When a violent outbreak of fires plunges his city into chaos, Thomas Fool, commander of Hell’s Information Men, finds himself outsmarted by a shadowy new department called the Evidence.
Sent away to Heaven on a diplomatic mission he discovers murder has come to paradise, yet no one is willing to admit it. As tensions mount on both sides of the afterlife, can Fool solve the ultimate paradox?
THE DEVIL’S EVIDENCE was published earlier this year in North America by Doubleday. Here’s what reviewers have been saying about the novel…
‘Unsworth’s conception of a spiritual universe where deeper understanding may itself be the greatest curse is as nuanced and ingenious as his depiction of “poor little Fool,” perhaps the most oddly endearing sleuth to come along in years. The scales are tipped a tad more toward gaudy savagery and gratuitous cruelty than toward more intellectual digressions and plot twists. Still, one suspects Thomas Fool will return, with more respect from readers than from his spiritual jailers. It’s less a whodunit than a ripsnorter, with an emphasis on the ripping. Or maybe the snorting.’ — Kirkus
‘The ultimate solution is a fairly clued surprise, and Unsworth’s creative worldbuilding leaves plenty of room for a sequel.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘Unsworth’s imagination soars! THE DEVIL’S EVIDENCE is a twisted journey into the afterlife, a dark labyrinth of mystery, and a brilliant contemplation on identity, transgression, and our struggle to recognize that we each make our own heaven and our own hell. A fresh new voice in dark fiction. Don’t miss this series!’ — Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author
‘Truly a literary gem that plays out as a great mystery series with a one of a kind anti-hero!’ — BookPeople (Austin, Texas)
In case you haven’t tried the series, here’s just a small selection from the heaps of praise the first novel received…
‘Hell as the setting for a noir investigation turns out to be as fun as it sounds in THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE. Inventive and pacy, Simon Kurt Unsworth has created a world – underworld? – distinctly his own.’ — Andrew Pyper
‘There is much to love with THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE. The depiction of Hell is original, with it being less of a torture chamber and more of a place for continued hard work for the unworthy, and the world building is great… The novel is dark and full of twists and originality, and it’s suitable for anyone wanting to get into fantasy with a supernatural element.’ — Starburst
‘With wit, ingenuity and prodigious timing, first-time British novelist Unsworth imagines an unsettling afterlife that at times feels uncomfortably close to some of the more unbearable regions of our waking dreams. The whodunit aspects of this novel may, in the end, be less interesting than the phantasmagorical details surrounding it. But that’s far less a complaint than a compliment of the author’s visionary gifts. A grand, nightmarish page-turner that will have you riveted.’ — Kirkus
‘THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE grips. Unsworth’s storytelling is taut and lean, avoiding any lapses into potboiler… When he writes about Hell, he makes it downright hellish… The book eventually spins all this admittedly sumptuous horror into thought-provoking notions about salvation, hope and free will’ — NPR
‘The debut novel from prolific short story writer Simon Kurt Unsworth depicts a very modern hell. There’s still suffering but it’s mostly to be found in the drudgery of the daily grind. Gruesome medieval tortures have given way to endless toil, confounding bureaucracy and arbitrary cruelty. Once you accept the logic of this underworld, what follows is an entertaining Dantean spin on the police procedural… Appropriately awash with gore and bodily fluids, THE DEVIL’S DETECTIVE is damned good.’ — Financial Times