After reading Killing Your Boss, I was expecting more of the same from DeSantis in Those Devils. The cover was similar, murky and mysterious, the title enticing and his previous book still fresh in my mind. Surely, this would be the same, right?
True, the novella is another excellent urban horror. Set in an everyday neighbourhood, where the Devils/Angels - depending on your POV - of the title rule the landscape, picking on the humans and torturing them for the hell of it, our hero has a bone to pick with the Devils since they raped and murdered the love of his life. Thus, he's hunted by them, seen as a threat. He is hunting them too, in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
It's this dynamic that makes Those Devils so intriguing. Who's good and who's bad? Who's right and who's wrong? Ambiguity is obvious and ever-present throughout and even though you can work out who is who quite early on, the doubt lingers. It makes you think, choose and then doubt your decision. When a novella, at a mere 50 pages, can do this, you know you're reading something different.
4* - A few grammar issues aside, this novella was very entertaining. I've read two DeSantis shorts now and so far, I'm very impressed. Those Devils isn't the simplest novella to read, what with its religious undertones and the dark fantasy aspect, but nonetheless it deserves to be read. If you like horror, this is worth a shot.