out why someone is setting fire to historic Perry Hollow buildings and try and prevent the death toll from escalating any higher.
Devil’s Night is the third Kat Campbell mystery from Todd Ritter, and it’s a doozy. It seems that nothing is safe in Perry Hollow, the small community that was rocked by a series of murders. Just as the town seems to be getting back on its feet, someone begins to target the town’s old buildings, trying to destroy the heart and soul of Perry Hollow. It’s so interesting to see how the townspeople are affected by the loss, how connected they are to the history of the place they live. There’s a lot of pride in Perry Hollow’s past, and the arsonist threatens to destroy that mercilessly. Ritter does a great job raising the stakes in this novel.
One feature of this series that I enjoy is that each novel is different. It’s difficult to believe when the same small community is racked by a vicious serial killer over and over again; Ritter makes sure to stay away from that repetition of premise and keeps his novels on the believable side. Each Perry Hollow mystery has dealt with a different subject so far. That makes Devil’s Night both refreshing and unpredictable, which is very nice for both seasoned readers of the series and those new to Ritter’s books.
Kat Campbell is a great main character for Devil’s Night. A single mother, she struggles to provide her son with the stability he needs. She’s both caring and doting, but her job is constantly at odds with her personal life. Ritter develops all of his characters with care, and readers will enjoy encountering familiar faces, as well as meeting new people in this novel. The author also captures small town dynamics well. The struggle between ties to the past, the need to preserve, versus the desire for growth and change takes center stage in this book.
If you’re looking for smart, well-crafted mysteries, then Devil’s Night (and the Kat Campbell series as a whole) is a great choice. Crime fiction fans should absolutely not hesitate to pick these books up.
Other books by Todd Ritter: