The Devil Walks in Mattingly

The Devil Walks in Mattingly

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies.

Purchase a copy and learn more at Billy’s website.


  • WordSmith says:

    I finished this book with burning eyes and a mild throb forming behind my forehead–because I was so into the story, I couldn’t put the book down to go to sleep! “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” is an intriguing (and somewhat creepy) story that will keep you guessing and turning pages until the end. I love a book where I’m never once restless to skip ahead. This book was one of those. At almost 400 pages long, the story and action never once sagged.

  • Coffey’s writing is some of the best I’ve ever read. He creates deep character points-of-view using a blend of first- and third-person. It was like seeing inside their minds. And he crafts some of the most beautiful sentences I’ve had the pleasure of reading. He brings to the page the unique pace and wording of the Virginia dialect–philosophical, observational, straightforward, and down-to-earth. It can’t be easy to create such believable prose. It was not limited to dialogue. The whole book was full of these gently rolling sentences full of truth.

  • Great book. Well written. Inspirational. I would recommend it to everyone. It’s one of the those books that you just can’t put down. I can see myself reading it again.

  • I really enjoyed Coffey’s last book When Mockingbirds Sing so I could not wait to crack this one open.
    The Devil Walks in Mattingly was a little bit darker then the last and most of the time I don’t care for dark books but this one was different than most dark books.
    For those of you who are thinking a dark read is not my cup of tea, well I have to say it was really good , I was not disappointed at all. You will really enjoy this read.
    This is one of those books that has many points of views, more and more authors are using more then one point of view it seems now. That was the only thing that I did not like about the book.
    I gave this book 5 stars.
    I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for my honest review.

  • There’s so much to like about the work of Billy Coffey, a lyricist at heart with a Southern twang. His prose practically sings itself off the page. He weaves the supernatural convincingly into his narrative, and delivers each character fully formed, achingly real, marvelously complex. He executes deep dives into subjects that really matter. Guilt. Forgiveness. Redemption. Grace.

  • Full of interesting characters from moonshining men, estranged fathers, dead souls and a man living in the woods for the past twenty years the story takes the reader on a strange twisting journey as we follow Jake and Kate (the good ones?) and Taylor and Lucy (the bad ones?) and watch worlds collide.It did take a while for the pieces of the story to connect which could be construed as a slow start, but the rhythmic writing style eventually weaves its spell and draws you in. The plot becomes slightly mind-bending and it borders on thriller, so fans of mysteries and suspense should enjoy this one.

  • This was an excellent albeit dark book about redemption, sin, hatred, and love. The story showed the results of living a life behind the guise of a lie. Sin that is not repented for and given to God can harden and shape a life. A life of lies is not worth living because eventually the lie will fall away. Once the lie falls away a person has to face up to whatever spawned this lie.
    This story was an interesting read. An entire town living in the clutches of sin and lies are about to embark on a journey that not all of them will survive.

  • Coffey’s books are going to be at the top of my reading list from now on. This is a great story filled with valuable lessons, suspense and redemptive grace.

  • The devil walks in Mattingly, and everyone is willing to take the blame for it. Not surprisingly, this 400 page tome is a deep book. It is a fascinating read as you slowly uncover what truly happened 20 years earlier and why Phillip McBride has returned. The characters change and grow, even within the short period that encompasses the book. That said, it is heavy and a challenge to read.

    It started somewhat slow and confusing as the book jumped from character to character to character with much foreshadowing. And the evil portrayed within the book meant that I had to read it in doses rather than being able to sit down and read and digest it in one or a few sittings. Once I got into the book, however, it was a fascinating read – and I’ll admit that I stayed up late to finish and enjoy it.

  • As I said there is a bit of a supernatural bent, which seemed to be Christian in thought but it wasn’t totally spelled out – although the idea of forgiveness and acceptance are a big part of the story and that really shines through in the story and I think regardless of the supernatural aspect (I do believe the veil between Heaven and Earth can be thin at times) it was a great book about how guilt can destroy lives and that isn’t what God wants for us, although guilt can also serve as a spring board for repentance and gaining forgiveness. After reading The Devil Walks in Mattingly I will be looking to read Billy Coffey’s other books and see how they stand up against this one.

