Dealing with the Devil by Marina Black weaves a rich tapestry of characters and plot punctuated by heart pounding suspense that serves to enthrall the reader. Through a dynamic writing style, Black introduces the motorcycle club culture in a real and vivid way. It is a culture in which many people aren’t privy. Black unclothed the secrecy.
I admit I was cautiously optimistic as I approached the subject matter, perhaps feeding into stereotypes I acquired in the media. A story about bikers? I was unsure. Luckily, any anxieties I felt were immediately assuaged by Black’s skilled gift for storytelling. Black constructed a well-written, highly engrossing look at the often misunderstood, somewhat secretive motorcycle club world, a world dictated by its own rules and behavior. In addition, the overall themes of the book are centered on love and loyalty.
The main protagonist is Lucy Harding, a young woman seeking to become a member of the male only Devil’s Own Motorcycle Club. Black writes Lucy as a strong and spirited young woman determined to break the male oriented ceiling of the Devil’s Own Motorcycle Club. Her late parents were members of Devil’s Own and Lucy clearly embraces what she believes to be her birthright. Her brother Danny is a hot-tempered man who often gets embroiled in difficult situations. While Lucy is the young sibling, it is she who takes care of Danny.
The other main protagonist is Gabriel Archer. Black oscillates in her narrative between referring to the character as Gabe or Archie. It is a brave technique, yet it serves the story well. Gabe/Archie is the President of the Devil’s Own. He is haunted by his own inner demons. Black isn’t afraid to delve into Gabe/Archie’s back story. While dealing with the issues impacting the Devil’s Own and rival motorcycle club, Gabe/Archie wrestles with his feelings for Lucy. There are so many twists and turns that the reader won’t see coming.
Dealing with the Devil is a marvelous read. I highly recommend this book.