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Thicker Than Water Little Brown Book Group Mike Carey

7th March 2013 Literature & Fiction 28 Comments

In the fourth gripping book inthe highlyacclaimedseries Publishers Weekly calls “every bit as good as the better-known Jim Butcher,” old ghosts of different kinds come back to haunt Felix

Carey’s fourth supernatural thriller featuring London exorcist Felix Castor (after Dead Men’s Boots) compares favorably with the better known work of Jim Butcher. When the slashed body of Kenneth Seddon, who tried to kill Castor when they were much younger, is found in his car with the words “F Castor” scrawled in blood on his windshield, the police naturally approach the spook hunter for an explanation. The psychic investigator finds a link between the assault on Seddon and an increase in acts of violence centered on a nearby housing project. A touch of dark humor lightens the grimness of the story line, but the high stakes Carey sets for his protagonist insure that not everything could possibly be wrapped up neatly by the conclusion. The author has mastered the challenge of incorporating the paranormal into a modern urban setting, and his refusal to pull punches makes this a harder-hitting genre entry than many others. (Nov.) (c)
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“Witty, deadpan and shudderingly noir . . . Carey drives this thriller like Chandler at the wheel of a runaway hearse.” Daily Express

“You’ll be up all night finishing this one.” Richard Morgan, author, Altered Carbon

“Witty, deadpan and shudderingly noir . . . Carey drives this thriller like Chandler at the wheel of a runaway hearse.” Daily Express

“You’ll be up all night finishing this one.” Richard Morgan, author, Altered Carbon

Thicker Than Water (Felix Castor)

  • 28 responses to "Thicker Than Water Little Brown Book Group Mike Carey"

  • jimjob
    1:50 on March 7th, 2013
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    This guy is awesome – I have the Naming of the Beasts but I am saving it for a while. I want to see a new book in the Felix Castor series. Try him out with the first book – The Devil You Know- as these should be read in succession.

  • Todd Ash
    3:00 on March 7th, 2013
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    I got very lucky a few years ago and stumbled upon “The Devil You Know” while shopping on Amazon. I ordered the book and found it to be a wonderful read exploring the trials and tribulations of Felix “Fix” Castor, a professional exorcist in a world that is a darker shade of our own. Felix practices his profession in a modern day London, but one that contains were-beasts, ghosts, demons, and zombies. Most of London toils on though paying little attention to these revenants, unless, of course, a ghost comes to haunt the place you call home or work. Whereupon Felix or one his competitors may get a call. If you haven’t read “The Devil You Know” or the sequel “Vicious Circle” do yourself a favor a get yourself a copy of these books. They are simply delightful. I liked them so much I couldn’t wait for Dead Man’s Boots to be released here in the States and ordered it as an import.

    Carey writes novels that feature complex characters, detailed and exciting plots, and some of the smoothest writing it has ever been my pleasure to read. The only disappointment in reading Carey is that even though the book may run over 500 pages, the next day you’ll be blinking at the last page and wondering “how do I get more?”

    I’m not generally into fiction that has magic, demons, ghosts, etc. mostly finding the genre formulaic and unimaginative. Carey blew a great big gaping hole into my assumptions and prejudices, happily showing me that this genre can be done superby well. I am a complete convert, in least as regards to his works. His books are atmospheric, even noirish, and he tells fascinating, compelling stories that sweep you breathlessly from plot twist to plot twist, tales that always end on a surprising and satisfying note.

    The protagonist, Felix Castor, is an amazingly well-drawn character…likeable, smart, and dogged as he chases after the bad guys, brandishing his tin whistle. Yep, between the forces of darkness and you is a tin whistle. Castor a big guy and very tough, but we learn that because all too often Castor finds himself on the receiving end of a beating. That’s what happens when you try to run with demons, loup garous, and cultists. Even though he is an “exorcist”, it would be more apt to describe him as an occult private detective. There a strong elements of Marlowe and Spillane peeking through these pages. You’ll love Castor because he always gets back up again and struggles on trying to do the right thing, even while saddled with mounting bills, complicated relationships, doubtful friends, and enemies that are generally a step ahead. You’ll find yourself cheering him on in an “everyman’ way because he isn’t batman, and a tinwhistle sure isn’t the batmobile.

    In Dead Man’s Boots, Felix finds himself trying to unravel a dangerous mystery after a friend commits suicide and leaves a few, generally unhelpful, clues laying about as to why he did it. A nebulous, but threatening group, seems to be involved and a classic “locked room” mystery is then thrown in the mix. Felix soon finds himself battling with a monstrous cabal along with some friends. Friends that bring to mind the phrase “with friends like these who needs enemies?”. This book is every bit as delightful as the first two, with the same complex plotting and smooth writing that I have come to love. Carey is one of those few writers who make it onto my “A” list, meaning that anything they publish is something I am going to read with no questions asked. Indeed, anything they publish is something I am going to get my hands on as soon as possible, even if I have to order it as an import. Try this series, you will not be disappointed, even if the genre is not your normal cup of tea.

  • quraina
    4:40 on March 7th, 2013
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    I’ve already written a review of VICIOUS CIRCLE, the 2nd book in the Felix Castor series, so my enjoyment of these stories is clear. Normally, I wouldn’t bother doing another review but, in this case, I had to make an exception.

    The first thing I noticed about this book almost immediately was it’s “darker” tone, and keeping in mind the ominous supernatural themes these books tend to deal with, that’s saying quite a lot.

    They say “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Well, this time around, Felix learns the truth of this statement first hand.

    Things start off with Felix being called to the site of a bloody murder by his police friend, Gary Coldwood. A man had been found murdered, his upper body covered in razor blade cuts. As Felix’s luck would have it, the murder victim had somehow managed to write out the words “F. Castor,” in his own blood, on the windshield of his car right before he died.

    Not so coincidentally, the dead guy turns out to be a psychopath from Felix’s childhood who once spent his time bullying the local kids in Felix’s old neighborhood (and had even once come dangerously close to actually killing young Felix!). The two had never been friends, and it had been years since they last saw each other. Yet for some strange reason the guy spent his last few minutes of life writing Felix’s name on his windshield?!

    The mystery behind this is what drives Felix in his quest for answers, and the path he ends up walking leads him almost straight up to Hell’s front door.

    THICKER THAN WATER is not just darker, but much more personal than the other books. Mike Carey delves deep into Felix’s family and his childhood. Not only do we get to meet Felix’s mother for the first time, but we also find out that his older brother, Matt, the Priest, is somehow mixed up in the whole mess too.

    In addition, there is more development with Felix’s best friend, Rafi, who has been playing host to Asmodeus, one of Hell’s most vicious demons. Trying to find a way to separate his friend from this demon has been the driving force in Felix’s life ever since he made the mistake of trying to exorcise the thing. Unfortunately, at the time, instead of forcing the demon out of his friend, he ended up intertwining the two even more. Felix’s ongoing efforts to protect Rafi ever since, plays a key role in this story and, once again, he finds himself on that same “road to Hell” that got him into this mess in the first place.

    Felix’s succubus-turned-exorcist, friend/object of lust, Juliet, also appears in this book and, in her unique way, becomes an odd source of comfort for him. She even goes as far as to grudgingly admit that his death would “make her sad.” I’ve always enjoyed the developing friendship between these two and it’s become one of my favorite parts of the series.

    I’m not going to give away the ending. You’ll just have to buy the book and find out yourselves. Suffice it to say that those of you who are fans of Felix Castor will definitely enjoy this book. Just prepare yourself to feel more than a little sorry for our favorite exorcist once you’ve reached the end.

  • bonjure
    7:40 on March 7th, 2013
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    I can’t get enough of Felix Castor. Hopefully, the adventure will continue for some time to come. If you like the supernatural, you’re going to love this new avenue of adventure.

  • lame_reporting
    10:01 on March 7th, 2013
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    “Dead Men’s Boots” is Mike Carey’s third novel starring free-lance exorcist Felix Castor. As with his first two books in the series, this novel opens with Felix in a rough spot. One of his fellow exorcists has died after unsuccessfully seeking Felix’s help. Felix’s friend Rafi, who has a demon trapped inside of him, is about to be kicked out of his care facility and turned over to a not-so friendly medical researcher. And finally, a woman wants him to prove that her husband isn’t guilty of murder and that a long-dead serial killer is. This book takes place a few months or so after the events in his second novel “Vicious Circle.”

