Read Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey Online

thicker-than-water

Old ghosts of different kinds come back to haunt Fix, in the fourth gripping Felix Castor novel. Names and faces he thought he'd left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Castor far more trouble than he'd anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something lOld ghosts of different kinds come back to haunt Fix, in the fourth gripping Felix Castor novel. Names and faces he thought he'd left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Castor far more trouble than he'd anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something like hell . . . these are just some of the sticks life uses to beat Felix Castor with as things go from bad to worse for London's favourite freelance exorcist. See, Castor's stepped over the line this time, and he knows he'll have to pay; the only question is: how much? Not the best of times, then, for an unwelcome confrontation with his holier-than-thou brother, Matthew. And just when he thinks things can't possibly get any worse, along comes Father Gwillam and the Anathemata. Oh joy . . ....

Title : Thicker Than Water
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9762312
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 512 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Thicker Than Water Reviews

  • Bradley
    2019-01-01 10:43

    I'm growing very comfortable with this series. Maybe not as comfortable as I've been in more than a handful of others, but it's definitely becoming a more enjoyable read. There's a lot of traditional gumshoeing in this novel, like the others, but for some reason, it feel a bit more polished that the previous novels. It's a lot less disjointed and the way it brings in Fix's wayward childhood, gangland style, was actually rather refreshing.As always, the titles to these books have multiple references, and this one is obviously blood, be it family or the mark of the demon he's hunting. No spoilers here, but the basic story was pretty satisfying and I really enjoyed all the implications for all the souls in the world and Carey's universe. I feel like some real progress is shown in understanding the deeps.It's one of the reasons I love UF. The speculation, I mean. Being so firmly based in our reality, it's a foundation that's almost irresistible, even when we work closely with some of the kings of hell. (Well, "king" is too structured a word, but powerful works just as well. Poor Rafi.) Once again, Castor is roped into using the big guns he has on hand, and once again, it gets away from him. I wish that we as readers could summon an ounce of surprise, but Fix is always in a fix, and being what he is, he'll use whatever tools are on hand.I was very happy that he did fix up his relationships with his friends. Nicky and Juliet aren't worse for wear after the events of the last book, so I guess that means they forgave him. (I suppose that means that we as readers can forgive him, too. Good. I hate holding a grudge against the main character. :)It turns out we can transfer a lot of grudgeworthy elements over to new peeps in this novel.I heartily approve. I want to like Fix, and now I can get a chance to like him a bit more than I have been.This is probably the best of the novels, but then, I've been saying that as I read each novel, so that either means it's me or Carey is becoming a better writer. :)Read this if you love magical noir, peeps. It really is getting quite fun.

  • Carol.
    2018-12-26 05:41

    If you are a fan of the urban fantasy detective, I highly recommend you read Thicker Than Water, one of the best Felix Castor books to date. Reading prior books is not required; while they add some character back story and add to the overarching philosophical developments, the plot is largely discrete in each book and Carey does a nice job of providing information without backstory infodumps. Thicker starts off with a teaser, a third person witnessing of Castor's demon-ridden friend Rafi being abducted from the asylum right before the scary Dr. Mulbridge comes to take him to her special house of horrors scientific research. It moves quickly into a confrontation with the police when Castor's name is found scrawled at a bloody assault scene. Like all decent fictional PIs, Castor is not content to let the police investigate, suspecting the victim was directing attention to his special exorcist skills, and soon finds himself poking around one of London's rougher estates (which seem to resemble inner city projects for Americans).Carey does a particularly nice job world-building, using modern London as his base. His take on the supernatural is largely spirit-based, with ghosts (leftover human spirits), zombies ("corporally-challenged" spirits), loup-garou (animal bodies taken over by spirits), and demons, the big bad unknown. Thicker delves even deeper into the metaphysical underpinnings of ghosts and demons as Fix investigates the spiritual miasma at the estate. He does a very nice job realizing the various manifesting ghosts and Fix's interaction with them, truly building an experience that seems plausible. The scenes of Fix visiting a hospital were especially outstanding.I enjoy many of the supporting cast, especially Nicky, the paranoid hacker zombie (and don't you justlovea review where you get to type that phrase?). He is the information gatherer for Fix, a somewhat standard supporting character role, but his breath-challenged status was a stroke of genius. His dialogue is always enjoyable, but he had me chuckling at "What highlights? He's born, he lives, he maybe dies. Bit of a cliffhanger ending there, but that's as good as it gets." Juliet the succubi continues to evolve. This time Carey nicely treads the balance between drooling and scary, and still manages to make her seem real. Her limited emotional range is clear, as is the ways she is humanizing. Nicky treats Fix and Juliet to a Blade Runnerscreening. "'What did you think of the movie?' 'I enjoyed the deaths,' she said, like someone looking around your living room for something to compliment you on and finally settling on the curtains because all of the furniture is eye-wateringly bad."Despite the charm of Nicky and Juliet, this is the first book where I liked Fix more than the ensemble; perhaps that is a staple of the UF detective field--the friends are often more likeable than the detectives, who uniformly seem to be ill-tempered and emotionally immature.I generally enjoyed the generally sophisticated writing style, with the exception of the occasional awkwardness. I'm unsure if some of it is perhaps a particularly English way of speaking, local idioms or just perfectly executed English language that caught me, being somewhat grammar-challenged. Examples include, "But she's always fought shy of explaining how that other life works," "I looked forward cordially to never finding out," and, "I had things to do over there that I didn't want the daylight to look upon." Still, the writing was tempered with enough world-building, character development and humor that such stumbles were quickly left behind. I wholeheartedly recommend it for UF detective fans. One of the tops in the field.

