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Devil She Knows (Maureen Coughlin #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  654 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
A taut, knowing story . . . Maureen Coughlin is a hero for the ages, a character who jumps off the page and demands the reader's full attention.” Laura Lippman, author of The Most Dangerous Thing

Maureen Coughlin's life isn't turning out as planned. At twenty-nine, she's stuck waiting tables in a Staten Island bar, and her only excitement comes from the next cigarette

Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by St. Martins Press-3pl (first published January 1st 2006)
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James Thane
Maureen Coughlin has essentially spent her first twenty-nine years on the planet going nowhere. Now she's waitressing at the Narrows, a Staten Island bar, and her only long-term objective is to have a night good enough to pay some pressing bills. Maureen drinks too much, smokes way too much and does coke at inappropriate times.

On the evening in question, Frank Sebastian, an ex-cop and aspiring politician, is having a banquet upstairs at the Narrows. Maureen has too much to drink, piles some coke
George Lichman
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Devil could be the darkness inside the characters in this book. Maureen, a late twenties waitress. Amber, her mother, never moved on from being abandoned by her husband eighteen years earlier. Nat Waters, a broken down New York City Detective, who buried his regrets in his job and never looked back. Dennis, Tanya, Vic...owned by something they can no longer control. All of them broken, exhausted, tired of a life that they felt they couldn't change because of choices made long ago.
Or the De
Emily Green
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On June 14, 2011, Bill Loehfelm, most recently the author of The Devil She Knows, came to Literati bookstore in Memphis, Tennessee. Loehfelm, despite his tattoos and earrings, had a deep, calm voice and relaxed presence. Because the audience consisted solely of myself and three other women, Loehfelm decided to leave the podium and take his coffee to sit with us and answer questions.

And answer questions he did, patiently describing his writing process, publication history, and his life in academ
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Devil She Knows

This is a book that I had been wanting to read for a long while and I'm so glad that I finally took the time to pick it up. I love reading novels written by New Orleans authors and Bill Loehfelm is definitely one of the better ones. I know that this series is going to be amazing especially if this book is any indication of what the rest of the series is going to be like. Maureen Coughlin is a likeable and believable character and I can't wait to see how she ends up in New Orle
Alafair Burke
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I said: “The Devil in Her Way has it all: rapid-fire pacing, dialogue that crackles, an artful depiction of the streets of New Orleans, and —in Maureen Coughlin — an utterly authentic, memorable protagonist. Bill Loehfelm is a terrific writer.”
Jun 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story needed some heavy editing. It was exhaustingly repetitive and frequently suffered from unnecessary descriptive efforts. I almost made it to the end but could not endure any more.
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Physically, 29 year-old Maureen Coughlin is a wisp of a woman, 5' 4" tall and 100 pounds. Emotionally, she's a powerhouse, a person with acumen, tenacity, and a wild streak just this side of the Serengeti. She works as a waitress, the same job for the last 10 years and she's just sick of it. It's a nowhere job and she's going nowhere. She lives and works on Staten Island in a faux chic bar with the emphasis on `faux'. She's started college and dropped out more than once but she knows that waitre ...more
Elizabeth A.
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-nine year old Maureen is slogging her way through life working never-ending shifts as a waitress at The Narrows, a wannabe upscale bar located in a rough part of Staten Island. She knows if she doesn’t do something to make a major change in her life soon she’s gonna end up a “lifer” on the bar scene, a fate she’s desperate to avoid.

She soon has more to worry about than long hours and bad tips, however, when leaving the bar in the wee hours of the morning she inadvertently stumbles upon th
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Poor, poor Maureen. For most of this book she made some questionable choices. Mostly for the right reasons.

I should not have been as surprised as I was to find out The Devil She Knows is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux—the same publishers of Michael Cunningham and Marilynne Robinson. Quality writing, but not exactly quality writing of thrillers. Loefhelm can turn a phrase and he has created one of my favorite characters in the flawed Maureen Coughlin, but so very little happens in this bo
Review for Library Journal published 7/22/11 in Xpress Reviews online:

Maureen Coughlin is ready for a change. After almost a decade of cocktail waitressing in Staten Island, she acknowledges that her life has stalled. What happened to her plans for college? A career? Determined to change her trajectory, she sets off for her night shift with a new future in mind. Unfortunately, fate has other plans. After a night of heavy drinking and a few lines of coke, Maureen stumbles upon a scene that puts h
Joyce Peacock
The book was ok as the 2 stars imply. The protagonist, Maureen Coughlin, was edgy, but dumb. She was dumb in the way horror film characters are. "I don't see what the problem is agreeing to break in to a recently MURDERED person's place..." Geesh. I was barely able to contain my dislike of her, let alone care what happens to her. The only reason I finished the story was because I felt sorry for her.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I've read the other books in this series but not in order. Wish I had because this one is close to a 5. His description of Maureen as a waitress is magnificent. I found it completely believable--especially the times Maureen was in serious doubt about what to do. A very human book.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, edgy crime fiction with a good plot and an engaging, complex protagonist. I look forward to catching up with this series and other books by this author.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Probably 3.5

I came across his author whilst reading a review of another book. I’m glad I took the time to take it out of the library as I found it interesting and somewhat compelling, especially the last few chapters.

Given that this was the first in the series, I was willing to give the author some leeway in repetition and wordiness as he was trying to establish characters.

The seediness of Maureen's world was well described: her nocturnal life working in a bar; her lack of friends attributed to
linda moscarda
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I come from Staten Island spent 51 years there I lived on the North Shore where the Narrows was and the South Shore where amber lived I've been to the place the black Garter was set, that area always gave me a creepy feeling my guess it gave the author the same feeling. It was like taking a visit. The story was entertaining I loved Det. Waters felt sorry for Amber and rooted for Maureen, it had a slow start then picked up to a nice pace.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First: great thriller read. Second: I love when a bored out of their mind, but not changing any habits person is forced to change their standard operating procedure and it saves their life. That's what happens in this book. Third: This book makes Staten Island sound like the worst place EVER to live.
Michele Menard
I didn't like the start of this book, and almost gave up on it, but it was a bookclub selection so I needed to keep going. I'm glad I did.

I will likely continue with the series - Maureen is a tough cookie.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was an entertaining book to listen to while I worked out. Enjoyed the characters.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting characters are introduced and I look forward to reading on in the series.
Shelly M. Sampon
Pretty average, but readable.
Sally Sinclair
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Can't wait to read #2!!
Maria Arra Perez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M.H. Vesseur
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good novel needs people more than it needs crimes. And that goes for crime novels too. Bill Loehfelm certainly brings some fine characters to “The Devils She Knows”. The lead is for Maureen, a young woman that comes to life so exquisitely that the author wrote another novel for her, as the start of a series no doubt. I’m a fan right from the page where she makes her debut. Maureen works in a bar and though her life looks sort of glamorous on the outside, on the inside it totally sucks. Cracks ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loehfelm's noirish suspense novel revolves around a memorable trio of characters. Maureen Coughlin is tough, canny, and proud. She's in dead-end waitressing job, struggling mightily to make ends meet. She's a little hard to like and make some poor choices, but Loehfelm gets the reader well inside her head, so even her worst behavior is believable, and, at least from her character's perspective, understandable. One night she sees state senatorial candidate Frank Sebastian in a compromising situat ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Devil She Knows, by Bill Loehfelm, B-plus, narrated by Renee Raudman, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Maureen Coughlin is in a rut. At twenty-nine, the Staten Island native fears she may become a "lifer" at the Narrows, the faux-swank bar where she
waits tables five nights a week. Nursing a strained relationship with her mother, she tries to find ambition in the little things - a gym membership, a
plan to return to school, a dash of cocaine before work - but there's no
Jan 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I'm choosing not to finish this book. Maureen, the main character, made me feel ill. She made herself ill - too much drinking, poor eating, drugs, wistfulness about people who are doing things or have relationships that she does not have. I could have gone through with the book anyway if there weren't two scenes right after each other where Maureen is made to feel awful by others. In the first scene, Molly has the things that Maureen wish she had - a job to be proud of and a good man as a boyfri ...more
“Stop looking for that line I won’t cross. It doesn’t exist.” This is how the bad guy warns off Maureen Coughlin, a Staten Island waitress who inadvertently becomes a key witness to his crimes.

Maureen is a great character. Jaded from years of serving drinks, bright but floundering around in life, very much a working class/blue collar heroine. She is the reason I stuck with the book. She’d work fine as the “star” of a series, if Loehfelm wants to go that way.

I’m impressed with how Loehfelm handl
Kathy Padgett
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read by listening to the audio versions of many mystery/detective/suspence books and The Devil She Knows by Bill Loehfelm was one of the best in a long while. His character development was carefully mastered and the narrator of the audiobook was the perfect choice. I was surprised at the relatively low average ratings (3.5) by the Goodreads members so I looked at some of the lower rated comments to find out why. What I found was more of a dislike for the protagonist, Maureen Coughlin and he ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Devil She Knows is a fast, furious tale of what happens when a young waitress named Maureen sees something she never should have late one night at the local bar where she works. Maureen wants nothing more than to forget what she saw and be left alone. But the people involved have other ideas - and in very short order, two murders occur, Maureen herself is threatened, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out she's next.

Too often people use the term 'page turner' to describe a book, but in
Michelle Delgado
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-york
Loved this book- strangely , I was reminded of Stephanie Plum books.No, this isn't like those except for it's about a single city woman barely scraping by and running up against bad guys.Like the Plum books, it takes place in the seedy underbelly of the city. In this case it's Staten Island. Unlike Plum however, Maureen doesn't have hot cops and bounty hunters to back her up.Maureen is desperate,nearly alone and screwed up.There aren't a lot of laughs either. Instead ,there is tension and suspen ...more
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Praise for the Maureen Coughlin series:

“Not only has Loehfelm created the most compelling, complex patrol cop in the genre—part take-no-prisoners badass, part too-sensitive-for-the street rookie—he has also re-energized New Orleans as a setting for the best in crime fiction, going well beyond the cliches … —edgy, dangerous, but pulsing with life. Maureen Coughlin is as good as it gets.” - BOOKLIS
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“What must it be like, Maureen wondered, to be that size? To be that strong? To know you can show your back to every dark stairwell, doorway, and alley. To have people stare at their shoes and not at your tits when you caught them looking. For people to step aside and not “accidentally” brush up against you when they passed in close quarters. What’s it like to be that big instead of five-four, a hundred pounds, and female? For one week, for one day, I wanna be that size. A guy that size.” 0 likes
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