[REVIEW] The Devil You Know – Mike Carey

The Devil You Know

Mike Carey

Felix Castor series, book 1

Warner Books, Copyright 2006

Felix Castor is an exorcist– not the kind that removes evil spirits from human hosts, but the kind that removes ghostly spirits from places. Like like the main character on the television show “Ghost Whisperer”, he helps the ghosts to tie up the unfinished business that’s keeping them around before he sends them on their way. But unlike GW, he “talks” to the ghosts with a tin whistle and there’s no “light” or “dark” for these ghosts to go to, they just go.

Set in London, England, the world is pretty much exactly as our is, except for all these ghosts wandering around. Castor says they’ve always been there, and 2/3 of the population can see them, but at some point there got to be a whole lot more of them, and no one is quite sure why. However, since they are entities that aren’t quite gone, the government is working on passing bills to give them rights.

How could it be expected to work if it turns out that you can take it with you after all? What about criminal trials? Could a dead man give evidence against his murderer or stand trial for murder himself? And if he were found guilty, how in hell are you supposed to punish him? And so on, and so on.

Out of work for some time, Castor ends up cornered into taking a case he wasn’t sure he wanted in the first place. A ghost is haunting the Bonnington Archive, which wouldn’t normally bother anyone if she was just wandering through the stacks like she always did, but for some reason, she’s suddenly become violent. As Castor becomes more involved in the case, he finds all sorts of reasons to support not taking the job in the first place, including the attempts on his life. This is one case where helping the dead turns deadly.

Fans of Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher will love Mike Carey. Not only is Carey the creator of DC Comics’ award-winning Lucifer series, but his writing will remind you of Gaiman, while his character Felix Castor will remind you of Harry Dresden.

Rating: A. The Devil You Know has it all: thrilling mystery, vivid characters, and sharp wit. You’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t read it already.

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