    I don’t give plot spoilers in my reviews of fictional work, so I’ll give my impressions of the book. The key element of how Castor’s universe differs from our own (besides demons, ghosts, zombies, etc., being real) is that in the book, ghosts and zombies are becoming more populous and are noticed by mostly everyone, to the point that legislation is being considered that would afford the dead some rights and protections. Not everyone who dies returns, but many are, and no one knows why they are becoming more and more frequent.

    Unlike his first two novels, which jumped out of the gate and quickly grabbed your undivided attention, the first half of this one is not as tightly written and wanders a bit. It could be just me, but it felt like that Felix was just running from place to place without the tension appreciably building up. However, about half-way through, everything started to come together, and then like the first two books in the series, the story became enthralling, and I had a tough time putting the book down at decent hours in order to go to bed. The overall writing is excellent, and the plot is outstanding, with no major logic holes. One thing I don’t like, though, and it’s more of a personal preference than a real problem, is that Mr Carey “over-writes” some scenes, and the book can occasionally feel a little ponderous as a result. But that’s really a small personal nit.

    While I liked the first two novels a little bit better, this one is still a great read, particularly once you get into the second half of the book. The author makes plenty of wry observations and has some laugh-out loud humor generously sprinkled throughout the book. While you might be able to read this one without having read the first two novels, you really should read them in order, so as to better appreciate the characters and recurring parts of the story line. Four Stars.

  • FremyCompany
    12:57 on March 7th, 2013
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    I have listened to the first 3 books in the series on audio – they were excellent. I have been waiting for over a year to get the next 2 books, but it doesn’t look like they will be released on audio. I was going to buy the whole series on Kindle for a friend of mine for Xmas, but they only have books 1,2,4 and 5 on Kindle – not 3! How messed up is that? It must be hard to maintain a strong fan base if you can’t release them in order, or even in the same format

  • Derek Cheshire
    16:23 on March 7th, 2013
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    London exorcist Felix “Fix” Castor attends the funeral of his possessed friend John Gittings when a fancy dressed lawyer Maynard Todd arrives with a court order authorizing cremation; the widow Carla asks Fix to prevent the disinterring of her spouse’s body. The spirit remains in his body’s home.

    Fix is at the Magistrate Court supporting the contention of Pam “Pen” Bruckner that she has power of attorney for possessed Rafael Ditko. However, Professor Jenna-Jane Mulbridge has a counter claim insisting Rafi is unsafe to free from her asylum where she researches the paranormal. Judge Runcie realizes there are two issues with his legal focus on a review panel, angering Pam and satisfying Jenna-Jane for now.

    Janie Hunter wants to hire Fix to prove her husband Doug did not commit the rape and murder that he has been accused of and arrested for. She insists that American serial killer Myriam Seaforth Kale performed the deeds although she has been dead for four decades. Fix knows the MO in the brutal King’s Cross rape-murder is exactly that described of Kale. So he assumes somehow the odious evil came back, but how and where she is stymies the exorcist because he fears a repeat that he wants to prevent. However, Fix’s inquiry assisted by Juliet the succubus and Nicky the paranoid zombie leads him to something even darker crossing over.

    This London based urban fantasy thriller contains three prime subplots that grip the reader from the moment the body of Gittings is interred and never slows down as every move the exorcist makes seems increasingly dangerous. The story line is fast-paced as Fix works his inquiries. Sub-genre fans will enjoy his escapdes and seek his previous two caseloads (see Vicious Circle and THE DEVIL YOU KNOW).

    Harriet Klausner

  • kentadams
    17:15 on March 7th, 2013
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    To say I read a lot is an understatement. I read all the time, on my Kindle, from Audible, on paper. This one happens to be on my Kindle, but I read his previous novels in this series in other formats including audio.

    The thing that is most noticeable about Carey’s writing compared to almost any other current author I can name is that he is such a fine, literate writer. His words are so beautifully crafted that they are sometimes downright lyrical by which I don’t mean sappy. Crisp. Wonderful word choices … in fact occasionally actually using a word that is new to me. It has been decades since I learned a new word and I love it! Also noteworthy is that he does not repeat himself. He does not employ the same descriptive phrases repetitively nor does he, as many otherwise fine authors do, obviously copy and paste sections from one book to another to (I presume) save writing time. No short cuts for Mr. Carey. The result is a style that is rich in description, a wonderful counterpoint of gritty street slang banging head-on into literary English. Guttersnipe meets Jane Austen. It gives the narrative a texture that never becomes singsong.

