Darryl Billups is a Baltimore Herald reporter who has covered the police beat for the past five years. Many times his lead articles end up on the front page. A daily occurrence for him is to stop by police headquarters to leaf through the police reports that can provide him with information that lead to stories for his paper. He has learned when to confront and when to stroke those who have the information he needs, and can often pull out important news others missed.
Competing newspapers are always trying to one-up each other, and Darryl has learned what he needs to do to keep ahead of the competition. Billups is an outspoken guy who doesn't always get along with his fellow newspaper coworkers, especially those who try to steal his news.
Unfortunately, he also seems to negatively connect with the criminal side when they don't care for the coverage or how he writes his articles. When he begins receiving anonymous phone calls from someone who tips him about a possible terrorist plot, he must decide whether to take the calls seriously or not.
One night when he is on his way back to the paper with a hot story, he is mugged in a dark alley and left for dead. While he is in the hospital, the would be terrorist somehow finds out his phone number and the calls continue.
Also, as a result of the mugging, he meets a woman who challenges him as well as draws him into her orbit. As he tries to foil a terrorist plot, he finds out just who he can trust and who does not have his best interests in mind.
Up Jumped the Devil is written by Blair S. Walker. This is an interesting first novel and a great start for a series. The author smoothly blends humor and drama, conspiracy and tragedy, and love and sadness into one well-written novel.
Developing the lead character as a newspaper reporter in a city such as Baltimore certainly opens up plenty of opportunity for future novels, and possibly a TV show or movie – the plot has that much action all through the book. The characters are edgy, but believable, and the fast pace will keep readers on the edge of their seat.
Mystery fans who love a gritty, hard-bitten story with plenty of humor and entertainment value will want to check out this first in the Darryl Billups mystery series.
A special thank you goes to the Amazon Vine program for offering a complimentary copy of this novel for review purposes. If you are interested in any of Blair S. Walker’s book, they are available on Amazon.com.