“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
There is always a price to pay when a man covets, isn’t there? When he is offered the world, is given his dreams but with strings attached, then he hangs himself on those dreams in a noose of his own making.
Logan Hart, after all, is only human.
Cornelia Grey’s Devil at the Crossroads is a fracturing of von Goethe’s Faust, mixed with a hint of Dante’s Inferno, playing out in a prose that hits the same bluesy refrain as the music Logan has sold his soul to the devil for, the end of the story coming back around to the chorus that was laid down at the start. There’s a dreamlike quality to this novella, as Logan and Farfarello make their unholy pact, and the reader wends their way through the consequences of Logan’s bargain and the opportunities he squandered along the way.
I have to confess I’ve been a fan of Cornelia Grey’s writing since the moment I read Apples and Regret and Wasted Time years ago, and must say it seems as though her stories just keep getting richer, more expansive and when it comes to provocative and sensual erotica, she’s among the best at giving good oration, sketching each scene in what feels like a fully tactile kind of way. In “Devil”, each of those scenes thrive.
This is a be-careful-what-you-wish-for cautionary tale that absolutely hit all the right notes for me, my only caution being that the story ends rather ambiguously, so don’t go into this one expecting a tidied up and traditional happy ending. What I hope this means, when the final notes have faded away, is that Ms. Grey is planning a sequel to the life and times of blues musician Logan Hart and his demon lover Farfarello. Or, to the death and times, whatever the case may be.
Bottom line, I’m chalking this one up as another one for the win column in Cornelia Grey’s collection.