    There are many surprises in the book. The characters surprised me, despite … or perhaps because … I read the earlier books. His characters develop. Although many of them are not human, they grow in remarkably believable ways. This ought to be more common amongst authors than it actually is. Although the characters surprise you, it isn’t surprise based on their doing something that doesn’t jibe with their nature, but because the character has chosen a unique path or solution.

    Mike Carey has a subtle and elegant sense of humour. No broad gaffaws here, but a sense of sharp irony pervades his prose. This is not, however, a funny book in the usual sense. There’s nothing humorous or light-hearted about it. The humour is in the author’s writing style, not the storyline. It is ironic and sometimes cynical and if you find that amusing, you will get some chuckles from it. But no smiles from the plot. That is dead serious, pun intended. Others have covered the story in more than sufficient detail, so I won’t. Still, darkness notwithstanding, you can count on Mike Carey’s signature plays on words and entertaining twists of phrase. It made ME smile.

    The plot is alternately and sometimes simultaneously gripping and creepy which is, I believe, entirely intentional. I have rarely been better entertained by a book and look forward to the next installment. Two thumbs up for this one.

  • Bertis
    19:04 on March 7th, 2013
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    I enjoyed this 4th installment of this series even more, and am very pleased with this writer. I highly recommend the series. Fix is someone you want to know what’s going to happen for, to, about! And will he ever have a relationship of his own?

  • Frank I. Locust
    20:31 on March 7th, 2013
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    Very entertaining but weird. I thought this book went off the rails with the crazy plot but i realy enjoyed it. Dead serial killers, trips to America, Juliet the crazy succubus as a partner, too fun.

  • Holly Franklin
    22:08 on March 7th, 2013
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    Dead Men’s Books is the 3rd novel in the Felix Castor novel, which raises the bar on this already thrilling series. The story opens shortly after the events of Vicious Circle, but with a decidedly more somber tone than previous volumes as Castor is attending the funeral of a fellow exorcist. It’s a glamorous life he is leading isn’t it?

    Castor is asked to look into the death of his exorcist friend, Gittings by his wife, Carla as she doesn’t believe he committed suicide. As usual Castor is also brought into another case, which somehow involves the infamous Myriam Kale, who was a mob hit woman from decades earlier in Chicago long dead. But just what the hell is a ghost doing in Chicago and how could a ghost have killed a man?

    Castor is a bastard that can’t admit to himself that what he does isn’t for purely selfish reason. It is like he wants people to think badly of him so that they won’t involve him in their lives. It seems that if he admits he cares about people his world will come crashing down. This is most evident with his dealings with Carla and Pen as he is willing to answer their calls for helps, but keeps them at arms length whenever possible. Castor is still dealing with the backlash of the Rafi and Pen story line from Vicious Circle, but the stakes are raised as Castor’s nemesis of sorts, Professor Mulbridge is to her old tricks trying to pull a snatch and grab with Rafi from his imprisonment. Carey is clearly building to something big with Mulbridge and Rafi that I hope culminates in the next volume.

    Carey’s use of spirits is again impeccably done. In Castor’s world all the supernatural elements are spirits of some kind whether they be normal ghosts/poltergeists or werewolves which are spirits inhabiting and modifying animal bodies. The sumptuous layers of intertwined cases, which has become a Carey staple never gets old. Juliet the succubus turned private investigator grows a lot and you get to see what a struggle the succubus goes through trying to “act” human. We’re also introduced to a great new mysterious associate who as always is out for themselves, which also adds a bit of tension to Juliet’s backstory.

    Visceral, action-packed, and wholly engrossing, Dead Men’s Boots is easily the best book in the series so far. I give Dead Men’s Boots 9 out 10 Hats. Carey has made a life long fan out of me and I’ll be checking out the other volumes in the series as he is building to something truly Epic. I heartily recommend starting with The Devil You Know to start with the series. Carey’s habit of holding out is the one thing that could be the downfall of the series if the carrot keeps getting dangled further and further away. Readers will want to see more payoff in the next volume.

