Debut novelist Simon Kurt Unsworth sends the detective novel to Hell. In The Devil's Detective, a sea change is coming to Hell... and a man named Thomas Fool is caught in the middle.
Thomas Fool is an Information Man, an investigator tasked with cataloging and filing reports on the endless stream of violence and brutality that flows through Hell. His job holds no reward or satisfaction, because Hell has rules but no justice. Each new crime is stamped "Do Not Investigate" and dutifully filed away in the depths of the Bureaucracy. But when an important political delegation arrives and a human is found murdered in a horrific manner - extravagant even by Hell's standards - everything changes. The murders escalate, and their severity points to the kind of killer not seen for many generations.
Something is challenging the rules and order of Hell, so the Bureaucracy sends Fool to identify and track down the killer.... But how do you investigate murder in a place where death is common currency? Or when your main suspect pool is a legion of demons?
With no memory of his past and only an irresistible need for justice, Fool will piece together clues and follow a trail that leads directly into the heart of a dark and chaotic conspiracy. A revolution is brewing in Hell... and nothing is what it seems.
The Devil's Detective is an audacious, highly suspenseful thriller set against a nightmarish and wildly vivid world. Simon Kurt Unsworth has created a phantasmagoric thrill ride filled with stunning set pieces and characters that spring from our deepest nightmares. It will have listeners of both thrillers and horror hanging on by their fingernails until the final word. In Hell, hope is your worst enemy.
©2015 Simon Kurt Unsworth (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks
I struggled through most of this book. It was slow and predictable and I couldn't even be bothered to care about any of the characters. Worse, it was sentimental, and I just wasn't having it. Listening to this entire thing was a chore, although I think the reader's performance improves the experience of the novel. I was more and more annoyed every time the narrator said "little _______ fool" because naming the Everyman protagonist "Fool" is just so super duper clever anyway. It was repetative and pretentious. Also the author's interpretation of hell lacks both ambition and creativity -- probably the most disappointing aspect since the ending (while better than the rest) is not surprising or illuminating. The book is not scary, but it is disgusting with graphic description of wounds, people eating dirt and shitting, and demons jerking off in the streets. Overall it was a waste of my time as there was little immediacy in solving the mystery and actually being a detective and by the time the character got to that point (seriously, he is a fool, which is even more annoying -- how did he get this job if he's only started being good at it at the end of the book?) I was wondering why why whyyyy is there still 45 minutes left?
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