The Devil's Hand: Crossing Guard. The Review You Were Never Meant to Read by Anonymous.
The premise for the short story ‘The Devil’s Hand’ is intriguing, but I felt the author treated the subject matter too superficially, and the characters lacked depth. Angela’s reactions to her encounter with Darin, finding herself in hell, the final confrontation with Petiot, were far too stylized to be credible. No sane person would behave in such a cool offhanded manner to a situation that jars every concept of reality and religion.
The story also left several important elements unresolved. Why did Petiot want to recover the journals? Was he a devil or merely a tortured soul dead for 50 years? His confrontation with Darin in hell, devoured by giant insects, caused me to shake my head in resignation. Surely the author could have devised something more imaginative, including better and more frightening descriptions of hell. Darin, as the devil’s right hand man, comes across weak, insubstantial and far from credible. Is he a real demon? If so, he would have greater power over Petiot, a dead mortal.
In the end, I found the story highly unsatisfying. I suggest the author revisits his plot and considers injecting realism into his characters and scenes.
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