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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel from a great comic writer
Fans of HellBlazer will recognise the name Mike Carey, as will fans of Lucifer, the ongoing series from Vertigo comics.

Carey's been writing in the comics world for quite some time now, recently carrying on some of the fae stories started in Neil Gaiman's Sandman as well as developing Lucifer and taking the reigns of writing Constantine stories.

This...
Published on 25 May 2006 by Mr. Stephen Davies

versus
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let's put this in perspective
Carey is a clever guy, a good writer and someone who has written some of the most interesting fantasy and horror comics of the last decade. But this novel, the first in his Felix Castor series, is distinctly average. This is simply what it is, the first in a series of supernatural whodunnits, and obviously it has a lot to set up (the universe we find ourselves in, the...
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by Mr. I. S. Fairholm


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel from a great comic writer, 25 May 2006
By 
Mr. Stephen Davies (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
Fans of HellBlazer will recognise the name Mike Carey, as will fans of Lucifer, the ongoing series from Vertigo comics.

Carey's been writing in the comics world for quite some time now, recently carrying on some of the fae stories started in Neil Gaiman's Sandman as well as developing Lucifer and taking the reigns of writing Constantine stories.

This is his first novel, and whilst it has some of the flavour of a HellBlazer story there's enough there which is different to keep things fresh. The story involves a world very much like ours excepting the fact that ghosts not only exist, they are recognized by the government with all the legal issues that causes.

The main character, Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist who is hired to remove the presence of a Ghost from a London hall of records. Part of his method of exorcism is to learn about his subject, and in the course of doing so he realizes things are not quite what they seem.

Part mystery, part occult story this is an excellent read. Carey writes characters very well, as those who know his comic works will I'm sure agree. The story is by turns amusing, exciting and disturbing which makes for a very powerful read. Highly recommended.

Oh, and to correct one of the other entries Constantine is one of Alan Moore's creations, though Mike did a damn good job of writing an extended set of stories for the HellBlazer title.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just John Constantine revisited, 18 April 2006
By 
D. C. Harold "dharold" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
I really thought this would be a prose version of Carey's Constantine / Hellblazer comics work and the first pages with lots of "London, my place of power" type stuff and a rather cruel Contantinesque way of ending a birthday party pretty much had me convinced. But then the broader humour, some Silence of the Lambs overtones, and general sexiness kicked in and it became clear that whilst Contantine may have been the kicking off point his influence diminishes as the book progresses and something rather spiffy results - though you'll spend a lot of time spotting echos of other books and even films. (And Juliet is a worryingly Constaninesque character to wrap on so lets hope the next novel keeps on in an original vein and doesn't turn her into Ellie...) Highly recommended. I finished it in less that a weekend cos I couldn't put it down.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!, 26 April 2006
By 
Rachel "rachel337" (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
I wish I hadn't discovered this book for a couple of years because then I would (hopefully) have lots of sequels waiting for me to read. This is far and away the best novel I have read for months (don't knock it, I'm a 3 book a week woman!!!).

It isn't that easy to compare to other works because it is original but it reminds me a little of the work of Jim Butcher, a little of the brilliantly creepy 'Ghostwriter', a little of Constantine,(of course it would be surprising if it didn't- being as that is also Mr Carey's creation) but the writing is more lyrical and assured, a little vintage Stephen King, a little Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I am a devoted horror/supernatural fan and this book ticks all the right boxes-

*superlatively dark hero, troubled and talented (kind of like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden crossed with a James Ellory noir detecetive)

* intelligent and thoughtful plot

* characters who just feel 'right' in your mind when you read, almost like people you know, they seem so well drawn

* creepy locations switching between gothic old museum, gangland strip clubs and an alternative universe London

* beautiful and evocative writing that pitches you immediately and firmly into Felix Castor's world

* wry, sarcastic and giggleworthy humour to sweeten the dark things

This book is a triumph- someone please chain Mr Carey up (perhaps in slightly better surroundings than the deeply nasty basement room in the novel) until he writes MORE MORE MORE!!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously dark humor in this noir paranormal detective story!, 4 Oct 2006
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
Felix Castor, free lance exorcist is working in London at a time when the supernatural is becoming more a part of everyday life in London--business is booming. Felix is cynical and smart, sort of a modern-day Philip Marlowe, with the snappy observations and occasional bad manners. He has reservations about the exorcist business but needs to pay the bills.

