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The Devil You Know [Hardcover]

Mike Carey
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Aviolent ghost in a world where spirits are rarely mean-spirited is a clue to a deeper mystery in this engrossing dark fantasy debut from comics-writer Carey. Felix Fix Castor is an itinerant exorcist who (like a certain famous group of Hollywood ghost-evicters) alternates between dispatching spooks and doing stage magic at ungrateful children's birthday parties. When he's summoned to end a haunting at London's prestigious Bonnington Archive, he finds a vengeful specter with a blood-veiled face that resists methods for extirpating the usually docile dead. When Castor begins probing more deeply, he quickly finds himself harassed by a ravenous succubus, a belligerent fellow exorcist and a slimy Eastern European pimp. The resolution of this ingeniously multilayered tale will satisfy fans of both fantasy and detective fiction. Fix Castor's wisecracking cleverness in the face of weird nemeses makes him the perfect hardboiled hero for a new supernatural noir series. 10-city author tour. (July)
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Review

'Sleazy and down-at-heel and quintessentially London, Mike Carey's Felix Castor steps effortlessly into the growing field of supernatural noir and brings with him a blast of fresh, British air. Think Shoestring meets Constantine, with backing vocals from the shades of Leslie Charteris and Anais Nin. Carey's plotting is tight and laconic, and laced with shivery, understated horrors from both the human world and beyond. It grabs you from the first out-of-nowhere nasty surprise, and rarely lets go thereafter. You'll be up all night finishing this one.' Richard Morgan, bestselling author of ALTERED CARBON 'Imagine an unholy cross between Buffy, Jonathan Creek and hardboiled noir, set it in the sleazier bits of London, and you've got Mike Carey's The Devil You Know, a supernatural crime novel featuring Felix Castor, reluctant magician and part-time exorcist. Britain is filling up with zombies, ghosts, werewolves and demons; it's something to do with having entered the new millennium, maybe. All anyone knows for sure is that the beggars in street doorways are as likely to be dead as not. Recently retired, following a vicious encounter with a demon that left one of his friends in a very strange state of mind indeed, Castor owes his landlady rather too much rent. So when a ghost shows up in a library, Castor takes the job of exorcising it. A simple ghost, a library, how hard can it be? The reader knows the answer, the author knows the answer and so do Castor and the ghost. Fast, fun and furious, worth it for the final joke alone.' THE GUARDIAN 'Entertaining, well-paced, intelligently plotted and full of memorable characters' THE TIMES 'Witty, deadpan and shudderingly noir ... With a plot nailed down tighter than a coffin lid, Carey drives this thriller like Chandler at the wheel of a runaway hearse, combining the mundane with the monstrous to depict a capital city where demons, ghouls and werewolves share the dirty streets with the living, and he does it so you believe it. You've heard the rumour that Londoners are never more than a few feet from a rat - Carey will persuade you the same is true of the undead.' DAILY EXPRESS 'A violent ghost in a world where spirits are rarely mean-spirited is a clue to a deeper mystery in this engrossing dark fantasy debut from comics-writer Carey. Felix "Fix" Castor is an itinerant exorcist who (like a certain famous group of Hollywood ghost-evicters) alternates between dispatching spooks and doing stage magic at ungrateful children's birthday parties. When he's summoned to end a haunting at London's prestigious Bonnington Archive, he finds a vengeful specter with a blood-veiled face that resists methods for extirpating the usually docile dead. When Castor begins probing more deeply, he quickly finds himself harassed by a ravenous succubus, a belligerent fellow exorcist and a slimy Eastern European pimp. The resolution of this ingeniously multilayered tale will satisfy fans of both fantasy and detective fiction. Fix Castor's wisecracking cleverness in the face of weird nemeses makes him the perfect hardboiled hero for a new supernatural noir series.' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review) 'It's some way into The Devil You Know that the brilliance of Mike Carey's 'unique selling point' strikes you ... Carey's established a fascinating world and character to further explore, not least thanks to a lovely final twist that leaves you wondering how Castor and his unlikely new partner will work together...' STARBURST 'The Devil You Know is a stunning supernatural thriller, and one so brilliantly written that it simply blows away the competition in a field saturated at the moment. It's only April, but here, I guarantee, is one of the best books you'll read this year!' SF REVU.COM 'Extremely impressive - entertaining and assured. You're left with the eerie feeling that Felix Castor will be haunting us for a long time to come.' SFX "Carey's writing is nimble and witty, his dialogue believable ... [a] quirky, dark and imaginative tale that compels readers to keep turning pages long after they should have gotten to sleep' KIRKUS (starred review) 'The pacing is impeccable. There's plenty of action and surprising twists.' ROMANTIC TIMES (four and a half stars) 'It's an audacious move for a first-time prose novelist to choose as his protagonist a character who sounds like the setup to a joke, but that's exactly what Carey has done. Narrator Felix Castor is a hard-boiled exorcist who also dabbles in magic. The real trick, though, is that Carey pulls it off. Set in London, the story follows Castor as his financial woes lead him to take on a job in a career he thought he'd sworn off. It's one last exorcism, Castor tells himself, just to pay the bills, but he quickly finds he's taken on a great deal more when a haunted archive draws him into a sordid mystery. Carey has already made a name for himself in the world of graphic novels for, among other things, his work on Hellblazer. That series shares with this novel an attention to the seedier side of magic and the occult. Ghost hunters in Carey's novel are something akin to the private eyes in a Raymond Chandler story, and the recipe works startlingly well. While appealing to fans of Carey's graphic novels, this will likely also find praise among readers of horror and those looking for an offbeat mystery. Highly recommended.' LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

About the Author

Mike Carey is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel's X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He has also written the screenplay for a movie, Frost Flowers, which is soon to be produced by Hadaly Films and Bluestar Pictures.

From AudioFile

In Felix Castors world the risen dead are so common that exorcists advertise in the Yellow Pages. Only Castor has begun to question what happens to these returned spirits once hes dispatched them. Do he and the other ghost hunters have the right to play God with these souls? Author Mike Carey, known for his horror comics like Hellblazer and Lucifer, adds a new dimension to an old story. Performer Michael Kramer delivers the required solemnity to the text and, when appropriate, a light touch of humor. More importantly, he makes listeners feel the anguish of the undead, in this case, a young woman compelled to haunt a museum. Compelling, scary, and ultimately rewarding. M.S. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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