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Friday, February 12, 2016

The Devil’s Pawn by Marilyn Levinson

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Life has gotten more than difficult for Simon Porte after his family is killed in a car accident. His father had insisted on changing his name from Gregory to Simon, his aunt who was to be guardian if anything happened is missing, and an Uncle Raymond showed up to claim Simon—an uncle he never knew he had.

And what a weird guy Raymond is. At first, he was desperately ill, but the improvement to his health is astonishing. Aunt Mary seems nice enough but wanders around in a fog most of the time. Raymond keeps tight control of Simon’s money too.

Simon has good friends in twins Polly and Andy. It’s a relief to get out of the gloomy house and spend time with someone his own age (15).


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There are dire happenings around town, too. A nine-year old girl Simon taught to swim went missing and was found dead, and she wasn’t the only one. Simon begins to suspect Raymond had something to do with the deaths, but is that just his dislike of the man showing or is there something to the idea?

Simon also finds out he has a weird, much older aunt—she’s way nicer than Raymond. She warns Simon to keep his guard up around his uncle. Simon’s always been sensitive to sound and smells, but his aunt explains this is part of the family legacy, among other, worse, things.



Image source: Booktrope Editions

When Raymond lays claim to the land the ball fields are on and wants to build condos there, the kids rally to stop him—but Raymond is determined to take over much more than the land. Who can Simon trust when nothing and no one are what they seem to be?

This book is young adult horror, age twelve and up. The details of the deaths are not gory but are scary. The kids are a believable bunch who want to do the right thing in spite of the odds. In the end, the best person to rely on, is yourself—with a little help from your friends.

To enter to win a copy of The Devil’s Pawn, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Pawn,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 20, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:



Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, "Arthur", included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.




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