Devil in the Grass - A Novel
Reviewed By: Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans.

“Devil in the Grass” by Christopher Bowron is a debut novel of great promise. It is the thrilling story of a Satanic cult, a framed murder, and halfhearted deals with the devil. It offers fast-paced action scenes set in Southwest Florida and the Everglades that will keep the reader turning the book’s pages long into the night.

The story centers on Jackson Walker, an ex-professional football player, who was not able to sustain a career in the big league. As a result, Jackson returned to his home in Southwest Florida and took an internship with the state’s senator, James Hunter, who was leading a major effort to get a Clean Water Bill passed. The Brotherhood of Set, a Satanic cult run by an evil character named Henrietta LePley, disapproved of the Bill.

Having started a relationship with a woman named Sarah from the Brotherhood, Jackson is introduced to Henrietta:

“Sarah pushed him toward the old woman. Jack could feel the hairs on the back of his neck tingling. As they neared, Henrietta turned toward him. He almost stopped in his tracks as he was hit full force by the greenest eyes he’d ever seen, and they were looking right through him. His mouth went dry.

“Miss Henrietta, this is Jackson. I told you about him some time ago. You asked to meet him.” Sarah curtsied.

The woman’s eyes were like magnets. He turned his head away slightly, but was no match for her stare. Henrietta reached forward and gently lifted his chin, engaging his eyes directly. The irony of the situation struck him; he was the big football player, yet he was powerless to hold the old woman’s gaze.”

Jackson is surprisingly framed for the murder of two people. Desperate, Jackson attempts to evade the police and, in the process, gets involved with a set of frightening individuals. They seem to have much in common with Satan, which Jackson has a hard time comprehending, given his disbelief in the devil himself. Ultimately, it must be Jackson himself that pulls away from the darkness into which he has fallen. The questions looming throughout the book are…will he choose to do it? And if so, how?

Author Christopher Bowron has succeeded in creating a fast paced, action-packed thriller that is, at the same time, warm and exciting in a uniquely positive way. The somewhat unusual setting for a thriller-suspense novel – The Everglades – will provide particular entertainment for readers who have visited Florida. The novel is further enriched by the wide range of interesting and provocative characters and the cleverly intertwined plotlines involving romance, good vs. evil, southern politics, and regional issues. Highly recommended!