By: Mark Cain
Narrated by: Michael Gilboe
GoodReads Summary: A kidnapping, a dangerous new devil: Steve and Orson confront another mystery, involving their closest friends, while Satan tries to recruit Steve to the Demon Corps.
Steve, Hell’s Super, and Orson, his trusty assistant, are back in another comic romp through the Underworld!
The Lord of Hell has a staffing shortage; there aren’t enough devils and demons to torment the ever-swelling ranks of the eternally damned. Satan thinks Steve is an ideal candidate for the Demon Corps. He’s smart, tenacious and able to dish out punishment when the need arises. But as Old Nick tries to recruit Hell’s handyman in chief, Steve gets distracted by a more pressing issue: Florence Nightingale, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, is missing, possibly kidnapped.
With a little help from his friends, like BOOH, the storied Bat out of Hell, Steve must solve the mystery of her disappearance, manage Hell’s unending flow of maintenance requests, while fending off an aggressive devil chief of police …not to mention a succubus who is determined to steal Hell’s Mr. Fixit away from Flo.
Deal With The Devil Is the third volume in the fantasy comedy series, Circles in Hell. It has been compared to other works of “Hell Fiction” including The Screwtape Letters and Good Omens and to the paranormal humor of Tom Holt, Christopher Moore and Douglas Adams.
(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)
Perhaps I was too eager to point out the eventual tapering out of interest in this series in my review of A Cold Day in Hell.
Even though I got the punchline early on in Steve’s story this time, I still wanna know what is going to happen to him in the next book. (Unashamed begging Mr. Cain to bestow another audio upon me when the next one is available.)
I’m not gonna tell the ending here. I never like reviews to contain spoilers and avoid them at all costs in my own meanderings. I have to say even though this is third book my appetite is suitably whetted in curiosity for what the hell happens next.
By now, we know the world Mr. Cain has invented for us and none of the details should surprise us, i.e., the name droppings, the descriptions of the levels of hell, etc. The surprises come in the story itself. The chuckles come from knowing what’s going to happen and finding out character reactions.
Other reviews of the previous two installments have lamented on the tedium of the story line, how random bits of description or the fact that Steve has to do his “job” rather too frequently. If you’ve read the first two and are thinking of reading the third, but are put off by this occurrence, do not let it keep you from reading this one. Mr. Cain has streamlined the events in book number three to carry the reader/listener seamless through to the end. Just about every single scene is essential even if most of them oh so subtly reinforce and foreshadow the ending.
I know I’ve appreciated Michael Gilboe’s narration in other reviews. I believe that this one highlights his talent for entertainment. I think his narration of Deal With the Devil is even better than the first two books of Circles of Hell.
In my opinion more people need to read this and drop some reviews (either positive or negative, both are usually helpful). I do not feel as if enough of those who would appreciate this type of humor have even heard of this series. So into the swarming abyss of the internet my words go.