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The Devil in Her Way: A Novel by Bill…
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The Devil in Her Way: A Novel

by Bill Loehfelm

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Maureen Coughlin returns as the heroine of the newest Bill Loehfelm novel, The Devil in Her Way. Maureen made her first appearance in Mr. Loehfelm’s last novel, The Devil She Knows, as a late twenties bartender on Staten Island. She was tired, older than her age, with no plans to move forward. When she saw something she shouldn't have, she became embroiled in a power struggle amongst powerful people. She learned the hard way that she could only count on herself.

At the end of The Devil She Knows, Maureen had a new outlook on life, made some new and healthy friends, decided to take control of her life. She had been selected to be in the next class of the New York City Police Academy. It was empowering, and ended with an optimistically for our heroine.
The Devil in Her Way finds Maureen as a rookie police officer, five weeks out of the academy, in New Orleans. Like most rookies, she is excited, eager, chomping at the bit; in this case the bit being her field training officer, Preacher Boyd, a street wise veteran who knew how to get things done. When Maureen and Preacher get in the way of an up and coming gang leader trying to reclaim Josephine Street, the J-Street Family, people start dying. And Maureen sees a bit of her future, good and bad, with the NOPD.

Before I even started the book, I was worried about explaining the change of location from New York to New Orleans. But Mr. Loehfelm handled it simply and believably: Maureen’s class at the NYPD Academy had been postponed…twice. She knew the New Orleans Police had been caught in some post-Katrina scandal, and wanted to be where she was needed, where she could make a difference, where she could start a new life. She was off to NOLA.
Mr. Loehfelm did a great job balancing Maureen’s past, present, and future. For the first time in her life she felt she had a mission with the NOPD, a future, preferably as a homicide detective. But she wasn't ready for it, and her ambition, which could get her there if she could slow down enough to learn, could be her undoing. And Maureen is well aware of it.
Another pleasant surprise from the story is how well Mr. Loehfelm was able to write Marueen as a rookie policeman. She was everything a rookie police officer should be, and everything that annoys the more seasoned officers. Eager, headstrong, overconfident, bold; but also green, in a hurry, putting her own goals before what is most important.
In addition to the great character development and story, a love of New Orleans is apparent. Without ignoring the obvious and complex problems in New Orleans, Mr. Loehfelm's New Orleans a desirable place to visit. The food, unique and historic neighborhoods, culture, and pride all outshine the crime, post-Katrina chaos, corruption, destruction, and hopelessness that are there, too. Mr. Leohfelm does the city just as much justice as the wonderfully descriptive James Lee Burke.
If The Devil She Knows was about breaking away from life’s circumstances that held Maureen back, then The Devil in Her Way is about Maureen plowing through life’s new challenges without looking back, despite sometimes still being haunted by the devils of her past. I enjoyed it, and look forward to more of Maureen Coughlin. ( )
  glichman | Apr 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374298858, Hardcover)

When Maureen Coughlin first appeared in The Devil She Knows (2011), the New Orleans Times-Picayune called her “unforgettable” and “the character of the year.” Booklist named The Devil She Knows one of 2011’s ten best thrillers and declared Maureen “as compelling a character as this reviewer expects to see this year.”

Now she’s back in Bill Loehfelm’s new thriller, The Devil in Her Way, and her life has changed in more ways than one: She’s starting over in New Orleans as a newly minted member of the police force.

Kicking off her final week of field training, Maureen takes a punch from a panicked suspect bursting out of an apartment. Her training officer laughs it off, and the incident even yields a small victory: the cops recover a stash of pot and guns. But out on the street, on the fringes of the action, Maureen sees something sinister transpire between two neighborhood boys that leaves her shaken, and she knows there’s more to the story than she’s seen. As we follow Maureen’s dangerous hunt for answers, Loehfelm leads us around New Orleans’s most hidden corners and into its darkest outposts.

Bill Loehfelm is the real deal—a lauded thriller writer in the modern tradition of Dennis Lehane, Richard Price, and Michael Connelly. He knows the voices of his city. Like Lehane’s Boston, Price’s New York City, or Connelly’s Los Angeles, Loehfelm’s New Orleans leaps off the page, as vibrant, flawed, and unruly as his reborn, fire-hearted protagonist. In The Devil in Her Way, Loehfelm’s talents flourish, and the result is a ruthless and propulsive thriller.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:18 -0400)

Maureen Coughlin starts out her career with the New Orleans police force by being punched in the face by a man rushing out of an apartment building.

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