  • As always when diving head first into a brand new(to me) author, I didn’t know what to expect when reading The Devil Walks in Mattingly. Of course, the synopsis made it sound great, but would I end up loving it or wanting to close the book long before it was over? Luckily, it was the former! I enjoyed the way the author wrote, it just had a way of jumping right off the pages(you know, those things I couldn’t turn fast enough when reading the book). The story itself was fascinating. One of redemption, sorrow, heartache, truth, lies, and everything else under the sun.

  • Coffey has an uncanny way of making the spiritual come to bear on the physical lives of the characters he creates. We are faced with the question of how we deal with traumatic events of the past that have an effect on the present. Do we rationalize, as did Taylor? Do we try to bury them, as did Jake? Do we try to do penance, as did Kate? This is a great novel of spiritual ramifications of past deeds and would be an excellent choice for reading groups. There is much to think about and discuss in this novel.

  • There are no words to describe the literary feast that Billy Coffey has created!
    The writing style alone is enough to keep me reading and reading and reading, yet there is more underneath the words that drown my senses. There are characters who are so real, I feel I’ve known them forever. Jake, Kate and Taylor embody the various ways we cope with the past…rationalize it, strive to make up for it, bury it!
    This book definitely gives you a lot to think about- even though it is a work of fiction.
    I encourage you to delve into this story with an open heart and take the journey with these characters…it is one you will not soon forget.
    I’m looking so forward to picking up a copy of Coffey’s first novel- When Mockingbirds Sing.

  • There are definitely things in this world that cannot be rationally explained. I was fascinated by what exists in Happy Hollow, and I want to know more about it. There’s no doubt that Coffey has a poetic way with words. The descriptions of the Hollow and what lies within it are powerful and emphasize the mystery of it.

  • What a great book! This book will keep you glued to the pages until you find your answers. If you like suspense and mystery, this book is for you. I also think book groups would have some wonderful discussions around the topics (like guilt, fear, and forgiveness) presented here.

  • By The Book says:

    Billy Coffey’s latest novel, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, is the first book I have read by this very talented author. His lyrical writing style, great sense of place and characters that are deeply flawed and yet s0 real, are the reasons I will be reading many more of his books. Deeply moving, oftentimes horrifying and always riveting, The Devil Walks in Mattingly is a must read.
    Very Highly Recommended.

  • When I started the book I wondered why I’d chosen to read it. But right off the bat, Coffey pulls you into the characters’ lives and who they are. You see and feel what they see and feel. At least I did. The writing is gripping and keeps you until the end. There is violence and a supernatural focus in the book, neither of which I cared for, but otherwise the book was very well done. I give it 3.5 stars because of the supernatural elements. Coffey is a superb writing.
    The very end is where the light shines but its presence is sprinkled throughout the book. If you read the book, stick with it to the end!

  • This was a really awesome book to read because it had everything I like in a good mystery. Teenagers who do the wrong thing at the wrong time, pranksters, a playful game wrong seriously wrong and then there is the love story, even if it was hard to keep the secrets.

    Then the shocker comes in the end and you won’t want to miss this story!

  • When I received this book for review, I filed it in my mind as a murder mystery. The Devil Walks In Mattingly goes so far beyond that in its depth that I didn’t even really consider who was the murderer. The important thing was how so many people perceived their own responsibility in the death of young Phillip. Author Billy Coffey has a beautiful, mesmerizing way of writing that kept me intrigued. I loved the way Coffey worked his way into the minds of his characters, giving each one an objective view. Although this book is from a Christian publishing group, it’s definitely not an evangelical read. In fact, it’s a little bit on the Stephen King side without the bad language and graphic scenes. I highly recommend this book if you like feeling a little thrill of fear while reading!

  • To sum it up, a mystery wrapped in supernatural happenings. This book is a very mystical book that keeps you guessing at every turn.

