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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 12 June 2017
Small bit long winded quite violent with a lot of really nasty characters but a good entertaining story, I enjoyed it if that is the right word for a story that is so sad
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on 11 April 2017
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on 6 October 2017
If your into the paranormal detective style story, then this is the book for you. It's also based in London which is quite cool.
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on 19 July 2013
An unusual plot and story - it held my attention right through and I was impressed with the literary qualities to this novel. One for the reader who likes depth and character as well as horror. Recommended
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on 23 January 2016
Surprisingly good. I expected it to be like William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, but it was much closer to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. I enjoyed Felix's voice and narrative, which is part of my surprise. I'm not usually a fan of first person POVs. I liked the side characters, even if they're only shallowly sketched out. I liked how the mystery unfurled and the world created here. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, a little less so at the end than the beginning and middle, but still and overall win.

My only real complaint is one I can't pin on the book alone. It wouldn't be fair to blame it for being one more of something that's become so painfully prevalent in modern books. But since I've become aware of it I can't seem to stop noticing it everywhere. This is yet one more book using the rape and victimization of women as the backbone of its plot. I can't really blame it for being part of a culture that apparently thinks that's the most motivating plot device in existence, but I'm kind of starting to feel like it's the only plot device in existence.
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on 1 July 2012
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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on 10 April 2011
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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on 25 May 2006
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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on 26 November 2007
Felix Castor is an exorcist in a version of modern day London were ghosts are a common occurrence. He is hired by the head of an archive to exorcise the spirit of a young women whose face is hidden behind a red haze. Castor's investigations will lead him away from the world of academia into one of people trafficking and deadly gangsters. Will Castor ignore the warnings of his friend when he is told to not take this case or face death?

There were elements of 'The Devil You Know' that I really liked, whilst others fell slightly flat. The character of Felix Castor himself is a great one and Carey creates a really interesting world for him to live in. It is instantly recognisable as modern day London and somehow the introduction of ghosts, zombies and were-creatures seems to work. I also thought that the investigation in the book was decent and was similar to a PI novel more than science fiction.

Unfortunately, a lot of the good work that Carey put into realising his universe is undone by his inability to be succinct. The book comes in at over 400 pages and feels far too long for lightweight fare. He adds too much explanation and goes into more detail than needed on several occasions. Despite this it is still a good book and the ending suggests that sequels could even be better. I would recommend it to fans of Jim Butcher as it a companion series to the 'Harry Dresden' books.
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on 27 June 2016
My book shelves are full of books I have not read yet, charity shops (or their bins) are full of the ones I have
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