Monday, 1 August 2011

Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil is the third book in the Morris and Chastain Investigation series by Justin Gustainis. Quincey Morris is a paranormal investigator and Libby Chastain is a white witch and occasionally their work brings them together. This time it's because a presidential candidate has been possessed by a demon determined to make it to the White House and hell has sent its very own assassin to sort things out.

The premise is a good one but I felt that too much time was spent on politics and that it could easily have been a non-supernatural tale of corrupt politicians. There's not a lot that happens that couldn't just be put down to not very nice people. I understand politics is full of them! Not being American, the run up to the presidential elections is not something I have a lot of understanding of and I only take a passing interest in the whole affair from afar. Though having watched The West Wing, I do have the ability to be entertained by a fictional account but this just didn't hit the mark.

Having been told the book works as a standalone read I felt there were just too many references to something that happened previously for that to be the case. I may be more interested in the earlier books to understand a bit more about the relationship between Morris and Chastain. For a series with their names in, they didn't get much page space. There are just too many characters for a real understanding of any of them. I get that in politics there are a lot of people involved but they didn't all need their own story.

Being told from various different viewpoints, there wasn't much mystery to the investigation. Nothing to keep me gripped and I struggled to get through it at my normal pace. I do think it would appeal to a different audience...not to sound sexist but maybe it's a man's read. There are numerous references to the stereotypical male fantasies which come across as a bit cheesy (but I'd probably say the same if it was reversed).

Sympathy for the Devil is published by Solaris and will be available in mass market paperback from 4th August. Thanks to Justin for sending me a copy to review, although I didn't love this I would be tempted to pick up the earlier books in the series.

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