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  • Location: Guernsey

The Devil’s Claw

The Devil’s Claw

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Small islands are nice cosy places, right? And if you’re returning to your childhood home, how has it changed?

  • ISBN: 978-1409170280
  • Genre: Crime, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

Jennifer Dorey has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper. She’s left London following a traumatic incident and is hoping home can help heal her as well as move on.

However, soon after she arrives back home, a macabre discovery is made when a drowned woman is found on the beach. Jennifer soon discovers that this is not the first and that there is a pattern of similar deaths that have taken place over the past fifty years.

Together with DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, they follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore. But where this trail will end is anyone’s guess….

Travel Guide


An island so already it has that air of mystery about it. Rock formations, folklore, cobbled streets and a small community…..and a body on the beach. And not the first one…..

The killer must be on the island, one of the inhabitants themselves or recently arrived from the mainland…..he walks amongst them….

But at first the community feel is what drives her to return home:

“It was like that on Guernsey. You ran into this same  people all the time. There was a joke about it: something about sixty thousand people clinging to a rock. at twenty four square miles it wasn’t quite a rock, but it was not far off.”

Folklore and history

There is a recurrent theme of folklore and one of the main locations in the novel is the fairy ring. This is crucial to the belief system of many on the island and the fact that everyone seems to carry their own demon around with them. One is the link to the island’s history – the young boy in post war Guernsey who suffers the taunts and attacks of school bullies who mock him constantly for being the product of his mother’s affair with a German soldier.  There is an interesting link to the history of the island which many people may not be aware of – the Nazis occupied the island during WWII.

The island is one of two sides –  a claustrophobic insular community with scars and secrets and the childhood home which Jenny still feels for it. The conflict between the two is as biting and violent as the waves crashing on the rocks below…

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

I do hope this is the first in a series as it’s being touted as, as well, it’s one of the most intriguing crime novels I’ve read in a while. Jenny is a complex bag of emotions who returns home and faces issues both in her life she’s escaped from and that which she now finds herself sucked into. I found her intriguing if not a little naive and a bit too reckless at times but then, she’s got a whole cast of characters to help out.

The novel’s setting really does play a key role here and Lara has evoked it in every which way, conveying the island;s force, the clash of the waves, the spit of the sea and the noises that only seem to haunt her at night. Echoes of its Nazi past whip the currents around the island and blow sharp reminders in the wind of Guernsey’s ghosts.

There’s a lot to this novel, twists and turns and a great chance to immerse yourself into the darkness of something which you’re not quite sure how it’s going to pan out…..There’s not as much gore as some novels as rather it’s the psychological aspects which chill the most.
The current and past threads of the story were nicely interwoven and it made for a very immersive and haunting novel.

This is one where the location plays a major role and it makes its presence felt and more. Cracking plot, history, intrigue, setting to die for (quite literarily!) and sprinkles of ghosts and folklore and you have a novel which delivers on every level and leaves you wanting more.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Devil’s Claw

Destination: Guernsey  Author/Guide: Lara Dearman  Departure Time: 2000s

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