The Devil in Silver, a novel written by Victor Lavalle, is about a rambunctious, (hero in his own mind,) burly guy from the working class named Pepper. He doesn’t like to take guff from anyone, including the police. Thus, he gets himself in trouble with the law on more than one occasion. In this most recent escapade, he attempts to save a damsel in distress by challenging her boyfriend (who he deems isn’t treating her right,) and gets himself on the bad side of the police one more time. Due to the laziness of the police who are avoiding paperwork and unpaid overtime, they decide that rather than send him to jail overnight, they instead cart him off as a mental illness case to New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward.
During Pepper’s stay, he makes friends with a host of colorful characters who, a lot of the time seem pretty normal, but then suddenly reveal their quirks making the story even more fun to read and continue. The patients at New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward are all afraid of the devil. Several patients have mysteriously gone missing, or have been injured by the devil. Pepper has his own experience with this mysterious creature, and bands together with several other patients in attempt to get to the bottom of it all. They want to find out, who is the devil, and how can they stop it from hurting more patients.
This novel touts itself as being a thriller, but I’m not entirely convinced. If you’re looking for a story to keep you up at night, this is not it. I think Lavalle gives away the who and what of the devil in the story, far too soon. However, the banter between characters and the general comedic delivery of the author is enjoyable and entertaining. Skillfully, the author orchestrates story elements that are sometimes hilarious, other times incredulous, and sometimes just down right angering or upsetting. But it’s definitely worth the time and effort to read, and it’s a great story; I just don’t know that I would call it a great thriller.
The Devil in Silver is available for checkout at the VC/UHV Library.
Review written by Allyson H.