The Devil's Feather
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The Devil's Feather

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,732 ratings  ·  120 reviews
"In 2002, five women are discovered barbarously murdered in Sierra Leone. Reuters Africa correspondent Connie Burns suspects a British mercenary: a man who seems to turn up in every war-torn corner of Africa, whose reputation for violence and brutality is well-founded and widely known. Connie's suspicions that he's using the chaos of war to act out sadistic, misogynistic f...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2005)
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Lance Greenfield
Psychological non-thriller

Having been totally captivated by every Minette Walters book that I have picked up in the past, The Devil's Feather came as a huge disappointment to me. It has to be the most unthrilling "thriller" that has ever appeared on my bookshelves.

It took some stamina to plough through nearly five hundred pages of the fictional ramblings of a self-obsessed woman who doesn't trust anyone around her and just moans and groans about her circumstances. To be fair to the author, ther...more
Another mystery that I COULDN'T PUT DOWN. I sat aside two other books to finish this one as fast as I could because the story is so compelling. Minette Walters is a good writer and she spins a tale that is far from ordinary. British, she includes vernacular that is uncommon to most of us, but is descriptive and cryptic. The protagonist is Connie, a journalist, who has antagonized a mercenary while reporting in Iraq. She believes this man, who goes by many names, is responsible for the brutalizat...more
Another terrific potboiler from this prolific mystery writer. This time, the protagonist is a journalist who was kidnapped and brutally terrorized in Iraq, and who has retreated into the English countryside to recuperate. She befriends a neighbor woman lacking in all social graces and the doctor who attends the neighbor. The journalist, Connie Burns, though suffering from PTSD, shuns all atempts at help and is paralyzed by her fear of the man (MacKenzie) who is responsible for her attack. She ha...more
Minette Walters seldom disappoints me and this read was no exception. Devil’s Feather is psychological suspense at its best. What would it feel like to be a victim of a terrorist kidnapping? This is just what happens to Connie Burns, Reuter’s reporter. While working on a story in Sierra Leone about five women brutally murdered, she suspects a British mercenary. She has met this man before under different names and is certain he is using the backdrop of war as a cover for his sadistic murders. In...more
Sep 28, 2008 Geeta rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jim Francis
Recommended to Geeta by: Mark
Actually, listening. Which is weird, given how many emails go back and forth, but the book is well read, so I'm not having a problem following. I'm just losing patience with the narrator. So are all the other characters, so I'm assuming this is deliberate.

And I've been informed by another reader that bad things happen to dogs. Had I known this, I would never have started the book.

Update: Just as I thought I'd have to give up on the narrator--not unreliable by the book's standard but withholdin...more
This book has a lot in common with the Millenium trilogy (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, etc.) It could well have been called "Men Who Hate Women," which was the original title of the first book. One of the female protagonists bears a striking resemblance to Lisbeth Salander both in appearance and personality.

Much of this novel falls outside the confines of the thriller genre. Many thriller authors focus on the exposition of crimes and the process of solving them. Walters delves into the psycholog...more
Two plots. 1.A journalist's abduction in a war zone and 2. inheritance- I was looking for a connection - there was none other than the journalist had rented a house where the inheritance plot occurs. I kept thinking that a woman hiding out from an abductor would not be getting so involved in the lives & dramas of people who owned the house she was renting. Aside from that it was fast paced (mostly) - the email formated sections worked but it annoyed me no end.
There were moments where action was happening that I was so drawn into the story that I felt antsy sitting and reading instead of moving around, as if I could help. So for that, I give it high marks.

Most of the characters were unpleasant, though, which I don't like in a book. But there were a couple pleasant ones to balance them out.
Feb 27, 2010 Kay rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
This book was so much better than the last one I read of hers. I would have given it 3 1/2 stars if that had been available. Her characters were interesting and the plot was good enough that I didn't want to put it down. Since I have 3 more books of hers sitting in my library stack it gave me some hope to dive in and read.
I am addicted to Mystery novels. Yes, it is true. This read a little bit more like a current events thriller. I like Minette Walters. Her novels are much more disturbing than the other mysteries I generally read. But this one had me on the edge of my seat and I did enjoy the characters.
War zone journalist is abducted, and on her return to England struggles to protect her privacy as she tries to investigate the truth about her captor.
Very well done, sketching both a broad world stage and a small English village equally convincingly.
I was compelled to write a letter to the author after reading this book, because her understanding of PTSD is incredible. Suffice to say that anyone who has been through a trauma will feel less alone after reading this book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Connie Burns is an ex-pat South African serving as a journalist in Sierra Leone when a series of women are brutalized and murdered. She believes it is British mercenary, Mackenzie, and when she discovers him training in a police unit in Beruit several years later, she tries to alert authorities. He is using a different name and she has trouble tracking him down. As she notices that her hotel room has been entered while she is out, and she finds her computer open to an email message about this ma...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Devil’s Feather, by Minette Walters. A.
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I have only read one other of her books, and this one is quite different from the first one I read, “The Ice House.” The protagonist is named Connie Burns, and she is a journalist for Reuters who usually follows various wars. While working in Sierra Leone, she became aware that prostitutes were being killed. She also came across a security guard whom she recognized from another job in Africa. He is very violent, clearly hate...more
Jennifer Mcgown
This book really started out great - a war correspondent discovers a serial rapist and murderer, who works as a mercenary in wars throughout Africa and the Middle East. Connie Burns is a very brave forthright woman originally from Zimbabwe and after she starts investigating she notices her room in broken in to , and she realizes it is time to get out of Dodge. On her way to the airport, she is kidnapped and held for 3 days. She is so terrified by the experience that she cannot talk about it and...more
**2.5 stars** This is my first Minette Walters full-length read (I previously read her short story Chickenfeed). I've read her jacket covers before and the premise to her novels never really appealed so have not been tempted by this author. However, a friend lent me a couple of her books saying that she had enjoyed them so thought I would give them a go. The first 50 pages showed potential and the writing smooth but this story lost it's way for me and never quite delivered on its early promise....more

Connie Burns, a British reporter for Reuters, works overseas covering war and civil distress. She twice encounters a British mercenary whom she thinks is a psychopath; she tries to report him to authorities. For her trouble, she gets abducted while overseas.

