Preview Reviews: The Devil Inside by D.L. Hicks

Preview Reviews: The Devil Inside by D.L. Hicks

In a peaceful coastal town, a young woman is found brutally murdered, a piece of scripture held tightly in her hand. Local detective Charlotte Callaghan must solve this case before it tears the town apart…

Read our Preview reviews here:

The Devil Inside, written by D. L. Hicks, is a fast-paced, gripping crime novel that you will not want to put down. The story is primarily told from the perspective of Charlotte Callaghan, a gutsy, determined, smart police detective who is tasked with apprehending the killer stalking young women within her community. Interspersed throughout the book are chapters from the perspective of the killer, whose identity is not revealed until the end of the book. I really enjoyed the structure of the book, with chapters alternating between the perspective of Charlotte and the anonymous killer. The book was very suspenseful and full of smart twists that were genuinely surprising to me. The writing is excellent and perfectly paced; the story is also told in such an impressively authentic way that I was not surprised to find out that the author himself worked as a police officer. Although there are some difficult subjects addressed in the book, they are dealt with in a sensitive way. I highly recommend this thrilling book and I am looking forward to reading more books written by D.L. Hicks! – Amanda, QLD, 5 stars

A gripping story that draws you in right from the start with a historical flashback, then takes you through a series of twists and turns that keep you guessing right up to the last page. – Jacquelyn, NSW, 4 stars

An utterly astounding debut novel, The Devil Inside is filled with plot twists and red herrings that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat until the very final page. Wonderfully written with a structure that keeps the pace at the perfect speed, and showing a great depth of procedural and boots-on-the-ground experience without being dry or instructional like. And those final two chapters! No spoilers here but wow! Five stars, going to be a smash hit for sure – and I’m sure this wont be the last we see of DL Hicks! – Angela, VIC, 5 stars

The Devil Inside is the first novel by D L Hicks and this is a truly absorbing, on the edge of your seat thriller. The story outlines the brutal murders of women which attend the local gym and church. The author includes narratives from the killer, the investigating detective Charlotte, Charlottes step brother Joseph, the local clergyman and a boy from 1987 who describes his interactions with the clergy. The book is fast paced and Hicks encourages the reader to take a guess who the perpetrator is as the book twists and turns as more murders occur. I give the book 5 stars…an excellent debut novel! – Brenda, NSW, 5 stars

This book had me up till the wee hours of the morning, I couldn’t put it down! I needed to see what the twists and turns led to. I highly enjoyed trying to solve the mystery of this brilliantly written book! – Jessie, VIC, 5 stars

The Devil Inside by D.L. Hicks is an excellent debut novel. When bodies begin to pile up around detective Charlotte Callaghan with religious implications, she turns to her brother, Father Joseph Callaghan for advice. But as her investigations proceed, she ends up finding out far more than she ever bargained for. The interplay of the narrators between chapters made for an enthralling read, and one cannot help but assume amateur detective status to try to piece together the clues. The way the narrative culminates in such an explosive ending… what an exceptional ride! An excellent read for crime fiction fans; D.L. Hicks is certainly one to watch! Thank you Better Reading and Panterra Press for the advanced copy. – Sarah, VIC, 5 stars

WOW!! This would have to be the most impressive debut novel I’ve read. Fans of crime/mystery thrillers will love this book, and even if you don’t normally love this genre, I encourage you to read this one – it won’t let you down. When a woman is found murdered, local detective Charlotte Callaghan is placed in charge of investigating the case. The victim is holding a religious quote which draws the detective’s brother, Father Joseph Callaghan, into the investigation and members of his congregation soon become possible suspects. I love Charlotte’s character as the lead detective, strong, but also vulnerable, with her own secrets to hide, she stops at nothing to solve the mystery. She discovers her town of Gull Bay is a community hiding many secrets and betrayals, soon she doesn’t know who to trust. As a side note, I love that the author is a police officer, this fact really adds credibility for me, I completely trusted that every passage regarding crime scenes, forensics etc was accurate. This book is hard to put down and will take the reader on many twists and turns, with a huge shock near the end, which will have you thinking for days after you’ve finished it. I highly recommend this book and eagerly await the author’s next novel. Thank you Better Reading and Pantera Press for my advanced copy, I thoroughly enjoyed it. – Kim, VIC, 5 stars

FIVE well deserved big shiny stars for this debut novel The Devil Inside by Australian author D.L. Hicks. This is crime fiction at its best, dark and disturbing. From the first page I was hooked and loved every second of reading this book. Detective Charlotte Callaghan is investigating the murder of a young woman in the small coastal town of Gull Bay. The victim is found with a biblical note clutched in her hand, the only clue found at the scene. The investigation heats up when another woman is found brutally murdered along with her dog, coincidentally a biblical note is found on her also. Both women appear to be attractive and fit looking but there doesn’t appear to be any motive for their deaths. The investigation becomes personal for Detective Charlotte Callaghan as she desperately tries to hide a secret of her own during the case. Filled with many red herrings and explosive secrets you may find yourself unable to put this book down! The story may make you feel uncomfortable and sickened but it’s well written and so damned good. The ending is epic, what an emotional shocker! Recommended read for devoted fans of crime thrillers. – Gloria, SA, 5 stars

