The Devil’s Work – Mark Edwards

“It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake.  A fatal mistake.  What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor?  When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.  As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.”

When Sophie is headhunted for a job at Jackdaw Publications, it seems all her dreams have finally came true.  She has been a stay at home mum for the past four years, but is now desperate to get back into the saddle, and where else would be better than working for the firm she has dreamt about since childhood?  Her husband Guy is a freelance journalist working from home, so is able to care for Daisy whilst Sophie heads off every day into the centre of London.  Sophie couldn’t be happier, but be careful what you wish for as Sophie’s dream job soon turns into a nightmare.  Her work colleagues are not as lovely as they first seem, in fact the beautiful and intelligent Cassie seems hell-bent on making Sophie’s life a misery.  Sophie starts to make serious mistakes she is sure are not her fault, and her husband is drifting away from her and becoming ever closer to her workplace nemesis Cassie.  Strange occurrences start happening to Sophie and those closest to her, leaving her friends, family, police and even the reader questioning her sanity.  The story is told from Sophie’s point of view, with the narrative switching seamlessly between the present and 15 years earlier when Sophie was a student at university.  You are left wondering how the connection between the two fits, until the story climaxes in a dramatic ending where all is revealed.

I really enjoyed reading this book, from the moment I started it I found it hard to put down, and could have easily finished it in one sitting, had it not been for having to sleep!  I think anyone who has ever worked in an office can relate to the characters in this book, a lot of the story resonated with me which is one of the reasons I found it hard to put down.  I took an instant dislike to Cassie, the “Little Miss Perfect” bound to be found in every office across the UK, and was frustrated by boss Simon, the stereotypical male middle-aged middle management unable to see past the end of his nose.  I did feel Sophie’s pain and angst as bit by bit her life starts crashing down around her, and whilst there were points I did question her sanity I did understand her growing paranoia.  Is she being gas lighted, or is she really losing her mind?  Mark Edwards is always able to build tension and suspense well, and this novel is no exception as it had me holding my breath and gasping in shock.  If you enjoy reading Psychological Thrillers then this book is a must for you, it is full of the thrill part.  I especially loved the sneaky references to Edwards’ other books peppered throughout!

I gave this book 4 stars and would thoroughly recommend this to anyone.  Thanks to Mark Edwards and Thomas & Mercer for a free advanced copy in return for an honest review.

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