Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Devil’s Business

Posted January 28, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Devil’s Business

Devil's Business


Caitlin Kittredge

dark fantasy that was published by St. Martin Paperbacks on August 30, 2011 and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Corsets & Clockwork, Street Magic, Demon Bound, Bone Gods, Night Life, Huntress, The Iron Thorn, "The Curse of Four", The Nightmare Garden, The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge, Soul Trade, Mirrored Shard, Dark Days, Black and White, Games Creatures Play

Fourth in the Black London dark, dark fantasy series revolving around Pete, an ex-copper, and Jack Winter, the crow mage.

Read this one with the lights on and well before bed.

My Take

Whew. Kittredge must have some amazing nightmares to come up with this stuff. And she’s an amazing writer. She’s certainly taken the subgenre of BLACK magic and turned it on its head. Who knew there would be a good guy practicing on the wrong side of magic?

I love what Kittredge has done with this series. It’s an atypical pairing between Jack and Pete with a huge twist on the magic and demon pairings one usually sees. You’ll understand the storyline and them better as a couple if you’ve started with the first book, Street Magic.

This story is all Jack’s perspective, and we get a heart-rending look into his innermost thoughts and worries as well as quite a bit of background about past deals made with demons.

I have a hard time believing that Pete could be so obtuse, that mean, or that unaware.

I do enjoy Jack’s sense of humor. I just wish he didn’t let loose with it at the most inappropriate times…

“‘Hell is ancient,’ Don said. ‘Hell is older than Death…’

‘And then the man upstairs said let there be light, booze, and porn?’ Jack said.”

I do feel confused. Kittredge has Jack falling and failing all over the place and yet hints that he’s so very important.

Oh man, this story is just one betrayal after another and another and…

“And his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”

The Story

Jack is persona non grata in London, so when Pete gets a request for help from a fellow PI in Los Angeles, they’re both glad to be outta there.

Only, events in LA make London look positively peaceful.

The Characters

Petunia “Pete” Caldecott is a couple months pregnant, a former copper, and not too happy with Jack. Jack Winter is the crow mage with a lousy sense of self-preservation, tied to the Morrigan, and hounded by Belial . Although, he is off the heroin these days.

Benjamin Mayhew used to be a cop in LA and now has his own investigation business. He needs Pete’s help with the Herrera and Case murders. Sal is Ben’s auto mechanic with a lot full of spare vintage cars used in the movies. Detective Shavers is Ben’s former partner. Sliver is another of Ben’s friends. He’s also a wraith and owns the bar. Ana, a.k.a., La Flaca, is a death avatar running a magic shop in LA.

Belial is a Named demon of Hell, a general. A worried, nervous demon who demands Jack’s help in payment of someone else’s debt. The Princes of Hell are Beelzebub, Azrael, and Baal.

Harlan Sanford is a producer in LA of many, many B movies. He’s also a collector. Parker and Gator are bodyguards and more interested in mayhem. Anna is a sex magician and Travis and Kim are people she’s pulled into her web. Basil Locke is a film star from the 1930s with a fascination for the occult and Nazis. Lucinda Lanchester is a B-movie actress from the 1930s with whom Locke was infatuated.

Abaddon/Abbadon, call me “Don“, the Destroyer, is an original denizen of Hell who managed to escape decades ago. Another collector. Little Miss Spree Killer, Levi, and Teddy are, well, cohorts seems the best description.

The Morrigan is a goddess of death three times:”the maiden of death, the bride of war, and the hag of the ashes and dust that came after”. Ethan Morningstar of the Order of the Malleus is a mage and not one of Jack’s friends.

The Cover and Title

The cover is orange and pink, perfect for conveying the bright lights of Hollywood, and the sparkling of its glamor and Jack’s magic. Also perfect for hiding the shadows of a town where darkness flourishes. I do like Pete and Jack’s pose, together. There’s hope there.

The title is much too accurate, for this story is all about the Devil’s Business.