Review: The Devil’s Daughter by Katee Robert

Reviewed by Sara

I’m a big fan of Katee Robert and her sexy romances, but I wasn’t so sure about The Devil’s Daughter when I saw its release. Published in 2017, it’s the first book of tmhe Hidden Sins series of novels and while it’s listed as a romance, it’s more of a romantic suspense or romantic ystery. While there is a romance between between Sheriff Zach Owens and FBI agent Eden Collins, it’s not the main element of the story. Needless to say, I am super happy that I gave this book a try.

After a career in the Marines, Zach Owens is happy with his life in quiet, small town Clear Springs, Montana, even if he does have a cult residing inside his jurisdiction. This all changes when girls start disappearing and then showing up dead. To make matters worse, the estranged daughter of the Elysia cult’s leader shows up to let him know there’s a leak on his force and that she has inside information on his case. Eden Collins doesn’t want to be back in Clear Springs, and she wants to be near her mother and the Elysia cult even less, but she’s dedicated her life to shutting down violent cults with the FBI, and the information she received from an unnamed source leads her to believe that something horrible is happening in Clear Springs.

Skirting the line of both professional and personal misconduct, Zach and Eden team up to discover who is brutalizing the girls of Clear Springs. They soon discover a dangerous connection to the murdered girls and Eden herself. With time running out for one girl, can they solve this mystery and maybe find some comfort from the nightmares in their pasts with each other?

Katee Robert does a phenomenal job creating mood in this novel. From the very first chapter she creates a feeling of sinister dread and foreboding. Using pacing and a very strategic parceling out of evidence in the case and information about Elysia’s practices, the feeling of dread is heightened until, at the climax, my heart was pounding and I was reading as fast as I possibly could. I was reading at my computer and I could feel myself leaning into the screen as I became more and more immersed in the action and intrigue happening on the page. Really well done!

I was really impressed with the research Katee Robert obviously put into The Devil’s Daughter. Not once did she skimp on information regarding police or FBI procedure and she had a great handle on the legal and practical aspects of a murder investigation. I was especially happy to see that she didn’t gloss over the fact that Eden inserting herself in Sheriff Owen’s investigation could cause potential legal problems and even compromise the case, but instead made the extra effort to work around this potential problem.

The Elysia cult, too, is another example of great research on Robert’s part. Based loosely on the mythology of Persephone and Hades, the author has done a great job defining the characteristic of Elysia. The cult’s outer facade is that of a back to nature kind of commune, while the inner reality is a hierarchy built on paranoia, lies, and ritual. Robert doesn’t take the easy route and demonize all the cult members, but points out why some people might be drawn to a lifestyle that is focused on being self-reliant and off the grid and why others will be drawn to the ritualistic and seedier aspects of Elysia.

Another thing I enjoyed about the book was the main characters, Zach and Eden. Both of the main characters are from Clear Springs and yet their childhoods were worlds apart. Still, due to Zach’s time in the Marines and Eden’s life in Elysia, each character is brought together through the demons of their pasts. This really is a situation of like attracting like; both characters know they have issues and struggle with the nightmares of their pasts, but because of this commonality, they’re able to relate to each other better than the average person could. As a result, their romance is at times bittersweet as we watch them at times self-sabotage their own happiness to avoid getting too close emotionally.

I am incredibly happy that I picked up The Devil’s Daughter. This book was fantastic! The mood Katee Robert created, the well-researched world-building and procedure and the complex characters really made this for me.

Rating: A+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Devil’s Daughter
by Katee Robert
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance

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