The Devil's Beat

The Devil's Beat

Book - 2012
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" 'We must prise opinion from fact, belief from supposition and guesswork from whatever evidence must exist...' /i> t is surely a simple case of hysteria. Four young women allegedly witness a terrifying apparition while walking in the woods. Has the devil really revealed himself to them? Are they genuine victims of demonic possession? Or, as most suspect, is their purpose in claiming all of this considerably more prosaic? The eyes of the country turn to a small Nottinghamshire town, where an inquiry is to be held. Everyone there is living through hard, uncertain times. The king is recently dead. It is a new century - a new world looking to the future. But here, in the ancient heart of England, an old beast stirs... Four men must examine the substance of the girls' tales and decide their fate- a minister, a doctor, a magistrate, and Merritt, an investigator - a seemingly perfect blend of the rational, the sacred and the judicial. And yet, as the feverish excitement all around them grows ever more widespread and infectious, there is both doubt and conflict among the members of this panel. The Devil's Beatexplores the unforeseeable and unstoppable outcome of this inqui
Publisher: London : Black Swan, c2012.
ISBN: 9780552777094
Branch Call Number: FICTION EDR
Characteristics: 319 p. ; 20 cm.

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bookwormjeph
Jul 09, 2015

I had to persevere with this novel but by the half way mark I was glad I did. Based around a magistrate brought in to oversee an enquiry in a small village/town at the turn of the 20th century where a group of girls said they experienced what they thought was the devil while out in the local woods. Almost a retelling of the witches of Salem court trials. The magistrate is from out of town so a lot of locals are resentful of his apppointment-especially the local dignataries who feel they are more qualified to listen to the testimonies. Beautifully written and it becomes an insight into peoples character, their personal agendas, their assumptions of the girls story and the interplay of the panel convened to listen. Worth a wet sunday afternoon read for sure.

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