Kristopher Triana’s latest novel, a grim crime thriller, is the first release from Stygian Sky Media and, if this debut is anything to go by, they should be a publisher to watch for both horror and crime fiction fans alike.

After spending six years in prison, Jackie has no intention of going straight. As soon as he is released, he is taken to see local crime boss, Pino, who soon puts him back to work. Although the jobs are small and low-key at first, they give Jackie free reign to indulge in his sadistic appetites for violence and humiliation.

And The Devil Cried by Kristopher Triana

When Pino’s only son is killed in a hit and run accident by a down on his luck father, Jackie is tasked with kidnapping and killing the man’s young daughter for vengeance, but Jackie has begun to make a very comfortable life for himself on the outside, and he has other ideas which will bring him into conflict with people far more dangerous than the criminals he is working for. 

I’ve read quite a lot of Kristopher Triana’s novels at this point and, even by the pretty extreme standards I’ve come to expect from the author who wrote ‘Full Brutal’ and ‘Body Art’, this was one messed up book. The lead character, Jackie, is absolutely and irredeemably detestable. He honestly doesn’t have one single redeeming feature and in any situation Triana puts him in, he chooses the most abhorrent and unpleasant path, every single time. If he were a cartoonish comic book style villain, replete with maniacal laugh and penchant for monologuing, the book might veer too far into outlandish, slightly silly territory. Triana is too skilled a writer to fall into that particular trap, however, and he has made Jackie a far more insidious character. On the outside, he is charming, persuasive and desirable but it is all a carefully maintained illusion, one he uses to manipulate everyone around him. In short, Jackie is one of the most memorable fictional psychopaths I have ever read.

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If you haven’t read a Kristopher Triana book before (and, given some of the things Jackie does in this book, even if you have) it is only fair to warn you that any and all kinds of heinous acts take place in ‘And The Devil Cried’. If there is something you would require a content warning, it likely features in this novel. It can be a challenging read, difficult to stomach but undeniably powerful. It can be more of an endurance test than entertainment, so I’d urge only those with the strongest of stomachs for potentially distressing content to consider picking this book up.

As with a lot of Kristopher Triana’s work, ‘And The Devil Cried’ is unflinching and unafraid to go to some dark places and tackle subject matter that most writers steer clear of. It’s a testament to his talent that you can’t help but get dragged along for the ride, no matter how unrelentingly grim the journey may be.

Richard Martin

Richard Martin

Reviewer

Richard Martin started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatized himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner and an inappropriate amount of books. 

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