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The Devil Aspect Reader Reviews

The Devil Aspect

Rachael Anderson

A great page turner of a crime thriller. Deliciously creepy, with an almost Gothic horror flavour to it.

The Devil Aspect is a gripping Gothic crime thriller. Dark and chilling, the author expertly creates a sinister, threatening atmosphere, helped in part by being set during the rise of Nazism and Nationalism, just before the Second World War.

The novel centres around Dr Viktor Kosárek, a young psychiatrist, who, at the beginning of the book, joins the staff at the Hrad Orlů Asylum, which is based in Hrad Orlů Castle. The castle is rich in myth and legends and is thought to be the Mouth of Hell by the local population. The asylum is also widely known to house The Devil’s Six. These people are supposed to be six psychopathic inmates responsible for horrific murders. As part of his job, Victor is given the task of examining The Devil’s Six in order to prove a theory about personality, called The Devil Aspect.

In Prague, whilst Kosárek is working at the asylum, someone is committing brutal murders that appear to resemble those of Jack the Ripper. This murderer is named the Leather Apron. Police Kapitan Smolák is also reminded of the crimes of the Devil’s Six and thus the two threads of the story come together.

An excellent historical thriller, where you really do get a creepy sense of evil. Definitely great for anyone who likes sinister crime thrillers.

Rachel Hall

The Devil Aspect is a fascinating take on a serial killer thriller which I enjoyed immensely.

Steeped in atmosphere and infused with a sense of brooding menace, The Devil Aspect is a fascinating mash-up of serial killer thriller, psychological examination and outright horror story, all set against the ominous backdrop of the Nazi uprising inside the Czech border. Two main threads progress concurrently until they merge into a thrilling finale with a deft twist that really is a stunner, making for an inventive and thoroughly entertaining read.

Jungian influenced young psychiatrist Dr Viktor Kosàrek departs Prague in 1935 to take up a new post as a clinician at the notorious Hrad Orlu Asylum, located inside the walls of a Gothic castle. His intention is to test his Devil Aspect theory by interviewing six of the countries most depraved killers, collectively dubbed the ‘Devil’s Six’ and all labelled with their own distinctive moniker. Attempting to prove his theory that they all share a common archetype of evil, Viktor’s revolutionary psychiatric techniques soon elicit some disturbing results... An intriguing secondary cast of staff inside the castle walls, all of whom could be regarded as suspicious to various degrees, add to the intrigue. These include a director whose moods swings lead to periods of withdrawal from his work and a Jewish assistant whose fears for the ongoing political situation are not helped by working alongside a vocally anti-Semitic doctor.

Meanwhile, the Prague that Viktor leaves behind is on high alert with a series of vicious murders that seem to have much in common with the crimes of Jack the Ripper whom citizens have coined Leather Apron. On his trail is the empathetic Kapitan Lukáš Smolak, son of a butcher and a man haunted by the crime scenes he bears witness to whose exhaustive efforts follow the clues and take him behind bars and into the oppressive Hrad Orlu for answers...

Interwoven throughout both of the narratives there is clear evidence of just how thoroughly Craig Russell has researched his material and given the substance I was impressed with how accessible it proved, carrying me along with ease and providing a fascinating glimpse into Slavic mythology and Eastern European folklore. Immersive and dark, The Devil Aspect is a fascinating take on a serial killer thriller which I enjoyed immensely.


Ivana A.

The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell was a very pleasant read for me for many reasons! I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell was a very pleasant read for me for many reasons! I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

This book was such a pleasurable roller coaster. I wasn’t able to put it down and I read it in only a few days. The writing is unbelievable and I am going to be picking up other books from this author, for the sole reason of his writing. The Devil Aspect was so intriguing and it kept me on my toes at all times. I found it extremely enjoyable.

The blend of mythology, culture and psychology is perfectly put together, and having lived in the Balkan countries, I can easily relate to many of the cultural aspects. It was perfectly described and I felt as if I am in 1935 together with the characters. The time and place are wonderfully written, with incredible accuracy.

The ending was the most pleasurable, and without spoiling anything, I will only say a few things… Be ready for everything to happen. This book has many twists and many scenes where dangerous things are happening. A lot of intensity which I devoured with great pleasure. If you are coming for an adventure, you will get even more that you bargained for.

Proceed at your own risk! And good luck!

Charlotte Walker

Creepy, but such a good mystery!

Set in 1935 Czechoslovakia, Viktor Kosarek leaves a Prague that is currently being tormented by a serial killer, 'Leather Apron' to take a job at the remote Hrad Orlu Asylum where the infamous 'Devil's Six'are held - criminals convicted of some of the most heinous crimes. 

This book is a brilliantly dark book, filled with more and more mysteries that kept you hooked throughout. The hunt for the serial killer in Prague and the development of Viktor's 'Devil Aspect' research with some severely creepy results. 

The book also uses myths and religion as well as psychology to expand and develop the story. I loved how these were used throughout the dual Prague and Hrad Orlu plotlines. They kept me intrigued and drove the story along.

I thought I had the mysteries all figured out if I'm honest but the solution blindsided me and brought about a brilliant ending. 

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472128331
Publication date: 31st October 2019
Author: Craig Russell
Publisher: Constable an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 496 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Crime / Mystery, Historical Fiction, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Spine-Chilling Fiction, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Thriller / suspense, Horror & ghost stories,