  • Happy Four says:

    This is the first book of Billy’s that had the opportunity to read. “The devil walks in mattingly” is a fabulous book that will keep you to the end. There is mystery, intrigue and the characters are human and complex. This book has all the elements of an incredible story and grips you with mystery and the supernatural elements.

  • My Full Cup says:

    It is masterfully written, the plot and characters are well developed. This is a book you can climb into and write yourself in the margins.

  • The Devil Walks in Mattingly is labeled “a novel,” but that doesn’t seem to adequately cover it.

    Unique. Supernatural. Hollywood-ready!

  • I am a sucker for a great suspense novel, and this one fits the bill perfectly. As a thriller, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, hooks you in immediately — right from the get go.

    You owe it to yourself to read The Devil Walks in Mattingly as well as Billy’s older books, and make sure to catch up with him on his blog What I Learned Today where he shares day to day truths with home town warmth and skill.

  • There is enough suspense and questions in the first few pages to keep you turning pages earnestly trying to figure out what happens next. I wasn’t even aware that there was such a thing as Christian suspense, but I was wrong. Billy Coffey does a fantastic job weaving together a tale of intrigue and suspense without all the gore, sex, or language. At the same time it’s not overly preachy or Christian, so it won’t scare off non-religious readers. There is a nice hidden web of faith that reveals itself in small moments and makes the story come alive.

  • This is a novel that showcases much more than a well written story. It shows how far guilt can carry us if we allow it to fester unresolved. It also teaches us the power of forgiveness. People often say that forgiveness is for others, but I beg to differ, it is for us that have been wronged instead. There is freedom in being able to forgive those who have wronged us, no matter what has happened. Those who can’t are likely Jake, Kate and Taylor who are stuck feeling justified in keeping those feelings locked inside, and thus become more trapped and tormented than anyone should ever have to. By the time, you get to the end of this one, you will understand what grace truly is and how much freedom there is in forgiveness before you can ever move forward. In my opinion, by far, Billy’s finest!

  • Where to start? This is a supernatural thriller, where good and evil are locked in combat to win souls. The air is filled with something ominous and tangible, and it will not release it’s grip, it’s a fight to the bitter end. Who will win out?

    We meet Jake, Kate and Taylor who are literally battling horrid visions, dreams and suffering from a crippling guilt that has imprisoned them. All the while trying to sort out how to gain a semblance of peace from the secret they have carried for so many years. They seek redemption, but will they find it?

    Excellent thriller.

  • The theme of this book is still bouncing around in my head : Justus said “Grace then.”
    Oh, if we could ever really get this message, this truth.
    This is a story that will take you on a ride you will not soon forget, nor will you see coming. You get pulled in so deep into who the characters are, and you are wondering about the secret and then before you know it everything is coming to a head.
    I think most of us can identify with more than one character in this story – in many ways.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!!

  • It’s a rare occasion for me to pick up a fiction book but I felt that it was time for a change up and I’m glad I picked this book up. The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey is an engaging read about 3 characters who are all tied to a murder of a high school boy deep in the woods. His death is ruled a suicide and life goes on for 20 years in the sleepy little town of Mattingly until a ghost starts to haunt the dreams of the local sheriff.

    I don’t want to ruin any surprises or spoil anything for you, so I’ll leave it there, you can read the official book teaser

  • What a novel! I’m ready for another supernatural thriller by Billy Coffey, his style of writing is amazing. The ending is just as amazing.

    Something terrible happened in the past and it’s effecting people years later. Set in the charming south this secret has taken its toll on those who know the truth. This is more than a murder mystery, my heart was touched throughout the book. Read it!

  • Oh my WORD! I am going to start out by saying I love mystery books, suspense and some thrillers even. However this book totally freaked me out. Gave me the heebie jeebies. That is a good thing. Now you think I have lost my mind, but truthfully, how often do you read a book, that you feel so much. I thought I would jump out of my skin in some sections of this book. Mercy me, I got through it though. Billy Coffey is a very talented author, and this may be the only book of his that I will ever read, not because he is bad, but I am not sure I can take the fright factor. OH my WORD!! 4 stars from this reviewer. Great book, scary stuff!
    This book was provided for review purposes only.

