The Devil You Know - K.H. Koehler
Snarky and handsome hero? Check. Voluptuous vixen? Check. Clever title? Check, check. Son of the Devil? Wait…huh?
“Not only does the devil have an only begotten son, but he’s currently residing in the rural town of Blackwater in northeast Pennsylvania. Semi-retired from law enforcement, the handsome, if cynical, Nick Englebrecht becomes quickly caught up in a local missing child case that seems mundane on the outside, but when the sheriff requests his help as a psychic detective to help find the missing girl, his off-the-books investigation quickly leads him to some terrible truths about life, love and the universe as we know it. And if that isn’t bad enough, the angels have begun an ethnic cleansing of all beings with demonic blood. Of course, Nick is at the top of their to-do list.”
(This is a book I got off of Netgalley, a great site for blog reviewers to get their hands on some amazing free reads to review and share. This is one of the first books I got from them.)
This title is really what got me scratching my chin and thinking that this is a book I want to read. And it started out amazing. Then…I started having mixed emotions about our hero Nick.
Nick had a good voice with amazing one liners and descriptions, however, there were times that I felt that he was a little too creepy for me. And to me, he didn’t sound handsome. At one time, K.H. Koehler described him as David Bowie from the Labyrinth. I like David Bowie, but not really my cup of tea. Also, there seemed to be this really strange obsession with describing the size of hands and man parts was a little off putting.
There was some sexy time between Nick and Vivian, a half demon like himself, and after reading it I felt like I really needed to take a shower…to wash away the ick factor. But then, Nick would redeem himself by doing something related to the main plot of the story in investigating the missing little girl or do some kind of awesome action scene that involved fighting some seriously badass angels. While reading this, unfortunately, I couldn’t help myself thinking that Nick is merely Diet Dresden: seems like my favorite hero Harry Dresden, but just not as satisfying.
I had an issue with how women were portrayed in this book. Vivian seemed to be more than kind of slutty, and the evil villainess was absolutely bonkers due to her thirst for ultimate power. The only female in the story that seemed stable was Morgana. She was the calm and rational force that seemed to keep Nick grounded in reality.
These issues I had to with the story didn’t prevent me from finishing the tale. I found that my favorite part of the book was the interaction between Nick and Lucifer. It seemed to me the only time where there is genuine emotion other than snark and horny. It was an honest conversation between father and son. The father delivering the worst of bad news, and advising that he is the only one who can stop what was happening, however, he better watch his ass because bad things could happen to him as well.
Nick Engelbrecht, he’s not a bad guy or a bad character, and the story and mythology of the spiritual world was interesting and it did peak my interest. I did enjoy the book for the most part. But I just felt that the things that put me off made it hard to really get behind and cheer for Nick and tell him to go kick some butt. This is the first in series, and really, not for the weak of heart. Will I read the next books? More than likely. There seems to be something up with Vivan. I mean, she was referenced as the Whore of Babylon. So that has to be important right? Right?
Go forth and read, my friends.