The Devil Aspect: The Strange Truth Behind the Occurrences at Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane

Craig Russell. Doubleday, $26.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-385-54436-8
What if a Jack the Ripper copycat was at work in 1935 Czechoslovakia? That’s the premise of this sensational serial killer novel, Scottish author Russell’s U.S. debut, in which twists are both jaw-dropping and logical. Kapitán Lukás Smolák of the Prague Police is desperate to catch the fiend known as Leather Apron, who has been butchering prostitutes in ways that mimic the Ripper’s methods. When a respectable, upper-class woman is slain, Smolák fears the motive is related to the victims’ Czech-German ethnicity. Meanwhile, psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek arrives at Hrad Orlu Asylum, situated in an isolated gothic castle that was supposedly constructed to block a literal gateway to hell. The asylum houses the Devil’s Six, murderers who all claim that they were compelled to commit their crimes by a demonic figure. Kosárek hopes to employ new hypnotic drugs on the patients to validate his theories regarding archetypes. Russell integrates the period’s political tensions into a mind-blowing story line that will appeal to fans of Caleb Carr and Thomas Harris. Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Aevitas Creative Management (U.K.). (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/10/2019
Release date: 03/05/2019
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-385-54437-5
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-525-56478-2
Library Binding - 704 pages - 978-1-4328-6548-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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