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Publisher's Summary

Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this bone-chilling, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

Czechoslovakia, 1935: Viktor Kosárek, a newly trained psychiatrist who studied under Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle surrounded by forests, on a site that is well known for concealing dark secrets going back many centuries. The asylum houses six inmates - the country's most treacherous killers - known to the terrified public as the Devil's Six. Viktor intends to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon he calls The Devil Aspect. Yet as he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, he must face the unnerving possibility that these six may share a darker 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 (a copycat of Jack the Ripper), turns to Viktor and the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind. And Viktor finds himself wrapped up in a case more terrifying than he could have ever imagined. 

©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)  

"A horror story, a novel of psychological terror, or simply a mystery in a historical setting, The Devil Aspect is all three and more. It’s a novel the reader will remember and continue to think about long after that final sentence is read." (New York Journal of Books)

"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] beguiling and gruesome new horror thriller...a wildly entertaining story that grabs you on page one and drags you into its dark world kicking and screaming...Russell has created a truly frightening story, one that gets under your skin slowly, then goes deep, like the tip of a butcher knife." (Danielle Trussoni, The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Devil Aspect

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

7 people found this helpful

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Disturbingly fun

Russell does a great job painting what feels like an authentic picture of prewar Prague in a rich, well-written suspenseful story full of unexpected turns. Some of the gore is at times a bit excessive for me but it does seem relevant , albeit unsettlingly extreme. Beautifully performed, the narrator plays the many parts with ease
overall great fun, which, given the brutality of some of the content, is a bit disturbing I suppose

6 people found this helpful

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Very good audiobook

This book is engrossing. Excellent job by the narrator. It’s a mix between mystery , and horror. Less gore more suspense.

5 people found this helpful

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Unusual serial killer tale

Czech psychiatrist delves onto serial killers’ psyches in 1930s Czechoslovakia. A real page turner. Better writing than Stephen King. Truly outstanding work of horror. Also a great reading performance. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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Scary as The Exorcist

Excellent book!! It keeps you involved. Hard to figure out who is the killer. The twist at the end I kinda figured out but still had a gotcha reveal. The narrator was excellent. This books a winner!!

3 people found this helpful

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ooo a twist that makes you look differently

excellent story about a search for the nature of the unknown human connection of the unknown

3 people found this helpful

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That ending! Didn't see it coming at all!

You know a book is good when you can't stop thinking about it hours after you finished. This was a great historical fiction/thriller that started off a little slow but really picked up. I was totally shocked at the ending. I did not see it coming at all! I was also happy to see the book take place in Prague instead of the boring old England.Julian Rhind-Tutt did a great job with the names and keeping the voices just a little different from each other. Also big time kudos for not using a high pitched voice for the women characters.

3 people found this helpful

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Best thing I’ve heard in a while!

This is one of those rare books that kept me wide awake way past my bedtime and made me hate myself in the morning. I was literally listening to this book at every available moment until it was finished. Even if you, like me, had some idea of how it would end, it was still done so well that you can’t help but enjoy it anyway. Probably the biggest reason this book was so captivating was the *brilliant* performance by the narrator. You’ll seldom come across someone of his skill. I loved everything about this audio book and highly recommend it!

2 people found this helpful

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Stunning and mind boggling! I couldn't put is down

I loved this story! I was obsessed with it and couldn't get enough! Hold on for a twisted ride down a dark path!

2 people found this helpful

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Most Excellent!

This was, by far, one of the very best thriller mysteries I have read in a very, very long, long time. The characters are all well developed, the historical background adds so many levels to the intrigue and the myth knowledge was layered in cultural context.
The narrator is also most excellent. His voice allows you to hear each character's individual voice. When you hear him give voice to a character, you forget you are listening to a narrator. The character is speaking for her or himself and as the reader/listener, you are an active observer at all times.
If you are looking for a mystery thriller that keeps you totally intrigued at every level, and for every moment, do not miss the opportunity to read this novel. It is thriller, mystery, myth and reality.

1 person found this helpful