Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Devil's Detective - Simon Kurt Unsworth

Book Details

Book Title: The Devil's Detective

Author: Simon Kurt Unsworth

: Del Rey (Random House) 2015

Source: Library

Page Count: 358

Format: Paperback

Genre: Horror/Crime/Fantasy

Audience: Those who love graphic depictions of hell and its workings

Summed up in one word: Hellish!

First Impressions: This book is written around the two biggest themes that we must consider in life. Death. And the Afterlife. With the Devil's Detective you get an epic depiction of what may come next, and what that may consist of...Murder, Pain, Evil and Demons among other things. I really enjoyed this piece and highly recommend it even though it is rather graphic...

Summary Of The Book:

Welcome To Hell! Here we meet Thomas Fool an Information Man (Cop) who is tasked with finding out who is taking the souls of his follow inhabitants in the darker side of the Afterlife. Fool meets with angels who are visiting Hell to discuss Elevations and who gets the lucky tickets up to Heaven. Fool is the fortunate soul who gets to give the angels a tour of Hell. During this tour Fool comes across two demons who are arguing over a corpse, the corpse in question is damaged beyond recognition and that level of violence implies a deeper motive. After sending the corpse for 'Questioning' it is discovered that the body has no soul what so ever, it has been torn from the body and most likely consumed by whatever Demon is capable of such acts. Fool does not know what creature could do this and is encouraged by several interested parties to find out.

Come spend a few days in Hell. Join Fool on his witch (or demon in this case) hunt to find the demon responsible for this harsh and unnecessary act of violence. Along with his two fellow information men, Fool must follow a trial of dead bodies, kill plenty of demons and break all the rules to get to the bottom of these murders and expose the horrific, evil and possibly ancient being that is tearing Hell to pieces. There is plenty of graphic detail and gore here so if your up to it then get involved. Set in an awesomely detailed version of Hell and full of angels, demons and tortured souls, you will be glad your not subjected to eternal damnation.

My Review:

SKU scored a great debut with The Devil's Detective, it is dark, gory, interesting and takes on one of the biggest questions (what is next?) and paints a chilling vision of Hell and what could possibly be on the cards after this lovely realm we inhabit right now. Unfortunately at times it slows down, gets a bit sloppy and loses the reader in trying to drag out the story, about 75 pages less I reckon and this would have been a 10/10 contender. anyway to the actual point of my ramblings...

The characters here are very well written. Thomas Fool is naive, but smart. He acts as the perfect conduit for this story and I enjoyed my time with him. He evolves so nicely over the course of this story but I really liked the fact that even with all the upgrades and recognition, he still finds the time for modesty and uncertainty. The other band of characters here are crafted well also. We have the uptight but trust worthy boss, the co-information men and their help, the man of plants and flowers...yeah and the many demons that occupy these pages, each one as ugly and evil as ever! also they have an angel called Balthazar which is an automatic thumbs up ;-).

The story and setting had great potential. I have already said a dozen times that I enjoyed the setting so lets discuss the story. Now I thought the story was good but very unoriginal, the classic whodunnit? with a new coat of paint. The depth of detail and gore added some layers, as well as the great characters interacting with the world. I just felt it lagged in parts and got a bit boring, but there was always a horrific, unnatural twist or turn to pull me out of the funk somewhere along the line so it isn't too bad. The themes included are mainly darker ones like death, damnation and sin. There are subtle themes of the sunny and bright nature. The involvement of the angels was a great touch and really added to the progression of Fool and the world around him. I don't think there was anything uninteresting about this book, it dips in showmanship here and there but I did not find myself wanting to move onto another book. 

There are plenty of great scenes in this book, every reader will come across something that will challenge them or at least entertain them. I thought this book was more upsetting than amusing for all those readers who like to keep it positive :). The Devil's Detective is very objective, SKU does plenty of the work for you as the reader so you are able to relax and enjoy the ride. Finally I don't think this was offensive to those who truly believe in the afterlife, it took a common belief or fear (in some cases), weaved a chilling and gripping world and treated the idea with respect.

Overall I believe that people should read this and support this author as I want to see what he can really do with some experience under his belt! Detailed, gory, sloppy at times but over strikes fear and treats the idea of the afterlife with some respect.





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