The lone survivor of a tragic plane crash, Trent Hawkins inherited a mysterious lucky streak that made him famous, and hated, in the poker circles of the City of Sin. It wasn't long before the eyes in the sky threw him on the blacklist and chased him out of town. Now, after years away, Trent returns to Las Vegas, and walks right back into trouble.
As a serial kidnapper terrorizes the city, Trent and his wife, Susan, rescue a strange, thirteen year-old girl, only to find themselves caught in a fallen angel's plot to cleanse Las Vegas with an unholy blizzard.
As the neon dims and the city freezes, Trent is forced to make terrible sacrifices in order to protect his new charge, and learns dark truths about himself and the creatures plotting against mankind. Poker-playing demons, fallen angels, and otherworldly shades all vie to enlist his strange luck, and Trent must choose his role in the coming War, or watch our world fall to ruin beneath a blanket of shadow and ice" (from Goodreads)
M.E. Patterson's debut novel, Devil's Hand, is a gritty supernatural thriller set against the dark and treacherous backdrop of a snow-covered Las Vegas; a place where angels and demons roam the streets and the things of nightmares lurk in the shadows. Patterson artfully brings these creatures--and the city they terrorize--to life through a quickly unfolding plot that dives head-long towards its apocalyptic finale.
Devil's Hand grabbed me early on and drew me in with a rousing mixture of action, horror, and mystery. The vividly described action sequences are fast paced and compelling. The supernatural creatures that Trent, Susan and Celia encounter are awesome, particularly the Render. The horrific situations are frightening and realistic without being overly gory or distasteful. Elements of mystery are intricately woven throughout the book and are well thought out and intriguing. It's obvious Patterson did his homework, adding a fresh take on some familiar ideas about angels, demons and the creatures in between. It’s the balanced combination of all three of these elements that kept me turning the pages.
The only struggle I had with Devil’s Hand was that I felt there could have been more character development of the protagonist, Trent. I liked Trent and found him relatable, but wanted to know more about who he was, how he was feeling and what he was thinking. The root of this criticism can likely be traced to the novel’s third person narrative. That said, given the pacing and level of action in the novel, the fact that the reader is able to relate to Trent at all is a testament to Patterson’s storytelling ability. And without the third person narrative we wouldn’t have been treated to the darker chapters focused on Salvatore and Celia, nor the enthralling action sequences with Zamagiel or the Render.
Bottom line: Devil’s Hand, the self-published debut novel by M.E. Patterson, earns a well-deserved A-. Definitely recommended for fans of Butcher and Koontz, or anyone interested in a gritty, fast-paced, action-packed, supernatural thriller. Also worth noting is that digital copies of Devil’s Hand can be purchased on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com for the very affordable price of $2.99.