Book Review: "The Devil's Song" by Lauren Stahl

Updated on January 26, 2018
The cover for the Devil's Song, Lauren Stahl's debut novel.
The cover for the Devil's Song, Lauren Stahl's debut novel. | Source

Lauren Stahl Uses Her Experience in Law to Craft an Impressive Debut Novel

Before I begin this review I must state that this could have been a very awkward article. To my knowledge, it's the first book I have ever reviewed which is written by an author whom I know and I must explain that before I get into the review itself.

In June of 2013, I was at the residency for Wilkes University's Masters in Creative Writing Program in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, which I was just about to begin my second semester for and was looking forward to beginning my thesis teleplay for. By this time I was (mostly) fully acquainted with everyone in the program and at the after-party on the final night at the hotel, I saw one of the faculty members chatting with a woman who was an alumni by this point (Lauren) and he asked her, "Do you know Chris?" And, to my surprise, she replied, "Yes, we spoke in January." I squinted and said, "Did we?" In my defense, I must have spoken to about seventy people that previous January. But once I realized who she was, I friended Lauren Stahl on Facebook. After speaking to her a bit, wondered what she could have possibly written about in the program. Then I kicked myself and remembered she was an Assistant District Attorney in Northeastern Pennsylvania, thus had a plethora of experience to draw from for whatever in the world she wrote about at Wilkes University.

When this book was announced as coming out this year under Akashic Books' Kaylie Jones Books imprint, I had remembered hearing Lauren read from it, very well I might add, at the last residency I attended. So I did as I promised when I was able to do so and downloaded the book to my Nook when it was released. When I said this could have been a very awkward article, I meant because if I didn't like the book I would have felt terrible about it even if I am not extremely close to Mrs. Stahl. But thankfully there's nothing awkward to be found here. Apparently this book was the big hit at the recent Wilkes residency which I was unable to attend, and is selling like hot cakes on Amazon and I am happy to say it deserves it.

The story deals with Kate Magda, a young Assistant District Attorney in fictional Mission County, PA. She is assigned to the Reds case, a serial killer who is murdering women with red hair. Aiding her is Detective Sam Hart, with whom she has a very complicated relationship and that's all I'll say about that. Kate is ambitious, as prominent ADAs tend to be, and she is the daughter of the area's President Judge as well, so she sees this case as her chance to move up the legal ladder. But as she gets deeper into the case, she realizes she just may be the killer's next victim. That's really all I can say about it without giving it away.

As someone who doesn't read many legal thrillers or watch them on screen, I thought it would be a tough read for me. And while, since I'm a pretty straight-laced person, there was a lot of legal jargon and banter I didn't get, I had to expect that as it was penned by a genuine ADA. That just meant it was realistic just like the characters are, and speaking of the characters, you could easily picture yourself running into these kind of people in real life if you ever got in trouble with the law.

While I'm not very well-versed in legal thrillers, I know enough about mystery and detective stories to know that when you write them, you have to keep your readers guessing to keep them interested enough to turn the page. Lauren does this skillfully. As a writer myself, I am big on twists in my own plots when they are required and there are several doozies in this book, all of which make me anxious for the inevitable next installment because I found this one to be a real page turner and I don't see why I wouldn't find further exploits of Kate to be page turners as well.

On a scale of four stars, I'd say I'd give this book three and a half. The half is for the jargon the author understood better than me. Highly recommended.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        20 months ago

        Finished reading Devils song today, what a great read! The book is written very well to keep reader interested and not wanting to put the book down. Highly recommended!!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)