Review: "The Devil You Know" by Mike Carey

The Devil You KnowThe Gist: Felix Castor, Fix to his friends, is a freelance exorcist. Felix has a gift or a curse depending on how you look at it. Felix can see and/or feel ghosts and with a bit of doing can send them into the light. Some years ago he tried to exorcise the devil Asmodeus from his friend Rafael Ditko and inadvertently caused the demon to be trapped with Rafi in Rafi's body. Fix had given up doing the exorcist gig but sometimes you have to pay the bills and being a magician at children's birthday parties wasn't paying very well.

Felix's roommate and longtime friend Pen has some outstanding debts on her house and it's up to Felix to make some quick money or they would both be out on the street. Luckily a job to perform an exorcism drops into his lap at the right time but Felix was warned by Asmodeus, that this will be the job that kills him.

The job appears to be fairly simple and straight forward - exorcise the ghost of a woman that was haunting the Boddington Archive. The ghost has turned violent and had struck out at one of the workers, something unusual in any haunting. Felix should know that nothing is as it appears and things quickly go from a simple job to fighting to stay alive to figure out who, what, when and where.

Mike Carey is well known and highly successful in the realm of comic books and graphic novels. This is his first fiction debut but he has already crafted some amazing stories for both Marvel and DC.

He created the Lucifer series for DC Comics and he has been nominated for five Eisners for his work on it. Mike is currently writing on Marvel's X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four.

The Good: The story is engaging and the characters are all intriguing even the bit characters have some depth to them.

It's a supernatural thriller/mystery with some great twists and turns.

I really liked the explanation of how Fix does his exorcising. It's multifaceted and also amazingly simple when it all boils down.

The Bad: Many of the references to place in London are interesting but don't really stand out unless you've been there.

I wish some of the side stories and backgrounds were fleshed out a bit more. The whole bit with his brother was just there and gone. I felt there was SO much more to be told and maybe Carey will grace us with more in another book.

The Ugly: Nothing to ugly here.

This is a great read. It starts as a slow meandering walk but eventually becomes a frantic run towards the finish line. The twists and turns kept me guessing, I had some of the pieces of the puzzle but there were a lot that didn't fall into place until the last few chapters. I loved how even the smaller characters had a depth to them. I enjoyed the background story portions but I really wanted more. The universe that Felix Castor inhabits is crying out for more stories and I hope that Mike Carey revisits this place again and again.

The Devil You Know, by Mike Carey
Published by: Grand Central Publishing (July 10, 2007)
ISBN: 0446580309
Genre: Thriller/Horror

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