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The Devil You Know (Felix Castor) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Felix Castor
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446618705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446618700
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A funny, frightening, thoroughly absorbing thriller set in an alternative London where ghosts and other supernatural things go bump in the night---and day." ---Kirkus Starred Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

Mike Carey got into writing through comic books, where his horror/fantasy series Lucifer garnered numerous international awards and was nominated for five Eisners. From there he moved into novels and screenplays, while still maintaining a presence in the comics world (he is currently writing two of Marvel's flagship titles, X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four). His movie Frost Flowers, an erotic ghost story, is currently in production with Hadaly/Bluestar Pictures. He lives in London, England, about as far as you can get from the centre of the city and still have access to the London Underground train network. His wife, Linda, writes fantasy for young readers under the pseudonym A.J. Lake. They have three children and an implausibly beautiful cat.

Customer Reviews

The book is really good, very well written, very well charactered.
M. O'HARA
Also readers of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series should find this book appealing.
Shawn C. Fitzgerald
I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Baroness of Topaz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By - Kasia S. VINE VOICE on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This was an entertaining read, a detective story that involved solving something other than your usual crimes; this time the supernatural is involved and who better to battle it than Felix Castor, a freelance exorcist with musical talent.

Witty, charming and intelligent, he maps out the grid of the ghosts he's getting rid by playing music on his tin whistle, but this time something else is going on, for once Felix starts to care about why the ghost is haunting the Bonnington Archive, a posh literary mecca of manuscripts and forgotten memories. Instead of wanting to get rid of the pesky hooded lady in white he realizes that something fishy is going on in the seemingly civilized and proper world of art and treasures and some people have crossed moral lines resulting in a haunting. Felix has other things to worry about, a big guy named Scrub who forces him to take on other projects, a mysterious succubus summoned from hell to get rid of him - someone doesn't want him to solve the enigma - and a brothel pimp who wants him to work on his side. Suffocated by negative sources he must solve the mystery of the mute ghost while under the watchful eyes of Alice, the lady in charge who seems to run the Archive while sleeping with the boss.

I liked the set up; the archives - quite an interesting place since I love libraries and various other paper storage places. It echoed of slight creepiness at night when Felix would sneak in to do his work, while seemingly alone he bumped into some things that kept threatening his life. This book was a fun read, although not too deep it still kept me interested enough to finish it in record time and the ending has quite interesting, I didn't make the connections until they were shown to me, so that's good, surprises are always welcome in my world of reading. I also liked that it left some threads running, I can only conclude that this story line will continue but with different clues and a new crime.

- Kasia S.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Autumn Star Kindelspire on July 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of Mike Carey, admittedly. I love Lucifer and HellBlazer, both comic books written by Mr. Carey. It excited me to see a comic book writer writing a novel, because I always hope it will shed more public light on what amazing writers are in the comic world right now. (There have been some great cross overs, such as Neil Gaiman, but we can always use one more.)

Anyway, when I first picked up The Devil You Know and read the jacket, I thought perhaps this would be a soft-boiled version of John Constantine. I was wrong.

Felix Castor is close to Constantine, no argument there. They share an attitude that is grim and at the same time blackly humorous. They're both working in the trade of the spirit world, and they both have friends with chips on the shoulder, chips pointed at them. However, "Fix" has no place for magic in his exorcisms, and does his best to be an atheist. Constantine's bread and butter is magic, and he knows too well that there is a heaven and a hell.

The Devil You Know is a witty mystery with delightfully dark characters. I read it in a day, sucked into the story as sure as if Fix was playing the whistle into my ear. I loved it, I loved each character, I loved guessing at the next plot twist, and being pleasantly surprised when I was right, and more pleased when I was wrong.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good ghost story, a good murder mystery, or just good writing, great characters, and a twisting storyline.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By TJ on October 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished the book 10 minutes ago. Mike Carey hit on every cliche of the hard-boiled detective genre. And I mean that as the highest possible compliment. All the best hard-boiled detective stories are ultimately about the murder victim, and a flawed champion seeking to lay his or her troubled ghost to rest by exposing the culprit. (For the record, I'm aware of how pompous that last sentence was. I've got a few beers in me. Give me a freakin break.) Carey adds a new layer with the supernatural element, making the victim's ghost a real rather than a metaphorical presence. The casting of an actual succubus in the femme fatale role was a nice touch, too. And no matter how outlandish the story became, Carey's feel for realistic settings and characters kept the whole thing grounded. It was gritty, disturbing, funny and surprisingly tender. At the end, Carey seemed to be laying the groundwork for a continuing series. I hope I'm right, because I'd like to read more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gully Gosseyn on January 16, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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?
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