“In The Devil’s Detective, Unsworth gives us his own personal and idiosyncratic version of Hell.”
Welcome to hell…
…. where skinless demons patrol the lakes and the waves of Limbo wash against the outer walls, while the souls of the Damned float on their surface, waiting to be collected.
When an unidentified, brutalised body is discovered, the case is assigned to Thomas Fool, one of Hell’s detectives, known as ‘Information Men’. But how do you investigate a murder where death is commonplace and everyone is guilty of something?
A stunningly original blend of crime, horror and suspense, The Devil’s Detective is a bold new thriller that will shock and amaze.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Thomas Fool is an ‘information man’ turned detective, in the one place where everyone is guilty: Hell. This is the setup for the debut novel from Simon Kurt Unsworth (likely known to many This Is Horror readers for his acclaimed short fiction).
In The Devil’s Detective, Unsworth gives us his own personal and idiosyncratic version of Hell. His underworld is not just the stereotypical lake of brimstone plus eternal torment, but a dirty and squalid metropolis peopled by men and women who have no idea how they ended up there. There are even visitors from Heaven dropping in. Crucially, it is possible to suffer physical harm and destruction in this Hell, and it is just such a case Fool must investigate: someone or something is separating people from their souls and he must find out who and why.
The Devil’s Detective looks like that rarest of things: an original and compelling fusion of genres to create something unique.
“Leytonstone offers deeper thrills than mere reference-spotting, with its richly evocative depiction of London in 1906 and Volk’s superb characterisation.”
One evening in 1906 a chubby little boy of seven, son of a London greengrocer, is taken by his father to visit the local police station.
There he suddenly finds himself, inexplicably, locked up for a crime he hasn’t committed – or has he? Blinking into sunlight, traumatised by his overnight stay, he is told by his father the next morning: “Now you know what happens to naughty little boys!” But the incident is the catalyst for a series of events that will scar, and create, the world’s leading Master of Terror in the century to come…
The boy is Alfred Hitchcock.
The story is the gripping and evocative new novella by Stephen Volk, writer of the highly-acclaimed novella Whitstable – which featured Peter Cushing as its central character. Whitstable and Leytonstone are parts one and two of Volk’s putative series of thematically related but separate fictions, to be called The Dark Masters Trilogy.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Okay, so we’ve already sneakily reviewed Leytonstone here at This Is Horror, but how could we miss the chance to remind you about the now imminent release of what is likely to be one of this year’s most celebrated books?
Leytonstone is about a young Alfred Hitchcock and a supposedly true story about how Hitchcocks’s father made him spend a night in cells as a young boy. Volk uses this as a starting point for a compelling fictional story of guilt, punishment and unintended consequences. You don’t need to be a Hitchcock buff to enjoy the author’s taut and twisting plot, although there are numerous allusions to the director’s films for the aficionado. But Leytonstone offers deeper thrills than mere reference-spotting, with its richly evocative depiction of London in 1906 and Volk’s superb characterisation of the young Hitchcock and his parents.
A triumph of the imagination, Leytonstone is the equal to the author’s earlier novella Whitstable (about Peter Cushing) and confirms his status as one of the best writers we have. A book to treasure.