Whilst reading The Devil Inside I found myself predicting the trajectory the novel would take. I was correct and was disappointed as to how predictable to novel was. This is not my usual genre which made it all the more disappointing as I felt there were no real twists to keep me on edge. There were also a few storylines left open and questions unanswered which added to the frustration o felt reading this novel. In all it was a good first novel, I hope with more experience the author can Polish his novels further. – Dianne, SA, 1 star

A clever little page turner, this kept my attention all the way to the end. A topical read, using historical church sex abuse as the basis of the mystery, local detective Charlotte Callaghan is faced with a crime that shakes not only her local community, but her own family, as her step brother the local priest is drawn into the mix. Jumping between characters to tell the story, this is an excellent example of the genre. Look forward to more by this author – Juanita, NSW, 4 stars

Ok I have another favourite crime writer author. Bigger bonus D.L. Hicks is Australian and ‘The Devil Inside’ is his first novel. So looking forward till his next. D. L. Hicks you kept me up all night to finish reading ‘The Devil Inside’. Oh I so loved the main detective Charlotte. The obstacles she had to go through day to day and do her job, while keeping **redacted due to potential spoilers** a secret, what a trooper. Plus, she wasn’t an alcohol addicted, depressed detective which you find in most crime books. If you like a crime book with a serial killer on the loose, the church, and flashbacks to the pass, ‘The Devil Inside’ is for you. A book I couldn’t put down. – Maria, SA, 5 stars

Wow, what a page-turner! A tenacious female police detective, a small coastal town, a string of brutal murders and evidence pointing towards the local parish priest, who happens to be the cop’s brother. A tangled web indeed. A gripping, thought-provoking debut from D.L. Hicks that will keep readers guessing to the final chapters and the chilling last line. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

I was disappointed with the way this book was written – the story line was thrilling with a breath taking climax that could have been a wonderful book had it been told with the emotional power that it deserved. It seemed like the characters were half asleep – it was full of  powerful delivery told in an unemotional state.  I  feel that the subject deserved  so much more. – Debbie, VIC, 2 stars

Thank you very much for allowing me to review this book. Being a crime and suspense novel it focuses on some dark, sensitive and disturbing themes though despite this I was engaged and engrossed from beginning to end and I applaud the author, it was written brilliantly. In terms of the characters, they all had their demons, secrets and battles and the author really keeps you guessing with who the murderer is. The ending makes for a real firecracker too. – Danielle, VIC, 5 stars

Crime novels so aren’t my normal read. I was SO scared reading it!! The language was just so descriptive!! It’s a police drama, and that part was so insightful. The characters were believable (unfortunately for me, made it scarier) I’m not Catholic, but I can imagine Catholic people won’t appreciate the paedophilic element contained in the novel. – Anna, NSW, 3 stars

DL Hick’s The Devil Inside is a gripping tale woven through themes of family, community, religion and mortality. It keeps you guessing throughout, and even when you think you’ve worked it out, you haven’t – not until the final paragraph punches you in the chest! Highly recommend! – Imogen, VIC, 5 stars

The first thing I want to say is that this is definitely not the sort of book I choose to pick up and read. What seems like a simple murder (if there is such a thing) in a small town becomes so much more. The story could have happened anywhere but the occasional brand dropping helped determine that it was set in Australia, giving the setting a sense of familiarity. I liked the author’s writing style and that the plot was gently released and then allowed to unfold as little clues fell into context. I felt that more could have been done with some of the clues and their context added further into the story. I didn’t like the ending and felt the last chapter was unneeded, the story being already resolved and finished. I wonder if the last chapter is a set up for a following book? Overall it’s a well written crime novel that kept me guessing until the end. – Jodie, WA, 3 stars

The Devil Inside by D L Hicks is a well-paced, well written first novel. The chapters are a good length and from the first pages you are invested in seeing where the characters go, and ‘whodunnit’. The premise of murder, betrayal and monsters who hide in plain sight is an accurate summary, and the writer takes you on the journey affecting all characters in this small seaside town when a killer irrevocably affects their community, and the secrets they all have that threaten to be exposed as events unfold. It is the first book in a long time when I finished it I had to sit quietly after the last page and consider everything that I’d just read in a different light and about what makes ‘good’ or ‘evil’. A page turning, thought provoking read and I will absolutely be looking for more works by the same author (I understand it is his first book, and not to be rude, but if he could follow up with another one soon-ish would be great!!) – 4.5 stars – Caroline, QLD, 4 stars

This is a pretty average crime novel. Flat characterisations and relationships that never come alive provide no help to a predictable and obvious plot. The identity of the murderer is obvious almost as soon as they appear, despite Hicks’ attempts to obscure it. It’s a particularly unoriginal murderer too; the “reveal” is one we’ve all seen and read before. The red herrings were equally obvious, and I didn’t find any convincing enough to be a real distraction. Perhaps the weakest part of the novel was the characterisations. These were strangely flat; not one of the characters came to life for me. Their relationships were equally unconvincing, and their dialogue and interactions seemed awkward and unrealistic. More so, motivations were often unconvincing. I simply didn’t believe these people would act like this. As a result of these flaws, there wasn’t a lot of tension in the novel. Not only were there no surprises, but at no point did I care very much about what was going to happen and how. It’s readable and undemanding, and some readers may appreciate that. However, it really doesn’t offer anything worthwhile. It is forgettable and unremarkable, and never really engaged my attention or emotions. – Lorraine, ACT, 3 stars

