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The Devil Aspect

A Novel
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
Length: 15 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

Regular price: $35.00

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Publisher's Summary

"A blood-pumping, nerve-shredding thriller - elegant, edgy, ingenious. Craig Russell conjures not one but two unforgettable settings: Prague between the wars, pulsing with menace, and a Gothic mental asylum, as exciting a house of horrors as I've ever visited. You'll enter both with dread. You'll dwell in them with relish." (A. J. Finn, number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Woman in the Window)

Prague, 1935: Viktor Kosárek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The state-of-the-art facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle outside of Prague, though the site is infamous for concealing dark secrets going back many generations. The asylum houses the country's six most treacherous killers - known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer, and The Demon - and Viktor hopes to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon known as The Devil Aspect. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth. 

Meanwhile, in Prague, fear grips the city as a phantom serial killer emerges in the dark alleys. Police investigator Lukas Smolak, desperate to locate the culprit (dubbed Leather Apron in the newspapers), realizes that the killer is imitating the most notorious serial killer from a century earlier - London's Jack the Ripper. Smolak turns to the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind, though he worries that Leather Apron might have some connection to the six inmates in the asylum. 

Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this stylishly written, tightly coiled, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to pause. 

"A tour de force: a clever and visceral thriller with a one-two-three knockout of an ending that left me dazed. The brooding backdrop of a Czechoslovakia on the brink of World War II just adds another layer of atmosphere to an already nightmarish read." (Lincoln Child, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Deep Storm

"One of the most memorable thrillers of the year; it's also unique: the premise is strikingly original, and the mood created by the juxtaposition of the patients' memories and the real-time horrors is utterly chilling." (Booklist, starred review)

©2019 Craig Russell (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A seasoned writer, Russell keeps the police case moving at a good clip . . . but nothing to match the ending, which offers more twists than a Chubby Checker album. A smart, atmospheric, and entertaining read but not for the Jung and easily Freudened." (Kirkus)  

"Deep, dark, and twisty, The Devil Aspect will keep you up all night reading . . . With all the lights on. Russell has created a gripping masterpiece of a thriller!" (Alex Grecian, New York Times best-selling author of The Yard

"Steeped in the chilling folklore of Eastern Europe and echoing the dread of a barbaric war to come, The Devil Aspect snatches the reader by the lapels for a thrilling, twisting trip through the darkest corridors of the human mind." (Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of Robopocalypse

"[A] sensational serial killer novel . . . jaw-dropping . . . a mind-blowing story line that will appeal to fans of Caleb Carr and Thomas Harris." (Publishers Weekly

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Is The Devil Real?

Enjoyable audiobook. The plot was well developed and characters were complex. Getting personal, I couldn’t understand why the asylum, as large as it was with incredible facilities serviced only the Devils Six. The cost per patient must have been extremely high. There’s a surprising twist or two and the psychiatric aspect interesting. If you enjoy this genre, you’ll enjoy this audiobook.