As other reviewers have noted, Carey's first claim to fame was as a comic book writer. I expected this book to be a violent ghost-fest with lots of sex, gore and vivid action. Not the way it goes. Like many other British novelists, Carey enjoys a well-mannered and leisurely stroll through a complicated but eventually plausible plot, and supernatural London is a familiar old neighborhood, but with ghosts.
If Glen Cook's Garrett, PI is wildly over-the-top, Felix Castor, the ghost exorcist in "Devil" is pleasantly around-the-middle--something like Harry Dresden, but more charming, and with a delightfully self-degradating sense of humor that draws smiles rather than belly laughs. There are love/sex interests in plenty, from a Succubus to a gorgeous but Platonic flatmate, to a tight-butted and willing IT specialist, to a varied assortment of prostitutes...but for the most part (with two hot exceptions) the sex is potentially titillating only. Felix, or "Fix" as he is known to his friends, is on an assignment to exorcise a ghost that is terrorizing an Archive of Various Odds and Ends in London. He soon discovers that there is a back story that he can't let go, and winds up involved in theft, murder, human trafficking, etc. As pointed out by other reviewers, the story is made lively by the involvement of various supernatural creatures, including not only ghosts and Succubi, but also demons and Loup-Garous. But while there is enough action to keep the plot moving, the most pleasing aspect of this novel is the constant self-analysis the Felix suffers through. He is deeply concerned with existential questions about ghosts: when he exorcises them, where do they go? Is he a murderer?
The depth of Fix's character make this novel, the first in a series, stand out from the zillions of other supernatural detectives/hunters/killers novels. In particular, his insight into his own human condition deepens as the story moves forward, and we begin to really empathize with his personal demons of guilt. Best of all, several of the other characters are quite delightful, and give us hope they will reappear in the succeeding novels of this series.
If you like this type of novel, you'll like this book. But if you also like Deborah Grabien, or M. John Harrison, or Jonathan Carroll, or Daryll Gregory, you might love it.