Dead Men's Boots
by Mike Carey
Review by Steve Sawicki
Grand Central Publishing Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780446580328
Date: 23 July 2009 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
This is the third book in Mike Carey's series featuring Felix Castor, professional exorcist. This time Castor is up against an spiritual organization that is part exorcist and part Chicago mob. When fellow exorcist, John Gittings dies after nearly begging for Castor's help, Castor feels somewhat obliged to get to the bottom of whatever Gittings was working on. What he stumbles on to is a brutal murder that has all the markings of a long dead American serial killer. Couple this with the fact that the man who was present for the murder left no discernible traces of DNA, fingerprints, or other forensic evidence along with the fact that the murder weapon, a hammer, seems to have gone missing and the clues all seem to lead up to a supernatural conclusion. Just the kind of thing that Castor is loath get involved with but burdened to resolve anyway.
Carey continues to expand this tongue in cheek, dark humor series set in London's seedy underbelly. His protagonist, Felix Castor, a down on his luck, exorcist who seems to be working just as hard at failure as he is at success, is fun to be with and interesting to follow. As usual, Carey has surrounded Castor with a real cast of characters, Juliet the succubus who continues to try to learn how to be human, Nicky Heath, zombie, who continues to try to battle the inherent rot that will ultimately doom him, and others who all have their own agendas, interests, and peculiarities.
This is a fun series, and it's getting better, if anything. Carey can certainly write and he's excellent at the kind of dark comedic underground that Castor travels in. Carey has also done an excellent job in creating this world where the supernatural exists along with the normal world but in a way in which many people can live their lives without ever coming into contact with it. The world is incredibly well formed, with great depth and detail. It provides the perfect setting for Castor and friends to move through. If you are a fan of this new sub genre then you owe it to yourself to read this series. Carey is breaking new ground and doing it in an incredibly interesting and very entertaining way.