Book Review: The White Devil by Domenic Stansberry

the white devil book review

Femmes fatales, political intrigue and murder in the shadowy streets of Rome. 

Now I’m not sure if you can tell from the image or not, but I was so eager to read The White Devil that I didn’t take a photograph until after I had finished, which is why it looks rather battered – I took it with me everywhere! An absolutely incredible book, it’s an intoxicating and exciting tale of jealousy and murder – read on to find out why you should put this to the top of your to-be-read pile…

I’ve been reading a lot of domestic psychological thrillers this year, so when W&N Fiction asked if I’d like to review noir crime novel The While Devil, I was excited to try something new, and I was not disappointed.

Set in the hot, claustrophobic streets of Rome, The White Devil follows Vittoria – a small-time actress and model – as she leaves behind a dark past in Texas to a new life of opulence, corruption and murder in Italy. If the title sounds familiar, that’s because the novel is a contemporary re-imagining of John Webster’s play from 1612, in which a young woman and her brother are implicated in a notorious double murder in Rome.

Reading Domenic Stansberry’s prose in The White Devil is like entering a dreamscape: everything is familiar yet peculiar; erotic yet sinister. Originally self-published, The White Devil has won an American award for best crime novel, yet Stansberry is quite unknown in the UK. The novel is very European, and a world apart from the majority of crime novels currently on the market. A lot of the time I read crime thrillers simply for pure escapism. Which is fine, but sometimes I want something more, something literary. The White Devil manages to be both a gripping crime novel and a literary one – Stansberry is a name to watch.

The White Devil is published by W&N, an imprint of Orion Books.

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