  • Sarah Anne
    2019-01-06 06:36

    "Time to fight dirty - assuming you count a knee to the balls as fighting clean."Although Dead Men's Boots is a personal fave, this particular book has the best plot and writing. Carey grows as a writer and it shows in Castor's growth as a character, as well as a truly tense and creepy plot, which is quite possibly the only one of the Castor books that I would classify as horror.Castor is hauled out in the middle of the night by DC Coldwood (what else is new?) and taken to a crime scene and guess what? The victim of the crime was someone he knew and had a beef with. And of course Basquiat is in fine form as The Bitch with a Grudge. I've honestly never been particularly clear what that grudge was. Because he wasn't guilty of the crime she wanted to arrest him for? There's a flaw there, methinks. Because TBwaG is determined to see him charged with attempted murder, Felix sets out to find out some things about what happened and why he's in the frame.Because the plot in this one is just so damn good, I'm going to err on the side of caution here. We have The Salisbury Estates, a place that is absolutely covered in a dark miasma of psychic ick that encourages you to make yourself bleed. There's a weird, seemingly unconnected, series of violent incidents that has Fix trying - and failing - to see the bottom line. We have a Juliet who has decided not to help, an estranged brother with his own bit of character development, a young, traumatized psychic boy in the crossfire, said Coldwood and Basquiat, The Ice-Maker, Rafi, Asmodeus, Penn (who spends one agonized moment trying to decide whether or not to clock a certain DC over the head), a zombie who's wincing over the lack of a certain succubus's appreciation for his fine and extremely expensive wine... The gang is all here and they are all in fine form.This book makes me sad that he only plans on releasing one more book. He spent all of this time making us love Castor and fine-tuning his writing chops, only to run off with said writing chops and become M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts). I'm sad that there's only one more published and one more coming, and I'm sad that we aren't going to see this much improved writing in a character that I love.On a side note - the audio switched narrators and this narrator was a much better fit for the role than the last.

  • Abigail
    2019-01-15 04:48

    I mean, I'm nearly done the series. I keep reading, so obviously I'm into it. Couple of notes: How many times can Felix Castor's shoulder get punctured/lacerated/torn up. How does it even function anymore? In each book, his shoulder is getting annihilated. Even if it's alternating shoulders, it's still a lot. Poor dude.Also, Carey has a tendency to reuse tropes and phrases and scenes from book to book to book. It's like he was writing and said "Ooh, that sounds nice, let me add that," forgetting that he did in the last book, and the one before that. Minor nuisance to me.But that's it, really. More demons and death and destruction and chaos and ghosts and zombies and werewolves. More fun. Also, the ending, though I should have seen it coming, nearly knocked the wind out of me. The last two minutes had me with my hands to my mouth, frozen while I listened (audiobook) to it play out in all its gore. Book five starts tomorrow!

  • Stephanie
    2018-12-27 06:49

    Well, the shit really hits the fan in this one. Felix "Fix" Castor, exorcist-extraordinaire is faced with a massive entity that is causing havoc in the Salisbury Estate in South London. He is also implicated in the mysterious stabbing death of a former childhood nemesis, who happens to have lived in the Salisbury. Fix goes to investigate and runs into Father Gwillam, the Pope's favorite exorcist and his band of soldiers. Then Fix's older brother, Father Matthew, shows up too and Fix is REALLY confused.Family secrets, self-harm, demonic possession, stalking, and kidnapping, along with various and sundry attempts at murder and mayhem ensue. Oh, and remember Fix's demon possessed BFF, Rafi? Well, Fix broke him out the "sanitarium" where he was being contained and had him stashed with the Ice-Maker, a woman with the ability to keep the demon Asmodeus contained. Guess what happens?Huge major cliff-hanger at the end, and I am headed to the library this weekend to find the next one in this series. Loved it!

