Fans of Melva Haggar Dye’s first novel, “All that Remains,” have waited 10 years to read this, her second. It does not disappoint.
“Over the Devil’s Back” is a well-plotted suspense novel, which Dye skillfully places in the context of a multi-generational Southern family saga and coming-of-age story. Without revealing “spoilers,” the plot centers around the rape of a 12-year-old girl of color on a portion of the grounds of an estate owned by a prominent white banking family. There is a witness to the crime, a child, who keeps what he saw a secret (except from the perpetrator) until near the novel’s end, years later when the crime is solved at last.
The book’s primary timeline spans 1999 to the present, and centers around a small town in South Carolina. The arc of developments carries readers to Boston, New York, other parts of the American South and, in a particularly well-written section, the Cayman Islands.
“Over the Devil’s Back” clocks in at 456 pages and sustained my interest throughout.
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2021