  • This book is an unusual blend of creative writing and imagery. I have to warn you, this is the most complicated review I have ever had to write. Allow me to explain. The Devil Walks in Mattingly, labeled as Christian fiction, is a murder mystery. Coffey does an incredible job with this story. He draws you into the story with just enough details to hook you, but the pieces do not all fall together until the very last chapter. The characters (even the supporting ones) are complicated and well developed. They are all engaging and they make you want to know every last detail. I picked up this book on a Friday night and finished it on a Saturday afternoon. I literally could not put the book down, I kept finding ways to prop the book open while I completed my normal tasks.

  • …. There is a haunting darkness to this book, one that lingers even after the pages are read, mainly because the characters and circumstances and events come to life between his words. They don’t always do the right thing, and they don’t always fix their wrongs the right way, and they don’t always love the way they’re supposed to, or carry out justice the way it should be. But in that humanness comes the beauty of this story about redemption – how the hopeless find hope.

  • I like that a bunch of books by this author take place in the same town. It is easier to read about characters when you are familiar with their surroundings. The author did a great job of making this book clean and disturbing at the same time. I was happy that the author waited towards the end of the book to solve the mystery.

  • In The Devil Walks In Mattingly, Billy Coffey weaves a haunting story about what happens to people when the guilt of past sins continuously gnaws away at their souls. Billy has written a powerful book that’s infused with spiritual and supernatural elements, and powerful themes including redemption and forgiveness.

    The Devil Walks In Mattingly draws you in from the start; Billy Coffey casts a spell on you with his masterful story-telling.

    If you aren’t afraid to pick up a book that deals with the darker side of human nature – if you want a book that will take you deep into the human psyche and soul – if you want to read a truly unforgettable story – I recommend The Devil Walks In Mattingly to you!

  • It took me a while to decide if I liked the book. It is weird, but a good weird. I would read it, then put it down and wonder if it was worth finishing. Then I hit a point in the book I found myself wondering what was going to happen next, and found it harder to put the book down. Eventually, I hit a point that I was so into the story, I determined to finish it that day, and I did.
    Coffey has a very unique writing style, and that is what took me a while to get into the book. The book is not boring. It is just different. After I finished the book, I decided I did indeed like the book, the characters, plot, and setting.

  • This supernatural thriller had me engrossed from the very beginning wondering what the three main characters had done that made them suffer from so much guilt. This story is a great example of what happens to us when we live a life full of lies and guilt because we won’t repent and accept God’s grace. We must also forgive ourselves to be able to move forward in our lives.

  • Mommy Has to Work says:

    When I was younger I use to read a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koontz books. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten away from them. I’d have to compare The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey with books written by my long-lost favorite authors.

    The book took me a while to get into and the more I read the more bizarre it became. I couldn’t stop reading it even though it freaked me out a bit. I would love to check other books by Billy Coffey. He write’s a great story and really gets you involved in the book. if you like King or Koontz, I’d say check this one too!

  • Book Reviews says:

    Billy Coffey is an author I will read over and over. The Devil Walks In Mattingly happens four years before When Mockingbirds Sing, but you can read his books in any order. Each story stands alone. Like to read a suspenseful mystery thriller? This is the one book you have to read. Once you start it, you won’t dare put it down until you know the last detail of what happened twenty years ago.

  • My goodness, I just finished reading this novel and it was totally different from what I have read before. It tells the tale that if you have done something wrong you will never escape from the guilt.

  • …I will say I loved the message and lesson from the book. All of the characters and their stories are excellent examples of how guilt will eat at people, holding onto to hate and the results of both of those. Have you had a chance to read any of Coffey’s work? I’d love to know what you think!…

  • This isn’t a book that should be read as quickly as possible. This is a deep, rich novel filled with nuggets of wisdom and truth that must be chewed on and thought about. Applied to our own lives. There is so much, so many lessons in this story, it’s hard for me to put it all into one single review. This is a read-again, think-again type of novel. One that helps put the past into perspective and allows ourselves to reach out to God and ask for the forgiveness He so willingly offers. Especially when it’s so difficult for us to forgive ourselves for our own heinous past.

