Review: Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey (Orbit)


Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey
Published by Orbit and Out Now

Thicker Than Water is the fourth and most personal Felix Castor novel to date. Felix is a whistle carrying exorcist, who up until now has been involved in cases rather than been at the centre of them.

A body is found in a car. The road it’s on is overlooking an estate. How does the body relate to the events that are happening in the estate, why is Castor a suspect and why does this lead Felix to his home town of Liverpool. And why is Juliet strangely silent on the cause of the case in hand.

I’ve probably said it before that I’m a big believer in starting at the beginning. I have and will go into a series with some success like the books of Neal Asher and Fred Vargas part way through and work backwards. But there are some series despite having no number on the cover that should be read in order.

The Dresden Files is a series where you get more from it knowing how the dynamics work and what experiences they have gone through and how those events have changed them. Well the Felix Castor novels work like that. Yes you can can read them alone but you’re not going to care as much as you might if you’d read the other three in order.

This is because Mike Carey has been dragging us in from book one, The Devil You Know, on the journey of Felix Castor. Not that is really what it feels like but the impact is definitely felt in Thicker Than Water. You get to meet his brother Matthew, delve into the shaping of Felix Castor through some of the events of his childhood, and find out that things aren’t aways how they appear.

One of the interesting points of this book is the way the whole cast is brought together. They work as a team each having their own roles but their connections aren’t shown in neon and they go deeper than what’s mentioned.

Which is one of the reason why you need to read Castors other investigations. You have to know what he’s risking in the opening scene and why he’s risking it. You have to know why he shouldn’t be teaming up with who he does and why he has no choice.

Carey has let the story off the leash in Thicker Than Water – know that he’s established everyone and can pull those strings/connections, he lets it twist and turn, and peels away layers and layers until Felix is exposed. Felix seems to win only to leave this reader close to tears on the final page.

The good news is that the next one, The Name of the Beast, is out the end of the August it might be September  and it looks like the world if going to Hell.

*** You can can find out a little more about the series in an earlier post.

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