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Publisher's Summary

Felix Castor has reluctantly returned to exorcism after the case of the Bonnington Archive ghost convinced him that he really can do some good with his abilities ("good," of course, being a relative term when dealing with the undead).

But his friend, Rafi, is still possessed; the succubus Ajulutsikael (Juliet to her friends) still technically has a contract on him; and he's still dirt poor. Doing some consulting for the local constabulary helps pay the bills, but Castor needs a big, private job to really fill the hole in his overdraft.

That's what he needs. What he gets - good fortune and Castor not being on speaking terms - is a seemingly insignificant "missing ghost" case that inexorably drags him and his loved ones into the middle of a horrific plot to raise one of Hell's fiercest demons. When Satanists, sacrifice farms, stolen spirits, and possessed churches all appear on the same police report, the name of Felix Castor can't be too far behind.

©2006 Mike Carey (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The well-developed main character appears more than capable of carrying a series for many books to come." ( Publishers Weekly)"Carey juggles characters and bits and pieces of plot like a man with a thousand arms, catching each word and positioning it in exactly the right place in this deftly crafted, can't-turn-the-page-fast-enough read." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Cliff
  • madison, MS, United States
  • 10-18-13

A very good sequel. This one doesn't disappoint.

Would you consider the audio edition of Vicious Circle to be better than the print version?

I couldn't say as I have only listened to this in audio format.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Vicious Circle?

Overall just the plight of the girl the stanists are looking for.

What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

All his characters are well fleshed out and distinct. he does a great job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would if I could.

Any additional comments?

This entire series is excellent. You won't go wrong with any of them.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Decent Sequel

I was surprised to see a sequel to The Devil You Know and purchased it right away. Mike Carey doesn't disappoint the listener by picking up right where he left off in the first book. He keeps the plot fresh by throwing in unexpected twists throughout the story. He does some further character development with both Castor and Juliet, but not at the expense of the action. When he ties it all up at the end, it is not with a pretty ribbon and no one really walks off into the sunset living happily ever after. The ending is clearly the beginning for book three. It is well read and characters are easily distinguished from each other. A little better editing could make the metaphors more accurate, but that is minor compared to the overall internal consistency of the plot. It's a good read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hard-boiled detective story, with ghosts

It is a hard-boiled detective story, in an urban fantasy setting. Oh yeah, and includes ghosts/demons/undead as "citizens". The lines of good and evil don't follow the traditional paths: here some humans are bad, some undead are good, and some of each are the opposite.

The story is a bit slow to pick up... I actually got a bit frustrated with the delay in the story gearing up because I had selected this book for a trip and didn't have any alternatives handy, and I wanted an immediate escape from flight delays. I think the delay was to set the backdrop and introduce the main characters of Felix's world.

Fortunately, the story does pick up not too far in, and once it did, it became a very engaging mystery/detective novel. The mystery Felix is trying to solve might be non-traditional (ghosts), but the detective-procedural was actual pretty "normal". It was traditional hard work and a few hard knocks that allowed Felix to solve the mystery, not a deus-ex-machina.

I think if you read the first book in the series and liked it, you'd like this one at least as much, maybe more since there isn't as much time fleshing out the world. If you hadn't read the first book, though, I still think you can start with this one and not be lost for long - the slow part at the beginning sets up the world sufficiently for newcomers, and the detective story is completely stand-alone.

The narration is very good. It is not gory or graphic and I don't think there was much (if any) swearing. If you liked the first couple Joe Pitt (vampire) books by Charlie Huston - (only the first couple, they got lecture-y by the series end) - this has a very similar tone/humor.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dave
  • Whittier, CA
  • 10-31-11

Fix Castor-Cooler than John Constantine Hellblazer

Carey, who wrote an amazing arc of the Hellblazer comic books, takes a similar concept to John Constantine (see also: Harry Dresden, John Taylor, etc.). The Felix Castor books are much darker and more twisted than the Dresden ones I've read - definitely more horror/dark fantasy. Carey knows how to build his story and set the mood, creates an amazing supporting cast of supporting characters, juggle the plotlines, all while slowly turning the temperature up. This story is even darker than the previous one, with a twistier narrative woven together by an expert.

