Book Review – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Author – Kiera


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea starts out at an old and run down mansion called Citizen Kane. This is where we meet Violet and her twin brother Luke, who live in the mansion. Their parents are artists and go where ever they feel most inspired, leaving the twins to look after themselves and the mansion. Soon enough they find themselves in desperate need of money, so Violet decides to rent out Citizen’s guest house as a form of income.  This is where we meet River.

River shows up to rent the guest house, and is charming, graceful and sophisticated with his expensive clothes and fancy car. He seems to say and do all the right things, but Violet quickly notices that everything is not as it seems. River is a liar, which probably the only thing he doesn’t lie about. He seems to have a strange influence over everyone, but Violet is drawn to him anyway.

After River’s arrival strange things start to happen in Echo – children with stakes hunting the devil in graveyards, and a crazed man kidnapping children and keeping them in an abandoned tunnel. Violet decides she needs to figure out what is going on, but all the clues leading back to one person. Or do they?

The characters in this book are all very different and each brought something to the story. Violet is a bookworm (we like her automatically ;)) and she doesn’t sugar coat her opinions, which is so refreshing! Luke is a typical pain in the butt brother, but it’s obvious that despite their turbulent relationship, he really loves his sister. River, oh River. He is mysterious, charming, gorgeous and clearly up to no good.


‘You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.’

I really enjoyed the writing style in this book. It is dark yet poetic, and very sensory. Each little detail adds up to a lucid mental picture, and fills everything with such atmosphere that is both beautiful and scary. I love the fact that you were kept off balance for most of the story. The way River behaves I should have hated his character, and maybe part of me did, but on the whole I think I fell for him just like Violet did. That is such a difficult thing to achieve as normally characters are there to be loved or hated, not both. It also helped give a building sense of foreboding with each turn of the page. You know something is going on, and you think you’ve got it all figured out but then suddenly you’re not so sure anymore.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is creepy and haunting and will stay with you for a while after you read it. If you’re looking for a Gothic Horror this Halloween then I would recommend this book to you!


Also, I am in love with this cover!


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