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“Agatha Christie. Dorothy Sayers. Wilkie Collins. G. K. Chesterton. These are the authors which come to mind when reading Inside Evil. It is the sort of tale to curl up with in front of a warm fire, or read in bed on a cold frosty night. In truth it is a fantasy disguised as a mystery, the sort of quintessential English mystery which is both as cozy as a pair of warm slippers, and as frightening as a knife in the dark. The reader should be aware beforehand, however, that they are reading a very satisfying tale, but it is only Book One of a larger fantasy series. In this first incarnation, one is reminded of the Moors in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Ridgewood is brought to life as a somewhat isolated town not far from the Scottish border. Dark, moody, full of wet weather and haunting landscapes, it is the perfect setting for a murder, and in this case multiple murders.
The main characters - Roberta, Sam, Susan, Martha, and Karl (not to mention Mrs. Peacock) are all caught up in investigating a series of murders around the town, which have happened before and are happening again. As they discover more clues, and as they uncover more details regarding the murders and a strange basement room Susan has discovered, it is apparent they have stumbled upon something far more bizarre and unexplainable than they would have imagined. Something is lurking on the Other Side of Ridgewood, the Dark Side, and before they know it they are pulled into a series of supernatural happenings which become ever more threatening. With each new clue they stumble upon, each answer they deduce, the danger grows ever closer, until they realize that one of them is going to be the next target. But all is not darkness and evil. Help sometimes comes unlooked for . . .
One last note - Along with the dialogue and interactions, Mr. Wakeling's chief gift seems to be in the characters he brings to life. All of them, from police detective Karl to the ever inquisitive Sam to the saucy (in more ways than one) Susan, are quirky and unique in their own ways, and play an essential part in the human play that is Inside Evil. Highly recommended.”
Matthew J wrote this review Tuesday, June 12, 2012.