Billy Coffey. The Devil Walks in Mattingly. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014.
Jake Barnett is the sheriff in Mattingly, and his wife, Kate, does
good deeds for the local poor. Both are racked with guilt because they
feel responsible for the death of Phillip McBride twenty years earlier,
back when they were in high school. As Jake and Kate attempt to cope
with their guilt in their own ways, a variety of things are happening.
Phillip is haunting Jake’s dreams. A mentally ill man named Taylor
Hathcock is murdering and attempting to murder, with the conviction that
life is a dream and he is benevolently waking people up. A young woman
named Lisa, who reads philosophy and feels rejected, unloved, and sad
about the death of her mother, becomes attracted to Taylor and begins to
believe his rants. There is also a man named Justus, who shot at two
people years before, and whom Jake and Kate do not want around their
The book really came alive to me after page 200. Before that point, I
had a hard time getting into it, but I diligently read on. I am glad
that I stuck with the book and got to see how its mysteries were
explained and resolved. The book is about forgiveness, moving on with
life, insecurity, fear, reconciliation, and love. Some of its
theological reflections resonated with me, while others did not. The
book is rather deep and thought-provoking, though.
Note: I received a complimentary review copy of this book through the BookLook Bloggers (http://booklookbloggers.com/)
book review bloggers program. The program does not require for my
review to be positive, and my review reflects my honest reaction to the