Cannonball Read V: Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey
Thicker Than Water is the fourth tale of Felix Castor's trials and tribulations in modern day London. Fix, as his friends call him, is a freelance exorcist with a problem with authority and penchant for chaos. Demons, ghosts, zombies and werewolves are very real and aren't hiding in the shadows these days. Nevertheless, Fix can barely make enough money to pay his eccentric landlady and confidant Pen.
This time, the case is personal - a bully from his past named Kenny Seddon has written "F--- Castor" on a bloody car window where said bully had a party with a couple of straight razors. Fix is already on the Met's radar for past indiscretions and is promptly dragged into the case. One cop in particular really hates Castor, which thrusts him upon an unwanted walk down memory lane to clear his name. And if that wasn't enough, his estranged brother who is a catholic priest striving for sainthood is somehow mixed up with the case and refuses to show his cards.
As usual, Fix runs straight toward the danger without thinking or heeding anyone's advice. As the plot unfolds, Castor is forced to make uneasy alliances with past enemies to solve the case and save his own ass. And once he does, the shit really hits the fan on the last page hooking the reader in for the next novel.
Even though I wouldn't call this my favourite book, I enjoyed this entry in the series. Almost all of the past characters rear their ugly or lovely heads including Fix's favorite partners in crime Juliet the Succubus and Nick the paranoid Zombie. Plus, we get a closer look at Fix's beginnings and family tree. Previously, the reader was privy to any background that directly related to how Fix was attuned to ghosts at an early age. His family life was pretty bleak especially after the death of his sister when he was a boy. Then, he up and split for university and life in London.
While reading this book, I was having a bit of spiritual and romantic crisis of my own. Fix's brother's story of joining the priesthood and sense of religious duty especially hit close to home. And Carey's prose still had me coming back for more. Even when I was hesitant to continue, I was sucked back into Fix's dilemma within moments and was glad for it.
I would recommend you start at the beginning as I'm a bit of series purist. But you could easily enjoy this book without doing so. It's an engaging mystery horror tale set in London for any fans of Jim Butcher, Gaiman and Carey's comic book work. Even though it's not a great movie, I liked Constantine as a guilty pleasure. This lackluster film led me to Carey's literary body of work and more.
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