  • Delio Jimenez
    0:03 on March 8th, 2013
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    Another fantastic book in the Felix Castor series. It is slightly weaker than the other four but that doesn’t mean its not great. This one seemed to string you along just a bit further than seemed necessary before it got to the turning point in the story and the “solution” was a bit on the weak side (in comparison to the rest of the series). But don’t let that deter you from getting this book. The entire series is fantastic, its just that this one is just a touch behind the other four. But still better than most of the dribble out there.

  • Denverite
    3:42 on March 8th, 2013
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    This 4th installation in the series reminds us of the boundless imagination of Mr. Carey. We are once again on the edge of our seats to see where “Fix” will end up, and more interestingly, how he’ll get there!

  • stackshs
    4:54 on March 8th, 2013
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    The intrepid exorcist, Felix Castor, returns under the skilled writing hands of Mike Carey, and this is his biggest adventure yet! After ignoring calls from a fellow exorcist, John Gittings, he finds his friend dead, an apparent suicide and feels guilty. He agrees to work with the wife in putting her husband to rest, along with dealing with a slimy lawyer who’s trying to execute Gittings will to be cremated. At the same time Castor is brought onto a case about a man who’s been brutally raped and murdered. As Castor begins putting the facts together it’s starting to look like a dead female serial killer may somehow be behind it all. Joining up with his quasi-friend and succubus-turned-exorcist, Juliet, and importing some help from his zombie friend who always has answers, Nicky Heath; Castor will have to travel to Alabama to get some answers and put the case together. Dead Men’s Boots continues in this third book in the excellent series that just gets better with each new release. If only the US could get the books published as fast as the UK, which already has the fourth book out, with the fifth due out in the fall.

    Originally written on June 10th, 2009 ?Alex C. Telander.

    Originally published in the Sacramento Book Review.

    For over 500 book reviews and exclusive author interviews, go to [...].

  • nhydude
    8:14 on March 8th, 2013
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    I saw about half of the ending of the book coming and still managed to be absolutely amazed by the outcome. That is in no way a knock on “Thicker Than Water” or on Mike Carey, an author I’ve enjoyed on both prose and graphic novel work. The only problem I had with “Thicker Than Water” is that I didn’t have the next book so I could immediately start reading it after the cliffhanger ending.

    If you’re a fan of detective noir or occult stories, give Carey’s Felix Castor series a try.

  • jerize
    10:15 on March 8th, 2013
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    Dead Men’s Boots is the third book in the Felix Castor series, written by famed comic book writer Mike Carey. Best known for his work on Lucifer and Hellblazer, Carey’s series poaches creative elements from both those titles.

    Felix Castor is a London exorcist. For no clearly defined reason, the dead have started to rise again – in a wide variety of terrifying forms (ghosts, zombies, werethings, etc). Worse yet, demons and devils are real – summoned by suicidal warlocks to stalk the streets. Although Carey hints towards a broad, apocalyptic metaplot, the series is skillfully composed of individual mysteries, each featuring the restless dead.

    In Dead Men’s Boots, Castor is hired by a unhappy wife to get prove her husband’s innocence (apparently he beat a rent boy to death with a hammer). Simultaneously, Castor is unhappily bequeathed some esoteric notebooks from a fellow exorcist. The two mysteries swiftly become connected, and Castor begins to unravel a disturbing conspiracy.

    Fans of Felix’s friends and allies won’t be disappointed. The ambitious cop Coldwood, the paranoid zombie Nicky and the alluring-but-scary demon Juliet are all involved – Juliet taking her most significant role so far. Carey also introduces a few new characters, including a horde of undead gangsters and a slightly different demon, the enigmatic Moloch.

    Carey does strong work building out Juliet. Introduced as a bit character in the first book, the former succubus now has a life of her own. The author does a good job fleshing her out as an interesting, evolving character. She finds the world totally alien, but is having a good time exploring it – even as human beings (and the relationships between them) continue to mystify her.

    Carey’s long-time friend Pen, and their unfortunate mate Raf (possessed by the demon Asmodeus), take a step back. Although Castor encounters them both briefly, they’re less involved in this particular adventure. After the focus on them both in the previous book, this is a welcome break, and shows that Carey isn’t a one-trick pony.

    Mike Carey has successfully made the transition from comic books to novels. Deftly balancing character and story-telling, Carey has created a terrific framing device for presenting mysteries, with a cast of fascinating characters to help tell them.

