Books: Dead Man’s Boots

By Mike Carey

This is book 3 of the Felix Castor series, and Carey is maintaining the quality in this adventure of the London exorcist. The setting and threat level is perfectly balanced; I was slightly worried when I read that Carey was taking the character to the US because it seemed so wrong for the character. But Carey allays my fears and the American sojourn is short and necessary, and Castor is back in London where he belongs.

One of the original London exorcists, Gittings, is dead, causing a meeting of the London-based exorcists. The widow asks Castor to stop the lawyer from preventing the burial and taking the body to be cremated; this is also because Gittings had shot himself and is now haunting his own home. Castor agrees because he feels guilty for ignoring Gittings’ requests for help on a job. Meanwhile, the situation with Castor’s demon-possessed friend, Rafi, is getting complicated because an old adversary, Jenna-Jane Mulbridge, wants to transfer Rafi to her facility to ‘help him’ but actually study the demon within. Add to this, Castor takes on a case of a woman who wants his help with her husband who is in prison but she believes that the killer is a woman who has been dead for 40 years: an American, Myram Seaforth Kale, who was the first female Mafia contract killer.

And then someone tries to kill Castor in a broken lift. And then there is Julie, the succubus brought to Earth to kill Castor in the first book, but now works with him in the same business. And there’s also a deal with a devil he has to make when he finds out what is going on at the crematorium where Gittings’ lawyers want to take his body …

This is a great read: Carey has got Castor’s voice perfectly, and it is a very enjoyable narration; the book is well researched, funny, enthralling and visceral, and the central character is an all-too-believable figure in a well-crafted world. Carey has a real winner in his hands with the Felix Castor book, which keeps up the high quality and enjoyment.

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