I have received a free e-copy of the book Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.
Here is the book blurb.
Devil in the Countryside is a story about the most famous werewolf investigation in history, brimming with intrigue and war, love and betrayal, and long-kept vendettas. It’s 1588, the height of the Reformation, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. There are reports that the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg has returned to a once-peaceful land. Heinrich Franz, a cold and calculating investigator, is tasked with finding whomever — or whatever — the killer might be. He’ll need all the help he can get, including that of a strange hunter who’s recently stumbled into town. Though they’re after the same thing, their reasons are worlds apart. And through it all, a priest tries to keep the peace among his frightened townsfolk, while a young woman threatens his most basic beliefs. In a time when life is cheap and secrets run rampant, these four divergent souls find themselves entwined in a treacherous mystery, navigating the volatile political and religious landscape of 16th century Germany, fighting to keep their sanity — and their lives.
This is a fictional story but based on an infamous historical event when a German was tortured, tried and sentenced as a werewolf back in 1589. Spoiler alert – you can read about it on Wikipedia.
The story is set in 1588/89 in Bedburg, Germany, at the height of the Reformation. It starts with Chief Investigator Heinrich Franz inspecting the victim and murder scene, who was discovered by farmer Karl Achterberg. Is it the work of the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg? Under torture, Karl accuses his neighbour Peter Griswold of creeping around at night and black magic and of being a Lutheran. Peter refutes these claims, implying Karl is being petty because he rejected Karl’s proposal for his son Martin to marry Peter’s daughter Sybil.
Catholic Georg Sieghart, a hunter and former soldier is also trying to find the werewolf, but with the sole aim of killing him. Meanwhile young priest Father Dieter Nicolaus finds himself struggling with his pure thoughts after meeting 16 year old Sybil, daughter of Peter Griswold. The victim is identified as Dorothea Gabler, best friend of Sybil and girlfriend of Martin. Another murder is discovered, this time a prostitute Josephine whom Georg was keen on.
More characters keep getting thrown into the mix. Different classes of society. Catholics and Protestants. Someone is arrested, but then there is another murder. There’s certainly lots going on in the town of Bedburg.
Devil in the Countryside is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.21 in paperback or 99p in Kindle format. An interesting read with plenty of twists and turns which got me thinking. The author is currently writing a sequel, so I’m wondering which of the characters it will be following.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.