Upcoming: THE DEVIL’S EVIDENCE by Simon Kurt Unsworth (Doubleday/Del Rey UK)

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The Devil’s Detective, Simon Kurt Unsworth‘s debut novel, was a deliciously dark take on Heaven-and-Hell. Specifically, it focused on Fool, one of Hell’s Information Men — what passes for a detective in a place where the most brutal and depraved of crimes is everyday life. I thought it was an excellent, twisted and gripping thriller. This year, Fool returns in the sequel, The Devil’s Evidence. Here’s the synopsis:

Hell is burning out of control. Thomas Fool, Hell’s first Information Man tasked with investigating the endless stream of violence in Hell, has been promoted to the head of the newly expanded Information Office. Now in command of a legion of Information Men, his new position finds him hated by demons and almost revered by humans. He alone has survived the wrath of demon and angel alike, but he stands alone and at the center of a brewing crisis. New on the scene is the Evidence, a shadowy department whose officers do not investigate; they punish and spread fear. And its leader, Mr. Tap, is gunning for Fool.

Fool is ordered to accompany a political delegation to Heaven, and his arrival coincides with an impossible — and sinister — discovery. A dead body. Murder in Heaven. Violence, corruption, and fear are the currency of Hell, and how does one investigate a crime where these concepts are paradoxes? As the bodies pile up, Fool sees disturbing connections between Heaven and Hell. He must follow clues in a strange land where nothing is as it seems and danger can present itself in any form.

What follows is a phantasmagoric, mind-bending thriller as exciting and unsettling as anything in recent fiction. The Devil’s Evidence is an electrifying, provocative novel filled with stunning set pieces and characters who will live on in your deepest nightmares.

The Devil’s Evidence is published on July 5th in the US, by Doubleday; and on October 6th in the UK, by Del Rey. The Devil’s Detective is also published by Doubleday and Del Rey UK, and is out this month in paperback. Here are the covers:

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Quick Review: THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE by Simon K. Unsworth (Doubleday/Del Rey UK)

UnsworthS-DevilsDetectiveUSA gloriously dark and twisted crime story… in hell

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 Simon Unsworth’s first novel. He’s been writing shorter horror fiction for quite some time, which I have not read. After reading this novel, though, I’ll be sure to check out more of his work. The Devil’s Detective is a masterful blend of horror and crime fiction, set in an evocative, unsettling take on Hell. Continue reading