  • Jamie Collins
    2019-01-15 08:43

    This fourth book in the Felix Castor series is my favorite so far. The occult is not my favorite urban fantasy subject, but the exorcist theme works for me in these books. I also love the depiction of modern-day London and the British slang, and that the story has a nice mix of fantasy and the prosaic.This is richly written and suspenseful. It's very focused on Castor himself, and the other characterizations are admittedly a bit neglected. There seems to have been an off-camera reconciliation between Castor and his landlady, and there's no explanation given for Detective Sergeant Coldwell's unusual helpfulness. I think many people will guess the twist in this story, since it's obvious in hindsight. But I rarely figure out these things (and I enjoy reading all the more) and I was more engaged in this plot than that of the previous books.I'm anxious to read the next one, which is supposed to conclude the story arc concerning Castor's demon-possessed friend, Rafi.I pick at this author a bit for word repetition, because I haven't quite forgiven him for using the word "spavined" three times in the first novel. But the writing is really very good.

  • Carly
    2018-12-23 11:27

    ***WARNING: a main theme of this book is self-harm (specifically cutting) It isn't fetishised or romanticised, but Carey's writing is quite visceral and my review has quotes, so beware of triggers...***It all starts with a jailbreak.Felix "Fix" Castor, aided by the succubus Juliet, daringly swipe Fix's demon-possessed friend out from under the noses of the sadistic doctor who wants to take him apart to study him. Fix is just beginning to catch his breath when the police arrive on his doorstep. To his surprise, however, Fix isn't carted off to jail for kidnapping; instead, he is taken to the scene of a near-fatal assault. Much to his chagrin, the police didn't ask him over for his supernatural senses--they just want him to explain why "F Castor" is scrawled across the car window in blood. When Fix learns that the victim of the attack was a childhood enemy, his quest to discover the meaning behind the message leads him back into his murky past and into a darkening future.This book left me breathless--and not just because I read it at the gym. It wasn't just the atmosphere and characters, or the scenes that ripped my heart into shreds, or the plot that kept me guessing into the second half of the book, or even the flawless worldbuilding; it was the visceral, visual nature of the scenes Carey painted and the way he used the template and tropes of pulp to delve into the duality and hypocrisy of human nature. Throughout the series, one of my favourite aspects has been Carey's use of the supernatural conflict as a metaphor for the story's more human tragedies-- a ghost's speech is stolen from her in the same way that her life as an illegal immigrant and prostitute left her without a voice, or spirits that physically steal men's bodies in much the same way that their entrepreneurial ruthlessness has trampled others. (Yep, I like my metaphors blatant.) This book explores a new theme: self-harm in all of is manifestations, from the supernatural to the mundane.The location, too, the Salisbury estate, is one of Carey's best: Fix describes it as "One step closer to Heaven....streets eighty feet of the ground...a city in the air...leave your worries on the ground, take to the skies and live clean. Only it turned out that you left a lot of other stuff on the ground, too... closer to Heaven, maybe, but you bring your weather with you." It is a Babel whose towers were built to rival Heaven and is thus inevitably doomed to failure. Within this fallen city of all-to-human gods, we have a young boy who forsook his innocence of youth and apparently jumped from the airy balconies. (view spoiler)[I loved the imagery of the boy's death; his fall--his fall from grace--leads to the creation of a demon. I think Fix's references to Milton and Paradise Lost aren't coincidental. (hide spoiler)] Throughout the series, the atrocities that Castor faces are, by and large, man-made. Every aspect of the world speaks of man's inhumanity to man; even the supernatural beings are, at their core, people. Ghosts, loup-garou, and zombies are people who have been refined by death into something both more and less human, and even the actions of demons are inexorably shaped by the humans who summon them into the mortal plane. (view spoiler)[The reveal about the true nature of demons was stunning; it came as a shock to me, yet was such a natural fit for the world that Carey had built that it had all the satisfaction of a last puzzle piece fitting into place. We have the contrasting paths of Juliet and Mark; Juliet seeks to understand/remember what it is to be human, while Mark strips away all self other than pain and fury. (hide spoiler)]Through Castor, Carey deconstructs the hero. Throughout, we see a man who is willing to shoulder the responsibilities of others, to throw himself into the fray for friends and strangers. One little oddity stuck out to me: both his mother and brother call him "Felix," so Fix must have bestowed his nickname, with all of its semantic baggage, on himself. To protect and rescue--to fix, in fact--is the role of the hero, yet over and over, Carey has shown us the consequence of choice and the arrogance and unbearable guilt that underlie this apparent selflessness. As one character tells Fix, "'You persist in thinking that...the whole world is full of the waste products of other people's mistakes? That your role in life is to clean them up, and to take the thanks for it? (view spoiler)[...and thus the inevitable tragedy. (hide spoiler)] Castor's tendency to involve himself stems from both his own desire for absolution and an innate arrogance, for why does he believe he has the right, the strength, to make decisions that impact so many? Yet Fix is only one example of this hypocrisy; this duality of saviour and destroyer within the novel. (view spoiler)[Anita first saves the child Fix from a fall to protect the brother of the man she loves, then later pushes him off a bridge to protect her son; his injuries, especially the punctured lung, echo Kevin's, and the words she whispers to Fix as she throws him off--that it will be all right--are the words unsaid when she saved him before. Matty, the literal father figure, can offer grace and forgiveness to his children in God, yet cannot save his own son from sinking into despair. Anita indirectly comments on the ultimate irony of Father Matthew's profession when she finally decides to submit to Kevin: "I don't deserve any better...look at me, Richie. Look how I'm living. He'll put a roof over our heads. He'll be a father to Mark. Fuck knows, somebody's got to be." Even Kevin "saves" Anita even as he destroys her, just as Fix, in a different way, "saves" Rafi from the ministrations of Jenna-Jane only to trigger the dissolution of his soul. (hide spoiler)]Carey's exploration of self-harm is equally complex and multi-layered. Self-harm is itself a paradox; it is a way to act out on one's self-hatred; a way of keeping silence while voicelessly screaming for help, for redemption. It is a form of self-punishment, of hatred and disgust so deep that only disfiguring the vessel can relieve the pressure. Yet while it provides a temporary sense of absolution, it is not constructive, and one quickly becomes addicted to that wire in the blood, that ecstatic moment of release. One of the characters, Mark, speaks to this paradoxical sense of transformation: "If I could talk, I'd talk. It's the easy choice.But I can't, so my knife must be my voice...I take the blade and it just needs one stroke.It comes out, but changes as it flows.Water becomes wine. My wound becomes a rose." Through another character who "[carves] out his indignation on his wrists and forearms", Carey captures how this form of silent self-expression, ostensibly a release of anger against the self, may truly target the world. Self-harm is, at its core, a selfish act, for it is an absolute, egoistical focus on the self even in the annihilation of self. Throughout, Carey provides perspectives and consequences, but neither fetishizes nor condemns. I think he truly sought to understand; in the dedication, he thanks an anonymous "A" for conversations and the basis for the poem. As is typical, Fix is more straightforward and sees the cutting as an ecstatic, sexually-tinged escape, yet his typical lack of subtlety and self-knowledge itself adds another layer to Carey's portrayal. For Fix himself is self-destructive: he goes out of his way to damage his potential relationships before they have a chance to bloom; in his thoughts, he tortures himself with endless slashes to his psyche by going over and over his own guilt without ever thoroughly analysing and altering his behaviour. It is the same vicious cycle of self-hatred and self-destruction, and the scars it leaves are just as deep.The book is indeed a fast-paced thriller with a satisfying mystery and tight worldbuilding, but also something more. Fix's description of a news archive of past tragedies perfectly captured my emotions: "And in that typographic ocean, dark shapes moved of their own volition, against the sluggish tides. People hurt and killed each other, or themselves; broke against pavements, were impaled on railings, swallowed razor blades, carved gnomic messages on their own flesh or the flesh of their loved ones. There was blood, and there was pain. It drew me in, until I couldn't see the land any more."*****WARNING: MY READING PROGRESS UPDATES ARE SPOILERY.*********

