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.
The Devil's Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth - Penguin Books Australia
A revolution is brewing in Hell… and nothing is what it seems. Simon Kurt Unsworth has created a phantasmagoric thrill ride filled with stunning set pieces and characters that spring from our deepest nightmares.
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It will have readers of both thrillers and horror hanging on by their fingernails until the final word. As Fool waited, he turned back to the man.
He knew Gordie had already asked this, but the man might remember something new, describe it differently, or reveal something extra. What was his name? They were torn and bloody, that much he had seen already, and smeared with mud. Just up the slope, in among the trees, he had found a patch of churned and damaged ground, the earth freshly torn. Blood was puddled in the newly created hollows and had started to coagulate into a thick, brittle mess.
Four teeth had been scattered around the saturated ground like frozen tears; Fool had picked them up and placed them in his pocket, wrapped in a handkerchief. One still had a piece of gum attached to it, dangling pinkly from the root, bloody and wormlike.
A crowd had gathered farther up the slope, perhaps ten or fifteen people massed beyond the trees and standing in loose clumps. They looked lost, aimlessly staring down the slope, their features impossible to make out at this distance. They were all human, though, that Fool could tell; there were no demons among them, although if the crowd remained long enough those others would come, attracted by the crumpling hope and the disappointment and the smell of sweat and despair.
They would come to feed. It landed bonelessly on its back, and Fool winced at the state of it. West had gone pale, paler than before, and was gulping helplessly, staring at the battered body. The smell of it was sharp and sour, the vomit itself watery and gray. The dead person was, had been, male. There were bite marks around the base of the flaccid penis, scabbed and angry red gashes that covered the scrotum and the lower belly; more lined the stomach and chest.
One nipple was gone, the breast topped by an open wound.
The other bites, Fool recognized. He crouched, peering at the ruined face. More of the small circular bites were dotted around the eyes, almost lost in the angry marks from the beating.
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Tears that were tinged with blood wept from the eyes in slow trickles. Something about the body bothered him. No, it was the eyes, he thought; not their bloodiness or the fact that one had been so savagely abused that it had turned away from its companion, but the expression they contained.
They were helpless, the helplessness of someone who saw his own death, or something worse, approaching and could do nothing about it. I want him questioned. The best he could hope for was knowledge, something to put in a report to Elderflower so that he could pass it on to his masters, for information.
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The Devil's Detective
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The Devil's Detective: A Novel.