The latest job, a simple haunting, is turning into a bigger job than Felix can handle. He has to do some major snooping to figure out why this ghost has such a hold on the living. In the process he finds out that evil is done by the living and the dead can only re-enact it. If he gets too close to the truth, Felix may pay with his life.

Carey has created an interesting character who fits perfectly in modern day London where the ghosts are coming out of the woodwork. The Devil You Know is possessed by the spirit of noir fiction. The story is atmospheric, shadowy and at times disturbing. Felix is the prototypical hard-boiled detective with mordant wit, living in a violent and pessimistic world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm not sure how I found this book but it was clearly a day when the gods of good books were smiling down on me. And I've immediately been forced to buy the second book. There should be some kind of grant available for compulsive book purchasing.

Felix is an exorcist but you kind of get the feeling he really doesn't want to be. Well, amongst other things he did kind of lumber his best mate with a demon for a soul mate, but that wasn't all Felix's fault.

A crime story, an urban fantasy myth, or just a bloody well written story - however you slice it, this is worth the cover price.

So do yourself a favour - buy it. I sincerely doubt you will ever regret it. But if you start looking more closely at the shadows, don't blame me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghastly in a good way, 1 July 2012
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I really enjoyed this. It has a decent plot, interesting characters, plenty of amusing dialogue and set pieces and it works well as a detective story and as urban fantasy.

Maybe Castor was a little too similar to John Constantine and at times it seemed that characters were only introduced so that they could be used in later books in the series. Though as a comic book fan I didn't mind that.

It is possibly slightly too long and you can predict what is going to happen. However these are minor criticisms and I would recommend this. It manages to be both humorous and suspenseful at the same time. The `magical' elements are well handled and almost convincing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh darn, another series I'm hooked on, 17 Feb 2012
By 
M. King (Preston, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
Get the negative out of the way first -- yes there are a lot of very familiar old "magic good guy vs demons from hell" tropes in this story.

Onto the positives : - Its a well-written , humorous and exciting story and introduces some great recurring characters who you'll be happy to see again in the series.

Having read through a couple of the other stories now its also obvious that there is an overall arc being developed which is also good news.

Bad news is that I thought I was buying one book and have been forced through the sheer entertainment of this one to get the lot to see what happens.

That'll teach me -- in a nice way. !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, bleak and cynical - a masterful work of horror, 10 April 2011
By 
Londonist (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
There's no question at all that this book is well written. It's a gripping and masterful piece of work. The author's intention is to unsettle and shock the reader, which he invariably does in a clever and understated way. He is particularly good at springing nasty surprises, signalling early that the world depicted here is very dark indeed. Much as I appreciate Carey's talent as a writer, I couldn't finish the book. The picture of humanity within is too dark and bleak for me to contemplate with any level of enjoyment. I recommend this book unreservedly to anyone who enjoys the horror genre, but if extreme darkness isn't your thing, if you're looking for something on the somewhat less dark and more fantastical side of urban fantasy, then think twice. You won't put this book down and sleep easily.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gumshoe Exoricist, 7 July 2008
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
Felix Castors original outing and one that proves Carey's origins in Hellblazer. Well crafted, witty and with characters that just jump out of the page this supernatural thriller takes the reader on a wild ride whilst also allowing them to become accustomed to the "alternate" version of London. Yet the plot doesn't let up with it clearly being well planned and character driven as we struggle to come to terms with the back story of Felix as he tries to live his life as normally as possible against the chaos that seems to beat its way to his door.

If you're looking for a grittier Harry Dresden that's more "spirit of man" rather than magic then this is going to be a real treat with London's Dark Alleyways and hidden cemeteries coming to the fore as well as allowing the seedier side of man show itself during this tale. A real gem and something to keep around for multiple readings.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to very quickly become a social pariah, 9 May 2006
By 
Mrs. Caroline Callan (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 (Paperback)
I am far too lazy to write reviews but am breaking my habit in this case. I loved the story, but what made the book so special were the times when I laughed out loud! I really enjoyed the dry and ironic way the writer descibed things eg I took an instant dislike to him to save time later........ This is a keeper and I am recommending it to friends and family - although they can get their own copy. I have also been tormenting them by reading my favourite sentences over the phone - hence my title!
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The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1
The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel, vol 1 by Mike Carey (Paperback - 6 April 2006)
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