The Devil's back - and he's STILL not had a holiday.
There's another mystery to solve - a woman kidnapped by terrorists and the world trying to find her. While he hates doing God's bidding, The Devil can't resist trying to put one over on Him. But nothing is EVER that simple.
While the Devil helps the London cops crack the case, there's trouble in the Underworld. And two of humanity's greatest backstabbers - Brutus and Cassius - are sharpening their knives with an eye on stealing his crown.
It's a race against time to find the girl, be the bad guy and maybe stop the apocalypse.
The Man in the Dark will be published by Urbane Publications Ltd on 26th September 2019. You can pre order it from Waterstones and Amazon.
Like the first book in the series, this has a stylish cover. Bold and blocky, the red from Hellcorp has been replaced by a bright
This is the second book in the series, but you can easily read it as a standalone. However, Hellcorp is a lot of fun so you might want to pick that up first - check out my review here.
The Devil is back in The Man in the Dark. He still hasn't had the holiday he desperately wants, and he's not best pleased about that. But before he can get it, Him Upstairs needs another favour done on earth - to solve a crime. The Devil isn't that inclined to help out, until Brutus and Cassius point out it might do his public image the world of good.
Courtesy of Him Upstairs, The Devil arrives on earth, London to be more precise, naked in an airing cupboard. Moments before a police raid on the property, where he is arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. It's not an auspicious start for him. Fortunately, he gains an ally, although somewhat begrudgingly, in no nonsense Detective Sergeant Laurie.
But things in London are getting a bit odd. Hell isn't faring too well either and even Upstairs things are slightly askew at the celestial club house. And it's distinctly possible that Brutus and Cassius might have something to do with it...
The Man in the Dark is, appropriately, darker than Hellcorp. Much darker. But this is still a very humorous book designed to make you laugh. As you might expect, the Lord of Darkness doesn't have any social graces, and is refreshingly rude, obnoxious and impatient - I couldn't help but like him! He has a brilliant foil in Laurie, who doesn't have any problem standing up to him. And he in turn learns her more about humanity.
The action and danger have been ramped up significantly since Hellcorp and I really enjoyed that. This is end of the world chaos, and there is still a crime to solve...
Whitelaw clearly has a brilliant imagination and has pulled the different threads of the story together really well. He's had fun with his characterisation of both the Devil and God, who plays a bigger role than previously. And Him Upstairs doesn't often look like we might expect Him too - I loved the surprises. Again, whilst irreverent, this is never offensive.
I found this book a bit of a treat - the same with Hellcorp. When you read as much crime as I do, it's nice to read something a bit lighter. As I said, this is dark, but it's also a fun romp of a story that had me smiling frequently. I'm definitely developing a soft spot for the Lord of the Underworld!
|With lovely author Jonathan Whitelaw at Bloody Scotland 2019.|
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