Viktor Kosárek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth.
Award-winning Scottish author Russell makes his American debut here, and it’s not only one of the most memorable thrillers of the year; it’s also unique: the premise is strikingly original, and the mood created by the juxtaposition of the patients’ memories and the real-time horrors is utterly chilling. Readers will eagerly await other books by the author becoming available stateside.
With some film noir-esque scenes of Kapitán Smolák chain smoking during a stakeout and policemen chasing a fugitive down foggy cobbled streets, it's no wonder that film rights have been preempted by Columbia Pictures. In this American debut, former police officer and Scottish author Craig Russell weaves a complex, intriguing and intellectually stimulating thriller, exploring criminal psychology through the kaleidoscopic lens of Jungian archetypes and Slavic mythology. The threads of this intricately woven plot intersect in fascinating ways ... As the tension in this book intensifies, the political tempest and collective madness of Nazi Germany looms in the background and infiltrates the asylum through two of the doctors, who wear Sudetendeutsche Partei pins. Any of the complex characters populating the novel could potentially be Leather Apron, and the forked tail of The Devil Aspect has a satisfying and brilliant twist at the end, tempting readers to return to the beginning.
Set in a time when human monsters are already roaming that part of the world fomenting hatred and death, the ending of this novel at the same time provides a staggering twist and a shocking disappointment, not a disappointment in the usual sense, but in that the reader’s expectations for the main characters are irrevocably shattered. Craig Russell’s manner of doing this is a deft bit of authorship because it is totally unexpected ... A horror story, a novel of psychological terror, or simply a mystery in a historical setting, The Devil’s Aspect is all three and more. It’s a novel the reader will remember and continue to think about long after that final sentence is read, while those with an ironic frame of mind will also realize Viktor’s promise to follow Judita to America has actually been kept.