Surprising and witty
Having received this story as a gift, no strings attached, its concept got me quite interested – a short story as a prequel and teaser to a novel. (The title is perfectly suited for the story, so don’t take any points away from it simply because it is a phrase that is overused as a title in general!) The text certainly kept my interest and intrigued me enough to want to read the sequel. The cool, smooth, ominous tone of the conversation between the conman and the devil is quite an interesting read, and the style flows evenly, witty and enticing. The author has skillfully organized the text to show both the characters’ words and thoughts without ever being confusing. The baseline of the plot is cleverly set, and you actually find out quite a lot about the main anti-hero in only a few words. The constant rhythm exchange between a playful tone and the dark background is like listening to a really good jig played live by a great band at a pub (Irish connotation here is a slight spoiler alert). You can quite see the setting and think to yourself ‘what if…’. I quite enjoyed with how the author plays around with some historical figures. The religious overtones, and undertones, are unavoidable, which is why blurbs matter and help. You may or may not agree with the author’s take on things, but this twisted horror scene can really make you grin and think. Recommended as Halloween warm-up!