  • Billy Coffey plumbs the depths of human nature in his latest book, with a tale of secrets and suspense and mystery. “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” starts at a slow burn, perhaps capturing the general feeling of a small southern town. However, the action then explodes onto the pages by the end of part one, and as the story unfolds, the mystery deepens, carrying the reader further into the story. Just when I would think I had something figured out, the author would throw a new twist into the story line!

  • First ff let me say, I adore Billy’s novels! They resonate and bring the South to light in a way that few authors have since, well probably Mark Twain, if one was to be honest! His books grab the reader and take you down into a different reality, that is hard to shake when you’ve read the last page! You can’t help but to keep turning the pages, waiting to see what will happen next, afraid to see what will befall your favorite characters, and wishing for the book NOT to end. Good luck NOT reading it in one sitting! I finished at 3am (and had to be up 3 hours later!- but OH was it worth the sleeplessness!). This novel is poignant, thought provoking and a perfect glimpse of the Southern culture. You HAVE to pick this one up!

  • Moments says:

    Billy Coffey did an excellent job with hooking me on his book, “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” on the very first page. Immediately there is a aura of suspense, unanswered questions and details that will tie together for an astonishing ending. Jake, Kate and Taylor have been living with and being tortured by their guilt from an incident that was ruled as a suicide, that really was not as they know what really happened.

  • Bill Coffey writes with a personal introspection that makes each character’s life both compelling and tragic. As you begin to know them, your heart aches for the relief that has eluded them for so many years. When the truth behind much of their tragedy is finally revealed, you realize that they have been imprisoned by the same fear, anxiety, self-righteousness and pride that ensnares us all to some degree. Bill Coffey embodies all this and more in the character of Phillip McBride. Yes, the devil does walk in Mattingly and through every mind and soul that leaves the door open with the invitation of sin.

  • This is one of the most interesting and unusual books I’ve ever read! It’s definitely a book that you have to think about all the way through, even to the end. I had a hard time putting the book down because it was so intriguing that I had to know what was going to happen next and how all the characters fit together.

  • It took me a bit to get into this book. The reason was, that at the beginning there are so many characters and stories to keep straight. Once that was figured out, I wanted to dive in and learn about them. I wanted to see why they were all being torn apart by guilt, but in such different ways. The story was one that would stay with me through the day and I couldn’t wait to read on.

  • The author writes a gripping, mysterious and veiled story that kept me reading and pondering for days. In The Devil Walks in Mattingly, there was a sense of discovery just waiting for me as I opened the book to begin. I wondered if the writing would be similar to Ted Dekker’s books which never cease to amaze me. Well, let me say I wasn’t disappointed in reading Billy Coffey’s book at all! It is uniquely written with a tale wrapped in mystery and an ending with a revelation that stays with the reader long after the book is closed.

  • You only have to read Billy Coffey’s blog a few times to realize that he has a unique gift for getting to the heart of a matter and seeing things that many of us miss. A greater gift is the beautifully eloquent way he manages to express himself with actual words. In “The Devil Walks in Mattingly”, Billy has taken his gift to a new level with a haunting supernatural story that reaches into the very souls of the primary characters.

  • I am a huge fan of suspense novels. To me, one of the best signs of a good novel is one that has something that keeps me turning the pages to find out what happens next and The Devil Walks in Mattingly did just that. I wanted to know what happened on that day so long ago that was torturing these people all of their adult lives and what exactly did happen to Philip McBride. It was interesting to meet the characters in the present day not knowing exactly what happened in the past until the end because it gives the reader an opportunity to sympathize with what they are going through and feel the torture that they are feeling and by the time you find out what did happen, you realize that everyone’s perception of what happened is a little different than what actually went down.

