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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devil in the Detail, 4 Jun 2007
By 
Amazon Customer "Gav" (Cardiff, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Mike Carey is more widely known as a comic book writer - and for exploring the area of the occult in the comics Lucifer and Hellblazer (both available from DC Comics) He also writes about superheroes. He's somehow found time to write a series of novels starting with The Devil You Know. Vicious Circle is the follow-up to that and takes us through another case of the exorcist Felix Castor.

Mike takes us to a London where the dead are no longer staying in the shadows. They are rising in great numbers and there is even an Act going through Parliament aimed at giving the dead legal status.

With this backdrop Castor takes on a request from the parents of a kidnapped girl. There is only one problem - she's dead and ghosts can't just be picked up and pocketed. Not that stops Castor taking on the case - the mystery and the grief of the parents persuades him - though the money may help too.

Mike does plot very well. The story is focused and well planned. The other thing he's good at is hiding the twists and turns until the several `d'oh' moments that occur. Everything moves along at a page-turning pace.

What is frustrating is the need to supply plot seems to leave Felix and the other characters getting less development time than they deserve, because Carey paints them so well you do want to spend more time with them. But as this is a first person tale there are perfectly good reasons why our focus can't shift to the secondary characters too much. The only way would be to have Felix in their presence but being with them too long might give stuff away before everything is fully set-up.

Instead, you get to see him out and about, ducking and diving, exploring the seedy world that attracts his services. So you don't notice this lack of progress until the conclusion, which itself makes you wish you knew Castor a little more.

Throughout the book Felix remains a bit of a mystery - but that's how it should be. As is the way with all detectives - you see enough of their home life to make them human but not enough to shift the focus away from whatever they happen to be investigating.

Even though it's not mentioned in the cover VC has all the markings of the second book of a trilogy. Character and storylines started in the first book play an important part here and the anticipation is that they will feature in the next one as well.

Whole heartedly recommended but read The Devl You Know first.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly wicked!!!, 9 Oct 2006
By 
Ms. E. J. Mercer "intrigued" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Possibly even more gripping than his first book in the series, 'The Devil You Know', this story grabs you from chapter one and leaves you reading the last page in frustration that there isn't another 500! It continues the tale of the life and (numerous) trials of Felix Castor; a somewhat cynical if reformed exorcist. In this book he reluctantly accepts a seemingly 'straightforward' job to find the kidnapped ghost of a little girl, only to find it snowballing (or rather, fireballing) out of control and all hell breaking lose quiet literally. With satanists, demons, succubi and zombies (these latter two actually forming part of the 'good guys') you'll find yourself compulsively reading chapter after chapter until the small hours of the morning... Brilliantly entertaining, I only wish the third in the series was available to devour!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something wicked this way comes..., 7 Feb 2007
By 
I love the ideas that Mike Carey brings to this book and the first in the series (The Devil you know), but... I didn't think that this second book had the same edge, the same sparkle as the first. There was more detail, more depth, which was good, but you can have too much of a good thing. I think the book could have been about 50 pages shorter and still have had the depth and character, that seemed a little stretched in the novel as published. All of that said, the wit and the noir feel keep me coming back for more. I want to find out what happens to Fix and his friends(?). Will he ever be able to pay off the credit card that is his soul?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hellblazer's alter ego, 1 Nov 2006
By 
Duncan Howorth (Chester UK) - See all my reviews
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Again the hero felix castor struts his stuff in Mike Carey's apocalyptic future where ghosts, zombies and were beasts walk the streets in daylight. Very similar in feel to Constantine and Hellblazer, perhaps a parallel universe version of Constantine.

It also has echoes of Chandler's hard bitten detective - used, abused and eventually sorting things out - ish.

I loved it - as good as "the devil you know".

But definitely a dystopian noir view of the world.

For me one of the best bits was the descriptions of parts of london I have been in - I used to live next to what Mike Carey calls the Stanger and it is pretty weird and obscure.

I used to wonder what went on there - medical staff hung around but it was not the usual nhs sort of place that advertised its business.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically Enjoyable, 12 Aug 2012
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I enjoyed this just as much as the first one in the series.

Felix Castor is a great character. Basically a less self regarding John Constantine ( Hellblazer). There were plenty of other interesting characters as well, especially Juliet!

The thriller/crime elements of this worked very well and the supernatural elements were very well integrated and internally consistent.
Though at times maybe Castor was a little too slow on the uptake.

The action scenes were well done and in general everything made sense and there were no real plot holes.
There was plenty of witty dialogue and the London background was interesting.

The book is quite long but it never seemed to outstay its welcome. I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and well polished, 11 July 2012
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(Review for whole series) I read this on the back of the Dresden Files. Its a similar sort of thing, set in London, but written well enough to stand on its own. It can be at turns witty, funny and tragic with interesting plots and well developed characters. It generally feels quite gritty and at times even bleak and has enough original material to set it apart from other works one could imagine it was inspired by. An original and compelling work, well worth the read if you like this sort of thing and probably even if you don't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carey's Gumshoe, 7 July 2008
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The second Felix Castor novel and one that will endeavour to entrench the Exorcist deeper into the psyche of the British reader. To describe Felix is a tricky thing and is perhaps best summed up as the British version of Hellblazers, John Constantine (which Mike also wrote for a while.) A rollercoaster of a ride as Felix struggles with day to day tasks of trying to earn a living. Hard up and living hand to mouth the reader will see traits within the character that is not only realistic but is something that will allow the reader to get a hook into him. Whilst not always the most pleasant of characters there is a certain charm that will make him a character to watch and with the fourth book due out next year readers will have a firm affinity with him. A book of interest and one that demonstrates that Urban Fantasy in the UK is alive and well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series, 21 Feb 2014
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Love the characters, love the story line.... best series Ive come across in a while. If you like Alex Verus or Peter Grant I think you will get on well with Felix.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He's a trouble magnet !, 7 Nov 2013
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Felix Castor is the 'Eddie Shoestring' of exorcists, down on his luck, out of his depth, and with enough history to keep a team of analysts in business...

As usual, plots, sub-plots and divers complications tangle and interweave unto migraine...

As a lover of 'Hard' SciFi, I enjoyed the way his world was lovingly assembled, and the way apparent loose-ends were ingeniously back-stitched into the tale.

#2 arrived first, but I've just unpacked #1 & #3. In a month or two, I'll order the sequels...
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read, 5 Nov 2013
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gets better and better. I'm surprised that this author isn't better known. The plots are gritty and can't be described as fairy tales, but instead highlights some of the possible side effects of death not being the usual end of a person's tale.
Curiously, I picked up on the 'hero' being from Liverpool before it was described. I'm from the same place ,but a previous generation of escapee. I think it was the speech patterns, but I'm still trying to figure that out.
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Vicious Circle (Felix Castor)
Vicious Circle (Felix Castor) by Mike Carey (Hardcover - 28 July 2008)
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