  • Kristen
    2019-01-21 06:48

    I stayed up until about 4am reading this book, completely and utterly hooked. I have been into the series since first getting The Devil You Know, but there have always been small things I thought could have been done better.This book was incredible. I think Carey did his best work with the story and the characters in this installment. He has the trade-mark creepiness and horror and goes to a whole new level with it. The setting was really well-chosen, the use of the characters (especially since it, mainly, was ones we had already been introduced it) was engaging and surprising, and the action and pacing were excellent.I saw a bit of the plot coming, but it didn't spoil the book for me at all. Carey is good at having the character figure things out, and then having a reveal at a suitably dramatic time, too, so we still get that moment but don't feel like punching the main character in the face. Kudos, Carey. Kudos.Every time I read another of Carey's books I feel like I need more. No exception, here. The book is awesome, the ending is a punch in the gut. More, more, more.

  • Brainycat
    2019-01-02 08:23

    Brainycat's 5 "B"s:blood: 4boobs: 1bombs: 4bondage: 1blasphemy: 4Bechdel Test: FAILDeggan's Rule: FAILGay Bechdel Test: FAILIt's been a few days since I finished this book. Also, I finished the next (and last) book "The Naming of the Beasts" in the series a few hours after I finished this book. So this review is written after I've recovered from the sadness and shock of finishing what has become one of my most favorite series' ever, and after I've had enough time for the details to fade and blur a little.For an exceptional review that provides a synopsis of the plot and deconstructs some of the elements, see Carly's review. Felix continues to broaden his horizons in this book, both internally and externally. This is mirrored in the plot, where our intrepid hero and his merry band of cohorts confront an antagonist larger and more intimate than he's ever seen before. Not coincidentally, this situation is occurring in a run down housing development that features distinct blocks connected by stairs and skybridges. This physical construction acts like a metaphor for Felix's internal construction; a series of core elements (guilt, selfishness, morality) loosely connected by a byzantine maze of seemingly random connections that make it so difficult to reach an exit or conclusion that he's trapped in his internal hell.And that's what this book is about, aside from the whole "saving the world from nefarious otherworldly powers despite the other humans getting in the way" motif. This is the most introspective book of the series. This book builds up Felix's internal world and provides an opportunity for him to develop a vocabulary to start to get himself sorted. We meet some of Felix's family, especially his oft mention brother, and we go back into Felix's childhood and learn about some of the wounds that still ache and helped shape him into the adult he is. Needless to say, these wounds are mirrored in the nature of the antagonist.I related to both Felix's and the antagonist's arc in this book, more so than in any of the other books in the story so far. I saw my own childhood wounds and subsequent depression and alcoholism writ large by Felix's childhood and current dilemmas. I related deeply to the antagonist, actually, and for the first time in the series I felt an affinity for the antagonist. Even before I read the fifth book, I saw this device as the leadup to the inevitable conclusion of the series.I really only have two quibbles with this book. Firstly, at the end of Dead Men's Boots Felix had burned through his cachet with all of his friends and allies. As this book starts, though, he's back on good - or at least normal for him - terms with the cast we've come to know and love. I was looking for some explanation of how he'd atoned for what he'd done, but I never found it. Secondly, and related, we don't see a lot of development from the supporting cast thanks to the focus on Felix's internal life. The supporting cast is so ancillary in fact that despite(view spoiler)[ Juliet and Susan's marriage (hide spoiler)] the book fails the Bechdel test, whereas previous installments had passed.This was a powerful book in it's own right, but it wouldn't make sense without reading the rest of the series. It's obviously setting up for the grand finale in book 5, and it does it with grace and aplomb and Mike Carey wasn't afraid to get dirty and wade into the filthy mess that is Felix's internal life and draw Felix a map to his own grail.Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.

  • Meggie
    2018-12-29 09:51

    Have to admit, I wasn't especially satified with Fex's behaviour in Thicker Than Water. He was really blind. How couldn't he see the truth when it was always before his face? This book was solid, but equally annoying.

  • Mel
    2018-12-30 12:51

    This was my favourite of the Felix Castor novels so far. The focus was on a council estate in South London, so you knew that it would be bad. What made this story so good was how very personal it was. This wasn't just some random demon troubling London but tied into Castor's past in Liverpool and managed to capture a lot of the fear of growing up poor, bad relationship choices, broken families, that made the story that much more real and frightening. Of all the books so far this one seemed the most likely to actually happen. You could feel the concrete and the claustrophobia. Even the books climax mirrored events of a couple years ago when the riots were happening on the estates of London. Very highly recommended.

  • Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
    2018-12-29 08:37

    Mike Carey's supernatural noir series keeps getting better. Scouser Felix Castor makes an excellent I-Can't-Believe-It-Isn't-Constantine(tm) and Carey's richly witty and descriptive prose helps, as does the complex plot with distinct overtones of horror. Various long-running plot threads are starting to come together and this book, satisfying on its own, also sets up what promises to be a massive confrontation between Castor and the demon that's been possessing his best friend.

  • Chris
    2019-01-21 07:33

    3.5 stars. Good installment of the series in which Felix finds out altogether more about demons than he really bargained for. Very intense read, this. Definitely reading the fifth and presumably last book (since it was written five years ago) immediately.

  • NanaDevourer of Tomes
    2019-01-12 09:34

    dshfghdsgfhdgsj shit shit shit what an ending!

  • Tim Pendry
    2019-01-02 05:31

    This is the fourth in the Felix Castor series and the best so far. And why is that?Well, first of all, he is pulling together all his themes into a very cogent universe with a hint at a big back story to come. A major twist at the end of the book tells us something important about his demon world that shifts our perception and reminds us that this is the graphic novelist who brought us Constantine. I can't tell you more because I am not into spoilers. The surprise is part of the fun.But, more than this, he is maturing as a writer, moving away from relying on the wise crack. He is also getting off that kick of describing each frame as if he was determined to tell us a tale for Vertigo and misses the pictures. This book is a hybrid between the sharp, imaginative but ultimately formulaic first novel and something like a proper novel set in some imagined next year. There are sections where he visits Liverpool and looks back on it as the wasteland of Thatcher's Britain that go way beyond what we usually expect from a genre writer.It is almost as if the kid who wrote comic books out of post-adolescent passion is turning into a literary man as his kids grow up (there is a revealing and interesting interview with Carey at the back of this edition). Fantasy is now only half the story that he tells. The state of Britain and what makes a man have started to intrude as themes. Some of the more outre characters of past novels only get a walk-on part though the succubus Juliet (on whom he clearly has a crush) and Asmodeus the demon who inhabits his best friend are central. Demons get all the best parts in Carey novels.The characterisation of the 'humans' also shifts between the expected and some exceptional development of personality. The inhabitants of this novel are real and recognisable whether on the South London Council Estate where most of the story is set, in Liverpool or as nurses and policemen who keep the plot going.This is a top notch genre writer shifting between his preferred genre and something both much broader and more intimate, a writer who could yet 'mature' into writing a 'novel' that contained only sufficient supernatural and horror to give an angle to, say, social comment or the inner life of a denizen of his tightly plotted universe. Whether we want him to do this is a moot point but he probably could if he willed it so.The ending strongly implies another Felix Castor novel. He has set himself up to demonstrate some sensitivity beyond the wise cracks but you also get the feeling that the flip over to 'literature' may take a while yet. Carey's love affair with demons is not over. There is something he is working through here and there is probably a decade of work in it yet, though perhaps not always with Felix Castor in tow.I have said nothing of the story. Why? Because to tell too much would ruin the atmosphere. In essence, demonic evil is afoot in the heart of South London's under class, that's all you need to know. You ought to read the three previous books in the series but you don't really need to. Carey's slightly laboured determination (his only weakness) to make sure you are never left guessing as to the facts of the matter means that all the salient facts from the previous novels are provided in the first quarter of the book - by fair means or foul.Funny one-liners are sprinkled throughout - though you have to be British for the best ones. Imagine Raymond Chandler but with that English self-deprecating irony for which we notoriously love ourselves.But, though more of a detective story than previous tales (why is it that 'going respectable' for fantasy writers always appears to involve writing crime fiction!?), the flow between crime story and horror is well managed because, after three previous outings, the universe hangs together. The coppers have got used to zombies, ghosts, loups-garous, demons and radicalised off-balance sheet Catholic excommunication squads. So, it would seem, have the general public. The level of threat from these supernatural forces is nuanced so that public life is conducted in atmosphere of mild confusion rather than fear.Much recommended for those who love mildly dystopian British culture and fantasy-horror set in urban grey and with a few world-weary laughs added.

  • Joulez
    2018-12-27 11:37

    So firstly I want to say that I read the first three of these series one after the other, I read this one I think about a year later. It was quite difficult to get back into this book, especially considering I had such a long gap between the other three I had read, and I think I spent the first part of this book trying to remember what had happened in the previous books, because there was a lot of call backs to some of the previous ones. That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the book, because I did, once I had gotten comfortable reading as Castor once again I did enjoy reading it. It took me so long to finish though, the book its self moved along at a nice pace at the start, and by the end it had wrapped everything up nicely, explained a lot of things and obviously gave us a MASSIVE cliffhanger to entice us to read book 5 (which I will be doing). But the middle of the book seemed for me - this is just my opinion - to just sort of stall, there were only small parts of the middle that moved the story along, it took what felt like forever to actually get anywhere. That's why it took me so long to read this book and why it's only got the 3 stars, because the middle seemed to lack something for me. Over all, I did enjoy the book, I did think at one point I had guessed what was going to happen only to have it do a 180 on me and blind sided me, I actually didn't call that ending. I do like being surprised at the end of books, and this definitley had that.I will be reading the next book, maybe not straight away but definitly without a years gap between the two!

  • Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
    2019-01-14 10:38

    I'm so torn over this series. I like it a lot. I like the MC. I like the world he set up. I just hate pretty much every other character in the book. Being a character person, that's a problem for me.I'm just sick of the crap that everyone gives Fix and him just agreeing and bending over. It's like every character in this story exists only to shit on him, and I hate it. Now that's getting pushed off on Fix for being such a wimp.Thus far, the book (or any of the characters) have yet to convince me that Rafi's condition is his fault. Was it Fix that summoned him? I mean, let's say some dumb fuck was playing with a gun (which, if you take the POV from the book, is basically the same thing) and that idiot shoots himself in the head, is it the first responders fault because he couldn't save him?Pen, I thought, was the only decent character there but when Pen said some BS like 'right! Run away from your responsibilities!' I wanted to chuck the book. Really? She wants to bitch about responsibilities? This woman who would've allow this monster free, who'd allow an innocent child's soul be sacrificed to a man who hadn't even been with her at the time it happened (who'd apparently had dumped her and was known for being a player)?I could, perhaps, take it a bit easier if the characters weren't so fucking self-righteous about the whole thing. He's like 'but what about this innocent kid' and then they try to say he's not responsible? Bah!

  • nemotron
    2018-12-30 05:37

    Another thrilling (mis-)adventure in the life of Felix Castor.Carey is really good at this, and once again he does not disappoint. The writing is witty and the plot is intriguing. The book builds on everything from previous books without actually requiring you to read them first. (Although I would recommend to do so, just because they are really good! :)). It also has some very interesting new information about the nature of demons, that hopefully will be explored more in the future.I did see 2 of the big reveals coming quite early on and I had the feeling at least one of them should either have been revealed sooner or covered up a bit more, because it was just too obvious already. As we get closer to the end the first person narrator moves away from one of the main plot of the book and so it feels a bit like we are missing out on the details of that ending in favour of the set up for the next (and final) chapter of the saga. That set up is very exciting, but I still would have liked a few more paragraphs about this book's plot wrap up.Anyway, great book, worth reading!

  • Erin L
    2019-01-10 11:45

    It was definitely time to get back to the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey (who also wrote the Girl With All the Gifts). I orginally found this series when I found myself caught up on the Jim Butcher Dresden Files series and I wanted more. Felix lives in London and he's an exorcist. In this installment, Felix drawn into a police investigation as a suspect rather than a consultant. It brings his past and family into play so we learn more about Fix during the book as we inch ever closer to his need to get rid of Asmodeus and potentially Fix's good friend.This book was another good installment in the series. I'm sad that the last book is coming up. I do love this series.

  • Richard
    2018-12-28 11:25

    Wow did this series just hit a high point, and I didnt guess for a second the outcome of this story which really hits you like a punch in the ribs. Again Felix castor is on the case, as usual on the wrong side of the law, and just about everyone else he knows for that matter, we get a much deeper insight into Fix's past and upbringing, and some development on his brother too, all in all a very welcome book for the series and definately the high point of it.

  • Jo
    2018-12-28 10:36

    Felix Castor is back and yet again he's in trouble with the law. This time they suspect him of the murder of a former boyhood acquaintance. As is usually the case with Carey's novels, you don't want to put this down and anything else goes out the window as you accompany Felix Castor on his adventure to root out the truth. Ghosts, demons and exorcisms. What more could you want.

  • Bill
    2019-01-07 07:30

    Another fun instalment in the Felix Castor series, though the series seems to be going no where good, at least for the main character and London. I couldn't wait to start the next book.

  • Abigail
    2019-01-07 09:31

    Solid 3.5

  • Adam
    2019-01-04 05:49

    Excellent continuation to the series. What an ending! I picked up the next book as soon as I finished this one. I wish there were more than five books. I'll have to read the next one very slowly.

  • Paula Mariscal
    2019-01-13 06:34

    I was sold on these Felix Castor books when I started reading number three first on accident. However, this one has such an intriguing twist at the end number 4 may now be my favorite.

  • Gareth Otton
    2019-01-22 12:51

    Thicker than Water was the first return to form for this series since the brilliant opening novel. The two previous novels have been enjoyable but, for me at least, very flawed and often highly frustrating. However, it was the promise of the series that has kept me reading and getting to this book I have to admit that I am really glad that I did. A previous complaint about earlier novels was that Castor felt like a very one dimensional character. Other than being the kind of self hating lone hero who is always too quick to accept blame and too fast to run away from any kind of happiness, Castor has seemed very much like a one track character. His lack of human relationships that felt real took away any kind of impact he might otherwise bring to the story and I’ve always felt that some new and better relationships coupled with a bit more exposition on his back story would really make him come to life and make me invest a little more interest into his outcome. This novel has delivered just that. This book actually starts on a high note. Castor and Juliet have taken the initiative for the first time and proactively decided to break Rafi from his incarceration. This is not only successful but leaves Castor open to a few months of something actually resembling happiness for a while where he can actually hang out with friends and show us something that is close to a glimmer of what Castor’s life could be like without any complications. I am also happy to see Fix living with Pen again and that their relationship has been fixed though I am a little confused about the lack of exposition on this being as the last time we saw these two she told Castor that she would never forgive him let alone let him live with her again. Still, it was good to see Castor in a state other than desperate panic and franticly moving from one terrible situation to the next. When the inevitable wrinkle comes along this is also a nice fresh breath of air into this series. For the first time Castor actually starts researching a problem with something close to intelligence and it is nice to see him acting like the professional investigator he has the potential to be. He carries this competence on through the entire novel and when things actually get out of control I felt for the first time that his decisions and guiding motivations were actually believable and when things went wrong it wasn’t through sheer stupidity. So from that point of view this was a really good novel for Fix. I also liked the extra level of depth this story has finally opened up for this series. Delving into strong themes, having a look at Felix’s past as well as exploring the nature of demons, this story opens up the series to the epic scope that has been hinted at for so long now. This leads to a brilliant cliffhanger ending that has me itching to get hold of the next book. So overall this story was a vast improvement on the previous two novels. However, even now it was not all smelling of roses. I have a lot of pet peeves with this series but there are two things together that drive me almost mad and whilst not so prevalent in this book as they have been before, they still exist enough to make me curse from time to time. Those two things are: 1 - Stupid characters - A lot of the characters, including the main ones, make deliberately stupid moves in order to drive the plot forward. Decisions that are made are ridiculous, characters deliberately keeping themselves ignorant in order to maintain enmities and basically it is painful to read at times. In this book this is never more obvious than with my least favourite character than in the entire series, Detective Sergeant Basquait coupled with terrible knowledge of police procedure. In the last story she appeared in she physically beat a person of interest in her investigation after she accused him of a crime with no real evidence pointing her toward anything more than a hint that he was actually responsible beyond a slight suspicion that it was him. She also went on to constantly threaten him, refuse his right to legal representation when he asked for it as well as stopped him from getting his phone call. All of this along with her terrible demeanour was not only wrong but actually illegal and simply wouldn’t fly. In this book she is back and amazingly she is making all the same mistakes again. She is physically threatening Fix all the time (any one threat is enough on its own is enough to constitute a real threat on his safety considering past treatment and therefore enough to get her her suspended if not fired), she is once more pushing to arrest Fix and thinking of him as a menace even though he proved to her in the last case that he was never a viable suspect. The thing that annoys me the most about her in this book though was that in spite of the fact that the last time she tried to keep Fix from his job she not only put an innocent girl’s soul at risk but also nearly unleashed a super, mega demon upon the world and maybe even put the whole world at risk, in this book she does exactly the same. When he comes to her demanding her help as he knows what is going on she still refuses to see the truth even though she has been exposed to that truth before and should now know better. 2 - Fix’s need to take the blame for everything and everyone’s need to accommodate this habit - The list of things in these novels that Fix takes the blame for that genuinely weren’t his fault are beyond count. Every character is always piling their issues onto fix and not only does his sit back and take it without putting up any defence, he also believes it. In the last novel for example, Juliet actually decides that she wants to side with a woman who likes to kill innocent men because she agrees with killing men. When Castor tries to stop her Juliet seriously injures him and escapes with her demon super powers. Later in the story Susan (Juliet’s partner) accuses Fix of not doing enough to help Juliet and says that he is not a good enough friend and he gave up on her too early in spite of the fact that not only did she know it wasn’t his fault but she also knew there was nothing he could do about it. For some reason Castor actually agrees with her! Juliet is a demon who took her aggression out on fix after picking an unreasonable point of view and for some reason Fix (and everyone else) can’t see how that isn’t his fault. That is just one of a million times such injustices are levelled at Fitz thanks to the many wilfully ignorant characters and for some reason he continues to take it all. A lot of these issues have followed him into this novel and amazingly he accepts even more here as well (accepting full responsibility for everyone that is hurt in any way even though in most cases he never once pulls them into his issues, they insert themselves). These two points are enough to make me want to take two stars from this review as it genuinely makes me want to punch the wall most of the time. The truth is though that I wouldn’t get that angry if i didn’t care about the series so much and want it to reach its potential so with that in mind I will only take one star from this review and leave it as a four star book. Overall this is a return to form for the Felix Castor series and I hope that the next book lives up to the promise that this book finishes with.

  • Evan
    2018-12-26 11:44

    Personally, I enjoyed the first three books in the series more. The overall plot didn't interest me as much. In the first novel, the victim was a young women. In the second novel, the victim was a 14 year old girl and church full of innocents. In the third novel, the victim was a grown man with dementia (and some innocent bystanders). In this novel, the victims were dead an abusive dad, an adult son who died a year prior, and an apartment full of faceless criminals (except for William's family).My point is that the first and second novels had victims who were easy to feel compassion for and who easily drew the reader into the plot. Plus, his world was new, and I didn't have to get all the intro details repeated for the fourth time (so, I'm an exorcist... etc.). Now, in these subsequent novels, the action has to get more intense, or I feel let down. So, I feel especially let down by this novel. For me, the most interesting part is the Salisbury estates. Literally the buildings - please let me know if they really exist. I couldn't believe that someone would actually design low income housing that would make criminal activity easier... Then again, Minneapolis built a bunch of tunnels to keep residents out of the snow, and apparently the tunnels are teeming with crime.This was also the first novel that ended with a cliff hanger, which I didn't really appreciate. I liked the book, but I didn't really like it.

  • Nate
    2019-01-01 07:24

    Some book series get worse as the author runs out of steam, but Mike Carey is getting better with every book, not worse. He's writing more and more cohesive stories, that have you thinking "OH I should've connected the dots." Because that's exactly how a string of plots should come together, the reader isn't mystified, but absolutely enthralled by the revelation of the complete picture. Mike Carey has built a world, characters you care about, and plots that are both fluid and pristine in form. Number 5 is the end for now, and I'm almost hesitant to start that one, as it might be the last.Mike Carey is a great author. Let him weave you a story with witty characters and a world that builds upon itself not like lego bricks, but like complex, magical bindings.

  • Steve Kimmins
    2018-12-25 06:43

    The Felix Castor series are almost uniformly excellent. You know straight where you are with the main character because he is unashamedly a Raymond Chandler style detective. Except that he deals with the ghostly spirit world (and werewolves, etc) that are an integral part of this world. Which is basically modern day London. Much of which I know from my upbringing!Every book has a different detailed story but in the series they all add up, with an increasing cast list, to a climax in the final book. So read in sequence....

  • Louisa
    2019-01-16 07:41

    I liked this series quite a bit at the beginning, but I am slightly over Fix's manpain and the way he acts like a total ass to anyone who tries to help him. Seriously, you're fighting some unspecified Big Bad of Supreme Evilness, you take all the help you can get (Buffy would have had a few sharp words for him). I will probably read number five just to see how the arc resolves, but eh. It's possible to write a good supernatural mystery with less angst