Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
By April Genevieve Tucholke
Dial, 2013. 368 pages. Young Adult.
"You stop fearing the devil when you're holding his hand . . ."
Nothing much ever happens in Violet White's sleepy, seaside town, until River West arrives and draws a tide of grim events in with him. Though Violet's wary of River and suspicious of his lies, she can't help falling in love with his easy charm, his love of good food and good coffee, and the way he steals kisses from her in the cemetery . . . and that's just how River likes it.
But when the townspeople begin to die one by one, Violet begins to wonder: is River just a crooked-smiling boy with a mysterious past, or is he something more?
I love how easily this book crawled under my skin—I’m nigh unto impossible to scare, but as the pieces of the mystery surrounding River began to fall into place, my heart rate began to rise. The novel’s violence is gritty, uncompromising, and in stark contrast to the writing's dream-like quality; and it will have readers sitting on a knife’s edge until the final line slips out of sight. With shades of Daphne DuMaurier, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Stephen King, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea should be on every gothic horror aficionado's list.