Vicious Circle Review
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Felix Castor decides to return to exorcising demons and ghosts, since it’s what he seems to be pretty good at. But he needs to find a good, paying client in order to eat and pay his bills. When Abigail Torrington’s parents show up asking him to find their little girl, he’s a bit disappointed, and he tells them he feels it’s a job best suited for the police department—that is, until they tell him that Abigail is a missing ghost. They believe she was kidnapped by a fellow exorcist named Dennis Peace.

Across town, a malevolent spirit possesses a church, causing all of the members to go on a killing craze. Felix joins forces with Juliet, a succubus who’s yet to fill a contract out on him, to try to figure out what’s going on with the church. Though Juliet is no longer serious about killing Felix, there are others who want nothing more than for him to meet an untimely demise.

Meanwhile, in a mental hospital, Felix’s friend, Rafi, suddenly becomes free of the demon possessing him—but something doesn’t feel right to Felix. Is the demon, Asmodeus, really gone? Is he busy elsewhere? Or is he laying dormant, waiting for a cataclysmic event?

When one too many people—including a group that had been excommunicated by the Catholic Church—show an interest in finding the ghost of Abigail Torrington, and various events seem to be related, Felix begins to wonder what, exactly, is going on and what they need Abigail for.

Although readers were introduced to Felix Castor in The Devil You Know, his character really comes alive in Vicious Circle. You’re guaranteed to like this offbeat hero. He’s an ordinary guy who’s just trying to make a living while he’s constantly getting thrown into extraordinary situations. I love down-on-their-luck characters who go out and save the day—even if the rewards are limited or nonexistent—and Felix Castor is just that sort of guy. You’re definitely going to want to pick up future books to see what kind of messes Felix finds himself in next time.

Loup-garous with little control, secret religious cults with an agenda of their own, demon-possessed characters, intelligent zombies, and spooky locations make this novel thrilling, edgy, scary, and often creepy. Vicious Circle comes at you fast and hard, with a few surprises that will smack you between the eyes, leaving your mouth hanging open and your attention glued to the pages. It’s imaginative and complex, but not so complex that it makes it too hard to enjoy the read.

The Devil You Know was good, but Vicious Circle establishes Mike Carey as an author that you’re going to want to read again and again. It’s the perfect book to take you out of this world for a few hours.

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