  • NaySayer
    10:27 on March 8th, 2013
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    The third Felix Castor novel (following The Devil You Know (Felix Castor), and Vicious Circle (Felix Castor) respectively) has all of the elements that I love about the character – dry wit, self-depreciating interior monologue, non-plussed attitude, and a “noir-ish” feel to the stories, with the return (figuratively speaking – Castor is, after all, an exorcist) of some old characters. Added to this there is a confidence in Carey’s writing that suggests he is getting a rhythm of his own as he writes character and dialogue. In this mystery, Castor is hired to exorcise the ghost of a fellow “spiritualist” who has “gone geist” – his restless spirit is destroying his old house and making life miserable for his widow. Concurrent with this plot, his colleague “Juliet” is seeking his professional assistance with a haunting in a church.

    The pacing of the story is a bit uneven, as Castor moves from place to place: out of his room with Pen, across “the pond” to Alabama, in and out of court … and so on. I understand Carey is seeking to build tension, dropping red herrings and otherwise leading us through the investigative process. The interwoven plot lines (that of polergeist John Gittings and that of the church) is becoming a bit tried – I loved it the first time, thought it was clever the second time, but a third time it is becoming a bit worn.

    Still, the resolution to the mysteries totally caught me off guard, and the climax of the story kept me up past my bedtime it was so exciting. Carey is clearly developing as a writer, and this installment is not without its problems. Nonetheless I tremendously enjoyed the story and will be back for more. Recommended.

  • Ashwell M
    11:53 on March 8th, 2013
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    This was a good “escapist” read where I lost myself in wondering how the story would wrap up the various threads that originally seemed entirely disconnected.

    The main character, Felix “Fix” Castor, is an exorcist in an alternate London where the dead started to rise around the Millenium. Exorcists are the pest control of this world and have to deal with ghosts, zombies, loup garous and the very occasional demon.

    The author, Mike Carey, takes a Raymond Chandler approach to the story by setting Fix up with several simultaneous cases. One involves a wife who wants to prove that her husband was possessed by a ghost when he killed a man as part of a homosexual tryst. The other involves assisting the bereaved wife of a fellow exorcist who committed suicide for no apparent reason. There is also another subplot – a continuing subplot from prior books – involving Fix’s friend Raffi who Fix “welded” into apparently permanent union with a demon.

    In handling his cases, Fix calls upon characters we’ve met in prior books – Julie, the demonic succubus, a paranoid zombie information broker, and an associate on the police force.

    Mid-way through the book, the two main plots begin to come together as we are introduced to clues suggesting that the real murderer is a long-dead hitwoman for the Chicago mob. Carey does a good job of dropping clues throughout the book so that the final reveal makes sense – as much sense as a book about demons, exorcists and long-dead executed female serial killers can make.

    The “ecology” of Carey’s urban fantasy world seems to be becoming more complex. In the first book, it seemed that the issue was ghosts. In the second, ghosts inhabiting the bodies of animals – aka “loup garous” – were a problem. This time we have two demons who occupy different predatory niches.

    Carey is playing coy with the reason for the “rising of the dead,” but there are some suggestive indications that there might be some reason involving a “project” that provides an explanation.

    I have a couple of nits to pick with the book. One nit is the trope where everyone is snarky to the main character. Obviously, we are supposed to know that Fix’s buddies are true blue and loyal, but they express their friendship with threats and insults. This is probably a hang-over from the Chandler style. The other nit is Fix’s insistence on his atheism. This seems to be another trope in urban fantasy. It seems like a strange attitude for a person who is, you know, interacting with friggin’ demons! Apparently, souls exist and they seem to go to demonland where demons feast on them or somesuch. Again, this seems to be a convention for heroes in urban fantasy similar to the trope of our hero turning down any payment for his efforts.

    All in all, I got my money’s worth from the book. It kept my attention and let me forget the real world for a time.

  • Naknek
    12:23 on March 8th, 2013
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    this time we get a bit of chilling history about his childhood in Liverpool, and a bit of depth about his relationship with his brother. Entertaining and engaging. Recommended.

