Rosemary’s Baby meets Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh in this macabre thriller – a devilishly brilliant allegory set in modern-day Edinburgh by the author of the highly acclaimed Dr Jekyll & Mr. Seek.
Cat Thomas relocates to Edinburgh, fleeing death threats related to her job as a fraud investigator in Florida. Her 18th-century Dean Village flat is utterly idyllic except for one thing…the devil upstairs.
Cat lies awake, delirious from lack of sleep, dreaming of ways in which to get rid of the utterly inconsiderate neighbour who keeps her awake every night with loud music and wild parties. Desperate for a solution she joins a work friend at a witches’ conclave and is blissfully surprised when the noise suddenly stops.
But when the devil upstairs is found dead and Cat’s seemingly perfect man arrives in his place, the problems she thought were solved come back to haunt her in new and unexpected ways.
Impeccably plotted, intricately nuanced and shot through with darkly wicked humour, The Devil Upstairs perfectly captures the shadowy beauty and mystery of Edinburgh’s architecture, atmosphere and history, gibing literary voice to its world-renowned status as a “haunted” city.
By: Anthony O’Neill
Publication Date: 5th September 2019
Published by: Black&White Publishing
The dark humour in this was perfection. This is the sort of horror I want, dark and wicked and full of brilliantly timed humour and equal parts terrifying. Cat was not the most lovable protagonist and that’s what makes this book so humorous, you understand where she’s coming from, we’ve all probably had a noisy neighbour or two and have wanted to just shut them up, but her situation also made me chuckle.
I couldn’t imagine being as patient as Cat and I loved that she always tried to think things through, even when she was close to snapping with her horrible neighbour, she was all sense and respectability in a lot of ways.
But even a saint has their breaking point and though this shouldn’t be taken as a honest look into witches -or their pagan faith- this should be taken as a hilarious twist to a witches’ conclave set in the perfect atmosphere of Scotland. Also, satanism wasn’t portrayed as stereotypically as one might think when hearing a horror book contains it. That impressed me.
[I may also be the smallest bit biased in loving most books set in Edinburgh.]
It’s spooky and scary though too, not just humor. You do begin to feel for Cat, you sense she’s running out of time and she’s no closer to saving herself. So can Cat be saved? And what does she need saving from?
The ending was another point of perfection for me and answers all questions necessary to feel closure but still left a lot open to the imagination, striking the perfect balance.
If you’re looking for a thrillingly spooky fall read in time for Halloween, this is another recommendation from me! Four big cups of coffee from this reader.
Thank you to BW publishing for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.
About the Author
Anthony O’Neill was born in Melbourne and lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek, his sequel to Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde; Scheherazade, an Arabian Nights homage; The Lamplighter, a psychological horror; The Empire of Eternity, a history-mystery involving Napoleon and Egyptology; The Unscratchables, a satire featuring dog and cat detectives; and The Dark Side, a crime novel set on the far side of the moon. Film rights to The Dark Side have been sold to 20th Century Fox.
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