When she is, miraculously, set free, she returns to England to recover from the inward trauma. She buries herself in the countryside, away from relatives, to also "hide" from the psycho.

Shonna Froebel
This queen of psychological crime fiction has done it again. Reuters correspondent Connie Burns grew up as the daughter of a white farmer in Zimbabwe. She has often had the role of a war correspondent, covering civil unrest in Sierra Leone, and most recently, the war in Iraq. While Connie was based in Sierra Leone, there were several incidents of women found raped and hacked to death in their own homes. A British DI, Alan Collins, in the country as part of a training force, is troubled by the cr...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aniko Carmean
Those of you who follow my reviews can see I've been on a bit of a Minette Walters kick. I've read three of her books in quick succession, with a pause to revisit a Plath biography. Even that pause was spurred by Walters, whose writing is characterized by strong women who go against societal expectations, who suffer, and who eventually find a way to expose the truth - all of which describes Plath. Like Plath's poetry, Walters fiction delves into the cultural morass of womanhood and truth by way...more
Crisp writing, well drawn characters and suspenseful plot line, though there are a few cliques, though to name them would be a spoiler. Premise is that a 30-something Reuters reporter, Connie Burns, has gone to ground somewhere in Dorset after she was abducted in Baghdad. She refuses to answer press questions and, in some cases, just doesn't know the answer. Question- is her abduction related questions about at spree of rapes and murders in the war torn aftermaths in various African civil wars....more
Although it came highly recommended by the Denver Post, I didn't like this book too much. It left too many unanswered questions. Connie was raised in Africa. Her family loses the farm and move back to England. She becomes a jouralist, specializing in war torn environments. At one of her assignments, she sees someone whom she recognizes who had a bad reputation among women. She discovers that he has an alias. She thinks he is responsible for murdering women. During her investigation, she is kidna...more
Walters is particularly good at prickly, difficult narrators. This one is traumatised into emotional paralysis by her imprisonment and torture at the hands of a sadist operating under cover of the general horror of international war zones; anyone complaining that they find the narrator unlikeable or whiny or unpragmatic in her actions is really, really missing the point. People who have been traumatised don't always act nicely and rationally (heck, people who haven't been traumatised aren't alwa...more
Kemi looves 2 read
Minette Walters never fails to deliver as usual. The book was a fast-moving thriller did what it was meant to do "thrill". The tension and suspense keeps you going. The main plot about the journalist's abduction, the mindset of both the abducted and abductor was great. The sub plot of inheritance, jealousy, manipulation kind of threw me for a loop as I kept looking for a connection - there was none.

The only thing I didn't like about the book is having the page # only on every other page and non...more
Picked this up to read on the plane back to USA from UK, what a disappointment to find out I had already read it! However, must have been a few years ago, so re read it, and have to say, Ms. Walters books are worth a second read.

Story: Connnie Burns travels the war zones as a correspondent, she happens on brutal murders, and nothing is being done. She notices a brutal bodyguard turns up in different places with different names, trying to put two and two together, she finds herself making an enem...more
Suzanne Krueger
The plot was good, the characters well-developed and the ending was good; it could have easily been a 4 star book. But,there were times I became so impatient and just bored with the telling of the story. Parts seemed to drag.... While the plot line was well thought out..the author got lost in the 'explaining' of everything. My feeling was that there was a lot of research put into this book and she was going to make use of every last bit of it.

This wouldn't be a book I would be excited to recomme...more
Benjamin Solah
Minette Walter’s The Devil’s Feather, is a gripping read into the life of journalist, Connie Burns who hides away after being abducted in Iraq. Throughout the book, we find out what really happened and what she’s actually hiding from.

I was drawn into this immediately. The character of Connie, and more so, her antagonist, were both intriguing and diverse characters. We later come to meet Jess, Peter and Madeleine who were equally as interesting. This is very much a character-based novel, surround...more
3.5 stars. This book is tricky, and better than most of the "women in danger" suspense novels that I read.

The negatives: lots of violence against women (pretty intense, too), some readers might like the secondary plot that takes up the majority of the book.

The positives: it's obvious from the first that there's going to be an inevitable confrontation (trying to word this vaguely), and I was dreading it. However, when it came, it was nothing like I expected. The narrator is unreliable but in the...more
This book is described as ‘electrifying’, I can’t really agree with that. It moved along rather slowly, more character development then plot, a side plot that was detracting and unnecessary and an unsatisfying ending. Connie states she doesn’t remember exactly what happened, but her statements (Her mother mentions a conversation Connie had with her father, one you never heard of till then) make you wonder if that is true and as the reader, I was left with more questions then answers. For a true...more
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Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.

The Sculptress has been adapted for tel...more
More about Minette Walters...
The Sculptress The Scold's Bridle The Ice House The Dark Room The Shape of Snakes

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