Book Review: The Devil Laughed by Gerrie Ferris Finger

The Devil LaughedThe Devil Laughed
A Moriah Dru/Richard Lake Mystery
Gerrie Ferris Finger
Five Star Publishing, September 2013
ISBN No. 978-1-4328-2697-0

Portia Devon, Judge of the Georgia Supreme Court, has invited Dru Moriah and Richard Lake and Lake’s daughter Susanna to Lake Lanier, about 45 minutes from Atlanta, to celebrate the 4th of July. Moriah is the owner of Child Trace, an agency that locates missing children. Richard is an Atlanta police lieutenant.


There has been a drought and the water in the lake is low. Moriah suddenly notices something in the water that appears to be the backside of a boat or as Portia makes clear – the stern. The group believe that the boat is the Scuppernong, a boat that mysteriously disappeared. Two couples were on the boat, Johnny and Candice Browne and Laurant and Janet Cocineau. Johnny’s body was discovered with his head bashed in near the marina but there was no sign of the boat until now.


As word got around everyone wanted to see what had been found including Candice Browne’s daughter Evangeline Bonnet Broussard. Evangeline is thirteen years old and has an unshakeable belief that her mother is still alive. Evangeline flies from Southport, North Carolina to meet with Judge Devon in hopes of talking the Judge into investigating the disappearance of her mother. Judge Devon calls in Dru and after some persuasion Dru agrees to take the case.


Dru soon finds out that she not only has to put up with Evangeline and her many demands, she also has to deal with her uncle Baron Bonnett. Evangeline said that her legal guardian, Lorraine Bonnett, agreed that Evangeline could hire an investigator as long as Evangeline’s Uncle Baron went along with her. Uncle Baron Bonnett turned out to be a Rhett Butler look alike.


There were many theories as to what happened to the occupants of boat and Dru had to sort all the information into fact and fiction. The book is full of interesting characters and Evangeline keeps cracking the whip until Dru finds the answers and solves the mystery. The mystery of the occupants of the boat is multi-layered and keeps the reader guessing.


Gerrie Ferris Finger is a retired journalist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, in 2009; Gerrie won The Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Minotaur Best First Traditional Novel Competition for THE END GAME, released by St. Martin’s Minotaur in 2010. She grew up in Missouri, then headed further south to join the staff of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There, she researched and edited the columns of humorist Lewis Grizzard and co-wrote a news column with another reporter for three years.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, February 2014.