  • Suellen Mellor
    12:43 on March 8th, 2013
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    Mike Carey’s “Felix Castor” is the first series that I’d find worthy of competition with JIm Butcher’s “Dresden Files”. The story is set mainly in England, where Felix “Fix” Castor is a exorcist with the ability to make ghosts go away by playing music. The world has changed at one point with the dead rising more and more, so his service (and others with similar talents) are in demand.

    In this book, Fix was called to a crime scene, where the victim had apparently written his name “F Castor” in blood. Except, Fix believed that the victim (a childhood bully that he knew) was trying to call for Fix’s attention. If you like the previous 3 books, you will like this one too… with its familiar ‘cast’ – Juliet the succubus, Father Gwillion, Matt (Fix’s brother), Gary the cop, as well as Rafi and Pen. Unlike the first 3 books, this one actually advances the plot a bit where Rafi/Asmodeus is concerned – but I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll also learn why this book is called “Thicker than water” towards the end of the book.

    This is already the 4th book, so you’ll need to read the first 3 (you won’t regret it!) if you had not, before you touch on this one. If you liked the first 3, well, what are you waiting for? This is easily one of the best book in the series that I’d read (so far).

  • Enescan
    13:28 on March 8th, 2013
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    Let me start off by saying that I got into this series because I absolutely loved Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files; but I eventually needed a new paranormal/detective series and this is it! I love both, but since it takes about a year to write and publish a book you need multiple series to be interested in. I highly recommend this series, with the first novel being “The Devil You Know” and the Dresden Files which begins with “Storm Front”.

    16:46 on March 8th, 2013
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    Dead Men’s Boots by Mike Carey

    An exorcist seeks to find out why a peer committed suicide. In a world where possession, demons, werewolves and exorcists are common, death has a new meaning.

    I liked Felix Castro. He is a character you can identify with as far as his guilt of past actions and his desire to right wrongs he may have perpetrated. Fix is an exorcist with a highly developed conscience. He exercises his exorcist talents by sending ghosts beyond. His talents are strong but limited. I liked that he wasn’t just a two dimensional comic book character. I don’t read a great deal of the supernatural fiction so some of the terms and characters could have been better defined for the novice reader. There was plenty of action and the story certainly held my interest. There were subplots within the main plot and Carey did an excellent job wrapping up all of the loose ends and creating a seamless story.

    I recommend the book.

  • cake mix
    18:15 on March 8th, 2013
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    I have read all of Mike Carey’s books, mostly in order. In each book I’ve noticed a theme. In book one, friendship and duty, in book two karma and retribution. In this book, the theme is consequences, that is that we will all reap the consequences of our actions or inaction. We meet Felix shortly after the end of the third novel. He is rousted from bed by Gary Coldwood, the detective, and not in a too-friendly way. He is brought to the scene of a ghastly crime involving an old, old aquaintance of both Felix and his brother, Father Matthew Castor.

    The crime could not have been committed by Felix, yet “F. Castor” was written in blood on the car window by the deceased. From that point on, it is a rollercoaster ride to hell for everyone connected with Felix. We do get to meet his mom, and get to know his back story – - small town boy, grew up in a neighborhood gang, that sort of thing.

    This is the darkest of the books to date; really, there was not much comedy in this book. The theme of consequences runs throughout the book; one sows what one reaps, no matter how long it takes for those seeds to sprout. Anyway, a GREAT read, and I’m looking forward to book five.

  • Sssskrd
    0:43 on March 9th, 2013
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    SYNOPSIS: Felix Castor can’t help but have feelings of guilt when he finds that his friend John Gittings, also an exorcist, has committed suicide. Maybe if he had answered John’s calls for help none of this would have happened. Gittings wife tells of how her husband changed over the weeks leading up to his death and wants Felix to find out why John’s ghost hasn’t moved on. The funeral is interrupted by an attorney claiming that Gittings made a new will which states his wish to be cremated, not buried as he has just been. In trying to track down what was going on in John’s life, Felix ends up having to make a trip all the way to a small town in Alabama to unravel the tangled webs from the past which keep getting in his way.

    OPINION: This story in the Felix Castor series was every bit as good to me as the first one I read, Vicious Circle (Felix Castor). This seems to have been reissued from 2007 so I have no idea about the order within the series. The characters which made up the central core of that novel are back and Felix has to deal with Dr Jenna-Jane Mulbridge fighting him and Pen Bruckner for legal guardianship or power of attorney for Rafael Ditko who is still demon possessed – partially because of something Felix did. That is one aspect of this story, although it did seem to recede into the background for long periods of time. I’m worried about Rafi so I wanted to hear a little more about him.