  • Book Reviews says:

    Billy Coffey is an author I will read over and over. The Devil Walks In Mattingly happens four years before When Mockingbirds Sing, but you can read his books in any order. Each story stands alone.

    Like to read a suspenseful mystery thriller? This is the one book you have to read. Once you start it, you won’t dare put it down until you know the last detail of what happened twenty years ago.

  • I really enjoyed this book. The author did a great job of setting up the whole mysterious tale of the long ago muder in the small town of Mattingly. Billy Coffey really develops the characters of Jake and his wife Kate. You get a good sense of their personalities as the author slowly adds in tidbits of their history and you begin to see them as complex characters. Billy’s dreams are so vivid and frightening I was quickly drawn into the story and wanted to find out more. Taylor up in the mountains adds a more mysterious spin to the book. I was compelled to keep reading in order to solve the puzzle.

  • Mr. Coffey does a superb job of making each character come alive so that we feel what they feel. This is a gripping story that will keep you flipping pages late into the night until you finish it.

  • My first thoughts were almost to not read the book. Honestly. The beginning is not like anything I normally pick up to read. But I kept reading! And after around four chapters I was hooked and had to keep reading and find out what was going to happen! I mean really. How can someone be bleeding from no wound and then have nothing there?! And having worked in mental health I’m very intrigued by Taylor and his role. Good read. If you love just romance, don’t pick this up. If you like mystery and some supernatural, it’s the book for you.

  • This is a really interesting and intriguing book to read. This is my first read by this author, and I wasn’t sure who this devil was, but as I started reading, I didn’t want to stop. As sheriff Jake, Kate and Taylor continue to have nightmares and sees signs of Phillip, the terror in their hearts grows stronger. Knowing Phillip is really dead, they are so convicted that they had a part of his death and the guilt is so strong, they can hardly stand it. As Coffee weaves the story together in an amazing venturous thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seats. What will happen in the end?

  • The synopsis of this book caught is what caught my eye, and I am so glad it did

  • I was excited to read “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” by Billy Coffey. It is hard to find a good suspense/horror novel that is not excruciatingly gruesome or gory. I have been through that phase with books and I am kind of over it.
    If you enjoy suspense, mystery and thrillers, you’ll enjoy this book. I will say another thing that reminded me of Stephen King is the amount of details in this book. I still think the story was great but some of it was confusing, and a couple of parts were tiresome – I suppose I felt there were small parts that could have been condensed. All in all a great read and I’d look forward to reading more by this author.

  • The plot twists kept me intrigued. I had to find out what was going to happen next. The main characters are tortured by past choices, and we follow along as they fight for redemption. We know from the beginning of the story that there is a huge, dark secret. We know that there are supernatural powers at play. However, it really isn’t until readers reach the end of the book that the full disclosure of the whole story is revealed. This one is a definite page-turner, and I recommend it if you are a fan of supernatural fiction.

  • the author deals with the question of how we deal with sin and guilt in our lives. Some of us bury it deep inside, unwilling to deal with it. Some of us try to atone for our sin by doing enough good deeds to somehow make up for what we’ve done. Some of us try to rationalize it away but have to twist reality in order to do so. But what we need to do with it is deal with it head on. To acknowledge our responsibility (but not take on responsibility for the actions of others), and to repent, throwing ourselves upon the mercy of the only One who can forgive and wash away our guilt.

  • This is the sort of book you read and think, “WOW what kind of mind came up with this?” It is obvious that Billy Coffey is super creative and imaginative and has quite a way with prose. The first think you notice when reading this book is how well written it is. It is beautiful. Then you wonder what in the world is going on, but not in a bad way.

  • The title gave me the feeling that this would be one of those books you only read with someone around. I love scary stories but for some reason the cover of the book kind of gave me chills for some reason. This was definitely one I had to read.

    I would recommend this book to everyone. A good haunting tale of death coming back to haunt the guilty.

  • The Devil Walks in Mattingly will capture your attention from the beginning and keep you guessing until the very end.

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