Book Review: Beneath Devil's Bridge by Loreth Anne White
24 years ago, the tiny town of Twin Falls was rocked by the brutal murder of teenager Leena Rai. Her killer Clayton Pelley confessed and the case was closed, but there were things that never sat quite right with investigating detective Rachel Walczak. Now, a true crime podcaster has scored a massive scoop; Pelley is talking, and what he’s saying throws everything Rachel thought she knew into doubt… because Pelley says he didn’t do it. That Leena’s killer is still out there. Free to kill again.
Retired from the force, estranged from her family after the damage investigating the Rai case did to her psyche, Rachel finds herself inexorably sucked back in again, asking questions she never got answers to all those years ago. And slowly, it becomes apparent that although Pelley is utter scum - a collector of child porn and a molester of teenage girls - he really didn’t kill Leena Rai.
So who did? Why did Pelley confess? And just how did he know details that were never released outside the police department? Rachel can’t rest until she knows the truth - because deep down inside, she knows it lies much too close to home. And she needs to find the answers before the true crime podcaster does - or risk losing everything she loves.
Loreth Anne White is a master storyteller, and this is absolutely no exception. The past and the present collide in this fascinating crime thriller, with some deeper questions asked about how ‘real-time’ reporting in a true crime podcast like this can influence the actual outcome, even in cases years old. I did not see any of the big twists (yes, there are several) coming; though it was obvious from early on Rachel’s daughter was far more deeply involved than Rachel wanted to admit, I was still startled when we discovered just what her role was, and that was one of the smaller reveals. It’s such a good story, one I couldn’t put down until I was done, and everything satisfyingly wrapped up. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.