The Devil You Know : Felix Castor

  • by Mike Carey
  • Narrated by Michael Kramer
  • Series: Felix Castor
  • 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Felix Castor used to cast out demons for a living, and London was his stomping grounds. But in a time when the supernatural realm is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane world of the living, his skills are in renewed demand.
With old debts to pay, Castor is left with no choice but to accept one final, well-paying assignment: a seemingly simple exorcism. Trouble is, the more he discovers about the ghost in the archive, the more things refuse to add up - and the more deeply he's dragged into a world he wants no part of.
What should have been a perfectly straightforward job is rapidly turning into a "who can kill Castor first" competition, with demons, were-beings, and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize. But that's okay. Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It's the living who piss him off.


What the Critics Say

"Carey's writing is nimble and witty, his dialogue believable ... [a] quirky, dark, and imaginative tale that compels readers to keep turning pages long after they should have gotten to sleep." (Kirkus)
"Carey drives this thriller like Chandler at the wheel of a runaway hearse." (Daily Express)
"Imagine an unholy cross between Buffy, Jonathan Creek, and hardboiled noir, set it in the sleazier bits of London, and you've got Mike Carey's The Devil You Know, a supernatural crime novel featuring Felix Castor, reluctant magician and part-time exorcist. Britain is filling up with zombies, ghosts, werewolves, and demons; it's something to do with having entered the new millennium, maybe. All anyone knows for sure is that the beggars in street doorways are as likely to be dead as not. Recently retired, following a vicious encounter with a demon that left one of his friends in a very strange state of mind indeed, Castor owes his landlady rather too much rent. So when a ghost shows up in a library, Castor takes the job of exorcising it. A simple ghost, a library, how hard can it be? The reader knows the answer, the author knows the answer, and so do Castor and the ghost. Fast, fun, and furious, worth it for the final joke alone." (The Guardian)
"Extremely impressive - entertaining and assured. You're left with the eerie feeling that Felix Castor will be haunting us for a long time to come." (SFX)
"Sleazy and down-at-heel and quintessentially London, Mike Carey's Felix Castor steps effortlessly into the growing field of supernatural noir and brings with him a blast of fresh, British air. Think Shoestring meets Constantine, with backing vocals from the shades of Leslie Charteris and Anais Nin. Carey's plotting is tight and laconic, and laced with shivery, understated horrors from both the human world and beyond. It grabs you from the first out-of-nowhere nasty surprise, and rarely lets go thereafter. You'll be up all night finishing this one." (Richard Morgan, bestselling author of Altered Carbon)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good yarn - appalling narration

I liked the storyline - it was different and was spun out with a light and amusing touch. The characters were well-crafted, and I actually found myself caring about their outcomes. I had guessed the ending before we got there, but it didn't spoil the twist at all. Overall, a very enjoyable tale.

But (and it's a big but) the narrator is truly awful. Think Lloyd Grossman channeling Dick Van Dyke and you've got it! Other reviewers have pointed this out and I have to agree with them. He mangles the English language and comes close to totally ruining the story - every few minutes I was wrenched out of the illusion by a dreadful American-style pronunciation. This jars with the characterisation in the book - and I feel sorry for the author who (I hope) probably had no choice in the matter.

If you can tolerate the narrator then go with it - it's a fine piece of story-telling with a different slant on life (and death). I would have given it 4 stars but for the narrator.
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- mark

Fake British accent

I would have happily given this book 5 stars. I love Mike Carey's graphic novels and I was pleased to see that his writing style works equally well in novel format. Felix Castor is an interesting character, the plot was intricate and the world he created believable. My problem was with the narrator.
He is obviously an American trying to do a British accent. The one bit of personal information we learn about Castor is that he is from the north of England so quite why we get a fake cut glass posh accent is a mystery. The supporting cast fare even worse with accents ranging from Australian to Irish, often in the same character. Words are pronounced in the American way - Zee instead of Zed, docile becomes dosil etc. It was so jarring and kept throwing me out of the novel. He has no understanding of some of the British phrases and at one point he says A.S.D.A (as a series of initials) instead of Asda. It was awful. All we needed was a guest slot from Dick Van Dyke!
As written this is a very British novel but it ends up feeling as if Felix is a complete stranger to the UK. Contrast this to the wonderful narration of Ben Aaronovitch's 'Rivers of London' series.
I see that the narrator changes for books 4 and 5 - I hope it's for the better!
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- Sally

Book Details

  • Release Date: 20-02-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios