This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Devil's Evidence (Thomas Fool #2) by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Series: Thomas Fool #2
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble
A new case of unsolvable murders brings Hell to Heaven in the explosive sequel to The Devil’s Detective.
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.
Interested in reading an urban fantasy novel about a detective in Hell? Then look no further. Which also begs the question: Hell has police? Who knew?! The world building that the author created is complex, dark, savage, and filled with horrendous demons. If you could imagine Hell, the characters that the Author created would give you pause. It would also cause you to despair because there is no happy ending here.
Thomas Fool is back and has been promoted to Commander of the Information Office of Hell. He is taking orders from the Bureaucracy of Hell, who are charging him with investigating why fires are happening in Hell. Which is funny because is that not how we “typically” envision hell? Well I guess as long as it is Hell’s fire it is ok but these fires are not “sanctioned.” Another addition to this story is the newly created office of the Evidence. The head of this office is Mr. Tap and oh how he hates Fool. This department’s role is to dish out carte blanche punishment for “guilty” parties, essentially undermining Fool’s authority.
Fool’s team of investigators consists of both humans and demons. The humans treat him with deference and the demons view him with disgust, neither party are truly willing to partner with him and help him investigate. With one exception, Marianne, she is a newly made information man and the only team member that Fool can count on. She is not a replacement for his previous partners, Summer and Gordie who we find out were slaughtered in the previous novel, but she is a welcome presence and helps him not to feel so alone. She does not add a strong presence in the novel but she is the connecting piece when Thomas Fool goes to…wait for it….Heaven.
That’s right, a damned soul is going to Heaven as a part of a delegation consisting of some of the most grotesque demons in order make deals between Heaven and Hell. Fool’s presence on this political delegation is due to a request from the Bureaucracy of Heaven and he is also to be the liaison between the demons and Mr. Tap. Considering the imaginative depictions of Hell and the resident demons, the imagery of Heaven is not at all what I would have expected. The conception of Heaven and the angels is intriguing but not what I find satisfying. I will say that the Author does find a way to show the angels in an angelically disturbing light.
Why does Heaven need the Information Man? He is there to uncover the most disturbing of events to happen in Heaven, murder! The residents of Heaven are being murdered and he must follow the clues so that he can discover the mystery to this paradox. Making the task challenging are the angels assigned to chaperone Fool. Serious case of wearing rose colored glasses there. They are less of an assistance and more of a hindrance to Fool’s investigation.
The investigation that follows is disturbing; conjures visually striking images that are not for the faint of heart. The Author does a good job at keeping the events that happen in each realm separate until it is time to show the union between events. Even then, the Author manages to throw you some plot twists that keep you on your toes. Also, try to remember this is a book based in Hell; it is chaotic, ferocious, full of despair and perfect for the story as written. If you enjoy blending the genres of horror and mystery then this is the perfect book for you.
*Thank you to Doubleday Books & NetGalley for this ARC of The Devil’s Evidence*