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The Devil Aspect: A Novel by Craig Russell
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The Devil Aspect: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Craig Russell (Author)

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784240,713 (3.89)6
"A novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates--the country's most depraved murderers--while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum"--… (more)
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:The Devil Aspect: A Novel
Authors:Craig Russell (Author)
Info:Doubleday (2019), Edition: 1st Edition, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell

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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 Plot


A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylum.

Psychiatrist Victor is starting a new job in the Asylum where the Devil’s Six are – Czech Republic’s most dangerous murderers. Victor has a theory by the name of the Devil Aspect, where he believes that is manifested in these six murderers. He believes it comes out in certain circumstances, making these people commit crimes, but not being aware they have done it. Something similar to a split personality, but in this case, the murderers think that the Devil is next to them, and he is making them do all these things.

My thoughts

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’s 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 culture 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!

Thank you to the team at LoveReading UK and the author, Craig Russell, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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  InnahLovesYou | Jan 3, 2020 |
The Devil Aspect is such a delicious thriller. A story about psychopaths and a serial killer on the loose. What's not to like? The time period in this book also adds much to the story since there is a big growing unease in Czechoslovakia and also a burgeoning xenophobia. And now there is a serial killer loose as well. Amides all this is Dr. Viktor Kosárek taking up his new position as a psychiatrist for the so-called "Devil's Six". Six really nasty and dangerous psychopaths.

This book was very fascinating to read, and of course, a bit bleak since the theme of the book is pretty dark. During the books progress do we get to know more about "Devil's Six" as Viktor Kosárek is trying to unlock their secrets. We also follow the police investigation in the hunt for the serial killer known as "Leather Apron". Kosárek himself gets involved in the case because of his job. There were moments closer to the end when I was starting to wonder how it would all end. The serial killer case seems to near its ending and I was unsure how it all would end up at the castle with all the psychopaths. It's here something brilliant happens. Something that I did not expect, at all! A twist that really makes me see past events in the book in a different way. I just have to say wow! That ending is so fabulous. This is definitely a thriller I recommend if you want to be astonished!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
The most famous serial killers in Czechoslovakia are kept in a remote asylum in the countryside. The asylum is a castle with a reputation for evil and since the 'Devil's Six' have been housed there the rumours in the local area have intensified. Dr Victor Kosarek is excited to be going to work there and to use a new technique to try to get inside the minds of the millers. Meanwhile in Prague a killer is mutilating his female victims in a way reminiscent of the killings in London half a century previously. As the far right gain more power in Europe a different evil is on the move.
As a simple psychological novel this book is fairly predictable but still enjoyable. However two things make it stand out, firstly the links to psychological experimentation and the philosophies of such as Freud and Jung, and secondly the consideration of what evil actually is. The latter is handled with real sophistication, linking Slavic folklore to events involving Jack the Ripper and finally hinting at more regarding the Nazi policies. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Apr 22, 2019 |
The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell has something for everyone. It is a kaleidoscopic mélange of myth, history, politics, bigotry, psychology, romance, crime, mystery, and sublime horror with each aspect taking turns directing the action, fighting for attention, toying with readers as they struggle to anticipate the shattering denouement. However, none can say that the author plays foul; all the clues are there to be discovered, but only by the most perceptive readers.

The tale takes place in Czechoslovakia at a time of political unrest. The evil Nazi movement is slithering into existence and marginalized societies sense a chill creeping over them. The extraordinarily handsome clinical psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Kosárek travels to his new place of employment, the Hrad Orlů, an asylum for the criminally insane, home to the Devil’s Six—six of the most dangerous serial killers in history. There Kosárek plans to prove his theory of the Devil Aspect which he believes causes severe mental illness. At the same time, police officer Kapitán Lukáš Smolák, a man of facts and logic, must investigate a series of horrific murders perpetrated by a criminal referred to as Leather Apron. Soon, Kosárek and Smolák cross paths as they struggle to reach their antithetical goals.

The main characters are deeply complete. Each is unique, fully formed, and enhanced by detailed backstories. They are real, and readers will connect with them and care about them. In addition, the characters fears and superstations offer readers insight of the zeitgeist of the era.

The literary quality is sublime and is tailored to mirror the time and place. The language might remind readers of Kostova’s The Historian in its respect for and faithfulness to a region. The prose is smooth, attractive, and easy to read and will immerse readers in period and place.

The setting is central Europe in 1935. Czechoslovakia is a trembling region populated by fascinating ethnic groups. Myth and superstition dominate minds and bleed into the plot, connecting Dr. Kosárek’s theory to local reality.

The plotting of The Devil Aspect is brilliant, flawless. Although random elements may seem initially inconsequential, every single one serves to propel the trajectory forward to a stunning conclusion. Every event has a purpose and is an integral element in the trail of bread crumbs that leads to discovery. Numerous red herrings will challenge the most discerning reader’s intellectual acuity. Given the highly complex nature of the story, it is amazing that it all comes together with such exquisite precision.

The Devil Aspect will enthrall a wide array of readers and comes highly recommended, especially for lovers of mystery, suspense, and the supernatural who at the end will no doubt cite evidence to support rousing discussions over what is real and what is not.

Read it before it hits the big screen.

Rougeski Reads
  Suzanne_Synborski | Nov 18, 2018 |
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