    The primary story line is the tracking down of all the clues gathered by John Gittings concerning the current job he was working on and figuring out which ones were discovered by him when he was in his rational mind and which might be a product of progressing dementia. This is when we have Juliet, Susan, Nicky, and Moloch to name just a few involved in either helping or hindering the solving of this mystery.

    RECOMMENDATION: This is gritty, dark, urban fantasy at it’s best, in my opinion. But it is also absolutely alive with the kind of self effacing humor which makes this main character one of my favorites. In chapter fourteen Felix has a really violent encounter with a were-kin which involved Felix almost getting killed (again) and falling down a flight of stairs. Chapter fifteen begins with this sentence: “It may dent my image of macho, gung ho capability to say this, but the next morning I felt rough.” After reading what had happened in the previous chapter that model of understatement made me laugh out loud. The book is full of instances where humor, be it aimed at his main character or someone else is inserted by Mike Carey and used to it’s full benefit. If you like your hero to be honest about his weaknesses then Felix Castor is just the man for you. The whole Alabama/England connection became just a little convoluted and slightly difficult to keep straight, but ultimately a wonderful reading experience. I still haven’t read any of the other books in the series, but I do have The Devil You Know (Felix Castor), and I simply must rectify that mistake. In the meantime, don’t worry about whether or not you must read these books in order. Mike Carey makes sure that each book is a stand alone. Just jump on board and get ready to hang on tight to the hand strap!

  • dipeyyc
    5:32 on March 9th, 2013
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    I picked up the first one of this series in England, then couldn’t find any of the others here. Finally, they started publishing them for the U.S. market. Enjoyed this odd, but engaging character.

  • Great!
    7:18 on March 9th, 2013
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    I love the Felix Castor books and read four in a row but i was bored with this one. I thought the reaon for all of the violence at Seddon was cheesy and boring. It started out interesting but a lot of it i saw coming and it wasnt a surprise. Oh well everyone else seemed to love it. What the hell do i know?

  • enakud
    8:59 on March 9th, 2013
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    Dead Mans Boots, another story set in modern London, with a quick trip to the US.
    It is an interesting story with all the usual suspects from the previous works. Including the welcome return of one particular heavy thug.
    The story revolves around a mysterious, frankly impenetrable, set of clues left by a suicidal, colleague / friend of Mr. Castor’s. As always, the women are strong and feisty, the nights dark and getting darker and the clues obtuse.
    This story seems to ramble more than the others, tube here, go over there, cab back, it is a bit of a mess and hard to keep track. Dead East end gangsters come and go along with a resurrected serial killer. The other bum note is the similarity to Harry Dresden, the Jim Butcher creation, a supernatural detective working in Chicago at the edges of reality. I just finished Turn Coat, so Harry was fresh in my mind. They both have supernatural allies that bail them out of imminent death, they both get beaten, hung over, psychically attacked, go without sleep etc. to the point where no normal man could function, somehow they struggle through the fog and pain to cast one last spell. They are both fine humanitarians, generous to lost causes, despite being depicted as broke all the time. Simply must be the lot of a modern psychic detective.
    The story is interesting enough to make one want more, it is just a little untidy and seems that the author may have rushed the ending.
    A reader looking for a different type of fantasy adventure will enjoy this book, as will Butcher fans. It is simply not the best example of his work.

  • BrianD
    9:40 on March 9th, 2013
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    I’m enjoying the Felix Castor series immensely. But come on…..two of three elevators are out of order, a mysterious and unexpected package arrives…..and Castor isn’t even a tiny bit suspicious? Please! Yeah, he’s usually hung over and fuzzy-headed – but with everything that’s happened to him, wouldn’t he be just a little paranoid? I can’t think off-hand of other examples of stretching believability in this particular novel, but there ARE a few more. I mean, even given the fact that the entire premise of the series is unbelievable. I like to be surprised by twists and turns, and this novel didn’t really have ANY surprises. I don’t think the author worked quite as hard on this one as on the others. But I like the series so much that I’ll forgive him. And I’m waiting for more.

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