Felix Castor, exorcist for hire although lately he’s been dealing with some personal issues. Namely how to stay so drunk, he can’t sober up. Reality comes calling though and he crawls out of the gutter, cleans himself up and starts answering some of the message that have been left for him. Instantly he wishes he hadn’t but all is not right with the people he likes to be able to call friends. Gary Coldwood wants him to read a crime scene, something is very wrong with Juliet, and Pen has been looking for Rafi on her own. The not so well loved Jenna-Jane Mulbridge is sniffing about with an agenda all of her own and then there is Asmodeus. It’s enough to drive a man back to drink but Castor is nothing if not a masochist.
I enjoyed this book far more than I did the previous one. Not only was it a little lighter in tone, getting back the feel of the first three books, but the subject matter wasn’t as close to home. All the major players feature, some loved, some not so, one by one coming on to the scene to start building towards the crescendo.
I felt the first half dragged a little bit, as the scene was being set up and things were put in to place. The second half however was a rush and I couldn’t put it down. It grabbed me and ran full pelt towards an end I thought I saw as inevitable.
The whole thing was cleverly written and hints given very early on in the book came to fruition much later and you start to wonder how on earth Mike Carey managed to keep all the different threads straight, let alone come up with them in the first place. There were a few OMG moments which blind-sided me and I had to re-read those sections in case I missed anything in the run up. I think one of those moments was an especially bold and brave move on the author’s part and it will be interesting to see if it has any future impact on the character. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know exactly the part I mean.
Felix Castor has to be my favourite character in the book, irreverent, sarcastic and determined, you have no doubts he will get the job done or die trying. I liked that you learned more about the other major characters, some of them proving that leopards can’t change their spots and others surprising me with their growth and realisation that not everything is black and white.
A good, solid and entertaining read, I look forward to the next instalment!