Michael Kraemer's reading matches Castor's voice (as well as the other characters) to perfection, and goes a long way in further establishing the dark mood of the story.

I hope the rest of the Castor books are made available soon, because this is a series I want to keep listening to - preferably, when all the lights are out!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cather
  • Cumberland, VA, United States
  • 11-09-08

A worthy sequel

I had been waiting for this book when I learned that there was a sequel to _The Devil You Know_, and I was not disappointed.

It loses a single star because there are a couple of points where the plot is just a little too contrived, but the depth of the characters and the skill of the storytelling more than make up for it.

Eagerly awaiting book three.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 05-12-09

Outstanding Story....Outstanding Narrator

Gripping, interesting, funny and intelligent. This Felix Castor novel has it all.

It puts you in the happy position of driving around the block one more time, just so you can hear some more.

Tight writing, pithy observations and delightful plot twists makes this a series to watch.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Melanie
  • Sylmar, CA, United States
  • 10-11-10

Good storyline with a great sense of humor

I really enjoyed this book even though I wouldn't rank it in my Audible Top 10. I would recommend anyone who likes this sort of supernatural subject to download it. It's not often I can navigate Los Angeles rush hour traffic and still have enough of a sense of humor to laugh, but I found myself laughing out loud several times while listening to this book. Kind of like True Blood with a more urbane lead character...I think Felix Castor is immediately likeable for such a scoundrel. Must be the British in him! If Showtime or Starz is looking to enter the realm of werewolves, demons, and ghosts...this is the series for them!

The narrator was good at bringing out the sarcasm et al of Felix, but sometimes I felt he droned on a bit. I would give him a B+ for his reading of this novel. I'm a certain that I will eventually download and listen to the other books in this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joeanne
  • Hudson, NY, United States
  • 07-21-10


This is a great experience. The narrator is comfortable with the characters in this second book of the series and it shows in the flow of the conversations. Carey gives really good plot. It is well thought out and of course Vicious Circle would work well as a stand alone read but it is excellent as a continuation. The tone of the book keeps you on the edge of your seat. You want to resolve the situation but you hate to get to the end. I am delaying my "fix" of the next installment until Audiobooks adds more Felix Caster to their collection.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Everything you could hope for.

I read, rather than listened to, the first book in this series, _The Devil You Know_, and I wasn't too impressed. Perhaps I should have listened to it, because this audiobook blew me away.

The narrator is SO good. He breathes life into every character, and his pace and clarity are just perfect.

And the story. I can't believe the twists and turns Carey puts into this plot, but every one works, especially the key element, the reason everyone is doing all these baffling things. It has to be big and convincing, and not obvious, and it delivers on all counts.

About a quarter of the way through, I realized that this is just like a Raymond Chandler book, only with ghosts and demons and were folk. Felix Castor is Philip Marlowe as exorcist. All the other elements are very much the same. And who doesn't love hard-boiled fiction?

Now I'm going to get _The Devil You Know_ in audiobook form. I bet I love it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • VTP
  • SF,CA
  • 10-30-15

2nd time around

I liked this story alright the first time I listened to it, and was out of books and needed a listen, so I started "Vicious Circle" for the second time. This is a few years later, and I now know the narrator from other books, esp "Mistborn" and "The Way of Kings". More about that later.

The story is fine, a bit long, and keeps your interest with twists and turns, interesting characters, and some good humor. All is well, but.....

The problem is Michael Kramer. His "British" accents are.....not good. OK, horrible. Sorry, all you who love him, but I'm thinking they need a real Brit to get the story right. What? They did get one? Hallelujah.

I can't listen to any more accent butchery. OK, I'm spoiled. I have since listened to some terrific Brit narrators like Stephen Pacey, Simon Vance, etc. whose talent would have catapulted this series into the stratosphere! I'm skipping #3 and going in for #4 with a real Brit.

I'm just sayin'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful