The Devil's Inn - by David Watkins
Excuse this opener, it does have a relevance to the story:
The road to the Devil’s inn is long and winding, but always memorable, and my own journey to reading this book from David Watkins was equally indirect. A friend of mine, Kenton, from Devon (where I used to live), was one of the guests at my wedding (in Austria), some 21 years ago. Kenton had asked me for a couple of copies of my novel (3 paperbacks) a couple of Christmases ago (2020) and I sent them off to him. He got back to me that he loved the book, left a review (bless him) on Goodreads, and then a year later, brought over his daughter, his girlfriend, and their two boys, to the place I got married, St.Johann in Pongau.
Now I don’t live there. Never have, but I wasn’t going to leave a friend alone, so I took a week off work and met up with him, and showed them all the places to go – a thermal spa. I got them skiing gear and made sure they turned up at the right place for their lessons. We lent them a car for a day etc. It was fantastic seeing him again and meeting his extended family. Time well spent.
A couple of weeks after that, I received a couple of David Watkins' books, from Kenton, as a thank you. Turns out Kenny lives near (is that correct, Dave?) David, and knows him, and likes his books, and so swapped my book to Dave, and got me two signed copies of Dave's books, one of which is the Devil’s inn.
Dave then contacted me shortly before Chillercon, as I had posted that I was attending on the Saturday, and he was the first person to say hello to me, and invited me to watch his panel.
I'm easily swayed by friendliness, and honestly, Dave’s a lovely guy.
So I resolved to read his books asap.
Ok. That’s the back story. That's why I have a physical copy. How does The Devil’s Inn shape up?
Very nicely. Very nicely indeed.
There’s a certain confidence in the language, Dave gives his protagonist the same flair King gives to some of his more wicked villains – the surety of power and the confidence to lie through one’s teeth – it’s a malicious undertone that you get when he talks – it’s fantastic. There’s a killer two-liner when the mc’s have the possibility to run but know if they do, they're dead meat – and Dave sums up perfectly with :
Boom! Instant fan. Great lines, Dave. The action is brutal, the gore sudden and blinding clear, no camera is turned away, and you see the deaths happen in the same shocked state as the other characters. There’s a set sequence at the end that is nicely done, but honestly, you are on the edge of your seat pretty much as soon as the principal bad guy makes his appearance.
More than that, I don’t want to disclose. It's a thrill, a ride, it's tight. Dave's brought a lot of game to the table.
On this rollercoaster, no one is sacred, the stakes are high, the action intense, and the ending satisfying and believable.
I left the book wanting more, and fortunately, Dave’s got another three solo novels or novellas left for me to indulge myself in.
5 out of 5⭐’s, and next time we meet up, Dave, I hope to be able to chat longer. Great book. I suggest you all go get a copy. Hopefully, you’ll get to the inn by a less winding road, but you’ll be glad you made it. Say Hi to the devil for me when you do. We're old friends.
You can buy The Devil's Inn, by clicking on the appropriate Amazon link, below:
You can visit Dave's Website, HERE.
You can find Dave on Twitter, HERE.
You can find Dave on Instagram, HERE.
You can find Dave on Facebook, HERE.