Book review

The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey
Read date: Jan 2019

Entertaining writing and interesting characters, all set in an alternate modern-day London where ghosts and ghouls started appearing to everyday folks in the 1990s, and society is still making adjustments to this new reality.

The hero, Felix Castor, a self-employed exorcist, is suitably flawed – very much in the vein of gumshoe private eyes of old. His slow change of approach towards his job throughout the book was a neat story arc, with him thinking more about ghosts and what the really are, and the implications for his job as he’s been doing it.

Meantime, Pen, his landlady-slash-support has a great backstory, hinted at rather than thrown open, so I’m sure we’ll see more of that in the future. And the appearance at the end of a new apprentice for Felix was a great setup for the next in the series.

The writing throughout was strong, with enough intelligent asides and references to make it a definite step above some others in the genre. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and will look out for others in the series, so a good four-star book for me.

Book review

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)
Read date: August 2018

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a worthy successor to the first two in the Millennium trilogy, and a gripping conclusion to the various storylines. It took me about 50 pages to get back into the plot and remember what had happened to the main characters, but the author does a good job of leading you through this, building the scaffold around you where the action will unfold.
Plot is gripping, as I say, and my wife said when I was still 100 pages from the end that she was looking forward to me finishing, and her getting her husband back!

Tone is similar to the previous two stories, in that the style is slightly dry and stepped back. That works well with Salander’s character, and to a certain extent also with Blomkvist, but less so I felt with some of the more emotionally aware characters such as his sister, and the leading police officers.

Overall – very well done, and even at 750 pages, never a dull moment.

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