From the get go, I knew The Devil Inside was going to be a book that I loved and I wasn’t let down. I could empathise with Charlotte going through such an emotional time personally while trying to put on a happy face at work. I enjoyed trying to figure out the whodunnit part of the story and must say I was blown away after finishing reading the Epilogue. A great first novel by DL Hicks. 5 stars – Natalie, NSW, 5 stars

Having a serving police officer as the author, this book oozes veracity. Set in an Australian coastal town and featuring several complementary plot strands, this is a satisfying read. There are links to issues currently in the news which make it seem as though the terrible crimes could occur in any part of modern Australia. Hicks has written an enjoyable read underpinned by his familiarity with violent crime and police procedures. – Penny, VIC, 4 stars

What a great read! Addictive and totally unputdownable with some serious plot twists. Loved it! – Rachel, QLD, 5 stars

This book drew me straight in. It was easy to read and I read it quickly wanting to see where the story would go. I was taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions through it alongside the main character, whom I really admired. However, even though I liked the unpredictableness of the storyline, I was left really disappointed with the final outcome. **redacted due to potential spoilers** – Rebecca, NSW, 2 stars

Wow! This book I could not put down. I loved the tale of sister cop and brother priest caught up in numerous murders of woman. Such a perfect timing in light of the recent Royal Commission into the Catholic Church. What this book did for me was to humanize the issue of sexual abuse in the church and the effects it has. This was such a great thriller with twists and turns that weren’t predictable! – Katarzyna, VIC, 5 stars

The bodies of fit and healthy young women are being found in Gull Bay, a small Australian coastal town. Callously murdered, no DNA at the scene, the only clues are biblical quotations left with the corpses and the only commonality their membership at a certain gym. Detective Charlotte Callaghan seeks assistance from her beloved step-brother Joseph, the local parish priest, in decoding the messages. **Redacted due to potential spoilers** With twists and turns and secrets galore, D.L.Hicks had me riveted to discover who was ‘The Devil Inside’. The ending was bittersweet. **redacted due to potential spoilers** – Anita, QLD, 5 stars

Oh my gosh what a fantastic read. It started out a bit slow, but once it really got going, I couldnt put it down. The characters drew me in and I loved the way the story was written from multiple perspectives including the killer, even if you didnt know who it was. But the best was the ending. The last two chapters left me blown away. For a first novel, this was absolutely fantastic. – Kirstie, WA, 5 stars

I really enjoyed this murder mystery book set in a quite coastal town is where the murders take place, Charlotte is the lead detective who has her own **redacted** problems ( no spoilers ) great book from start to finish with an ending I definitely never saw coming – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars





The Devil Inside Author, DL Hicks on Being a Full-time Police Officer While he Writes

Review | Author Related

18 February 2020

The Devil Inside Author, DL Hicks on Being a Full-time Police Officer While he Writes

    The Devil Inside by DL Hicks is a Thought-Provoking Page Turner

    Review | Extract

    17 February 2020

    The Devil Inside by DL Hicks is a Thought-Provoking Page Turner

      The Devil Inside by D.L. Hicks: Your Preview Verdict

      Review | Preview

      12 February 2020

      The Devil Inside by D.L. Hicks: Your Preview Verdict

        The Devil Inside by D.L Hicks is Dark, Disturbing and Utterly Addictive

        Review | Our Review

        10 February 2020

        The Devil Inside by D.L Hicks is Dark, Disturbing and Utterly Addictive

          Publisher details

          The Devil Inside
          D.L. Hicks
          Crime Fiction
          04 February, 2020


          Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Revelation 2:10In a peaceful coastal town, a young woman is found brutally murdered, a piece of scripture held tightly in her hand. Local detective Charlotte Callaghan is put on the case, and she's glad for the distraction – Gull Bay can be a hard place to keep a secret, and she's holding on to a few.After Charlotte asks her brother, Father Joseph Callaghan, about the verse, her suspicions fall on his parishioners. Then a second victim is found, along with another biblical message.A dark betrayal is concealed within the small community. For Charlotte, there's something personal about this case, something that threatens the very core of her beliefs. Can she unravel this mystery before it tears her town apart?A gripping crime novel about murder, betrayal, and the monsters who hide in plain sight.
          D.L. Hicks
          About the author

          D.L. Hicks

          D.L. Hicks is a police officer with the Victorian Police. In his twenty-five years of service he has been on the frontline of everything from drug busts to serious collisions and all manner of violent crime. His debut novel, The Devil Inside, examines the line between good and evil and how circumstance can alter a person’s life in the blink of an eye.
          He lives in Geelong with his family.

          Books by D.L. Hicks


          Leave a Reply

          Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *