Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Department Zero” as Want to Read:
Department Zero
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Department Zero

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  56 reviews

Harry Priest just wants to make sure his ex-wife doesn’t take away his visitation rights, and his dead-end job cleaning up crime scenes for the past ten years isn’t doing him any favors.

But when Harry attends what he thinks is a routine death, he stumbles onto a secret multiverse of alte
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Pyr
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  203 ratings  ·  56 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Department Zero
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I had a nice surprise when I picked up Department Zero. The book initially caught my eye as a cross-genre science fiction and fantasy adventure about infinite alternate realities, as well as a secret society of agents who have to traverse multiple worlds to clean up interstitial messes. But as if that isn’t cool enough already, Paul Crilley doubles down by tying everything into the Cthulhu mythos and giving this one a ni
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is sort of a variation on the first Men in Black movie, but instead of aliens, the menace to be policed are lovecraftian monsters, old ones, and elder gods. great characters and dialog - fun plot. highly recommended.
"The Elder Gods created the Old Ones, but imprisoned them when they got a bit too...bitey. The Old Ones are locked away in the Dreamlands -- also known as the Absolute Elsewhere -- but their minions are always trying to free them." (p. 249-251)

H.P. Lovecraft fans may recognize this sentence as a description of his Cthulhu mythos. Not only does the author play homage to H.P. Lovecraft but he also recognizes the "Men-in-Black" and Matrix film series and film director Christopher Nolan's Inception.
Amber J
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Another that I read before I became active on goodreads.

This one was messed up. Honestly if I had tried to read it now after being introduced to so many wonderful books, it probably would have ended up as a DNF.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The nitty-gritty: A clever, inter-dimensional homage to Lovecraft & Co., with lots of action, snark and humor.

So here’s the thing. When I set off after the guy who stole the spear, I really didn’t expect to end the night chained to an altar in the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral while my blood is sucked from my body by a group of insane (and unfit) cultists frantically working foot pumps in an attempt to bring the rotting corpse of a Martian invader back to life.
But them’s the

Sadie Forsythe
DNF page 70

This is probably just a matter of taste. I found the 70 pages I read too ridiculous to enjoy, thought there was too much dialogue and exposition, and the whole thing was just too close to a Men in Black rip off for me. Maybe it improves if I were to give it more than 70 pages. But already I was dreading picking the book back up and I wasn't even a 1/4 done. Best to just back off now.
Lynn Williams
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 of 5 stars
Incredibly entertaining and fast moving. Full review to follow
Enrique Arroyo
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could make a real good movie! Thanks to my friend for recommending it!
The set up for Crilley's Department Zero is undeniably killer: crime scene clean-up specialist and failed law enforcement agent Harry Priest gets called out to a scene that's even less right than normal and finds himself suddenly in the middle of a multi-dimensional battle for the artifacts necessary to wake long-dreaming Cthulhu from his watery sleep in R'lyeh. Because all that indescribable horror H.P. Lovecraft wrote? Actually true. And the only people who can stop world-wide gibbering madnes ...more
Fantasy Literature
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars from Marion, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

Disclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers

Department Zero by Paul Crilley is a neat mashup of humor and horror, of interdimensional fantasy and Lovecraft. First person narrator Harry Priest has a lively voice and a lot to learn when his life gets turned upside down after one really bad day at work. If you like acerbic British humor and the Old Ones of H.P. Lovecraft, this is a book f
Vincent Mainetti
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book from a giveaway here, and so it deserves the respect of an honest review. First to the author and publisher I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to be an advanced reader for "Department Zero."

Fast paced, and action packed would be the best way to describe this book in short. In more depth I would have to say that although this is meant to be a fast paced, there were a few places where slowing down for an extra page or two could have really helped. The
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was OK but I didn't really like it. The front part of the book was very good. I found the writing easy to read and get into. But it took too long to get into the meat of the book. I found everything long and drawn out. A lot of filler could have been cut out. However, the book is already short at 305 pages so it would have been more 1-200 pages if it had been converted into a fast paced book.

Another problem is the humor. A good humorous book is very hard to write. Most of the time, it
Lisa Michalski
A hilarious thrill ride from start to finish. If you like a healthy dose of sarcasm with your near-death experiences, then this one is for you. If you loved R.I.P.D. (the movie, I can't speak for the comics) this is definitely your cup of tea, but if you despised every moment of it then completely ignore my last statement :)
Mar 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
So, I don't like spiders.Therefore, I didn't make it very far into this book. End of story.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A world in which Lovecraft written work is all true.

Opening Sentence: The polite term for what I do for a living is “biohazard remediation.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Harry Priest is a crime scene cleaner, and one night he recives a phone call from a contact within the LAPD, so he and Jorge (the boss’s son) head out to the crime scence to clean it up. However, when they get there they quickly realize that something is different. Harry is sure that th
Alger Smythe-Hopkins
A book that delivers on its premise. Neither is this a high brow fantasy novel, nor a carefully plotted concept-driven sci-fi tome. This book falls neatly into the gonzo spoof novel genre of the 1970s and 80s. The genre being spoofed is the subset of novels that take place in a secretive but banal bureaucracy running parallel to the humdrum everyday: think Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic in the Harry Potter world, or Multinational United in the film District 9. The obvious inspiration for Dep ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Men in Black meets HP Lovecraft meets the Nazi Third Reich. I have been wanting to dive into Department Zero for a super long time after months of seeing positive reviews and recommendations from the local book store.

A story of an inter-universe police force stopping crimes between ‘rips’ is my cup of tea. The story universe, premise, world making, and plot are all incredible in this novel. Time and time again I found myself pausing to visualize what I was reading and imagining the world’s crea
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
“Department Zero” is an edge-of-your-seat adventure that weaves elements of sci-fi, alternate realities, humor and H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos into a mind-blowing crash course on the unexpected nature of reality.

The unfortunately named Harry Priest is a divorced father, a pretty average guy whose main priority is reading to his daughter Susan nightly (mostly over the phone, since his wife Megan has custody).

Harry cleans up the aftermath of crime scenes for a living. He took the job 10 years
While this sounds a lot like Winter Tide, it reminded me more of 14. (For one thing it was a fun read.)

Loooooots of Lovecraft, which I still am not as familiar with as apparently a SF fan should be. Also a weirdly strong kid theme. Nice universe hopping. My one bitch is that some of the characters kind of disappeared with no explanation (and of course they were the ones I wanted more of, woe).
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You don’t have to be familiar with Lovecraft to enjoy the wit and action of this novel. Strong voice and an appealing protagonist make it hard to put down. But it’s not all fun and games—there’s a tender subplot of Harry’s relationship with his young daughter and ex-wife that adds depth and takes it a bit beyond the humor and horror. Although the novel starts in LA, the protagonist states he was born in the UK (as was the author) and the narrative does have a decidedly British tone.
Should appea
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So bad it is good. Never laughed so hard before. Loved the Lovecraftian connection. Could have been written longer, I know it was done to imply urgency but you're left wanting more from every angle. Even the climax is lacking and the epilogue feels like a copout. I would have given it three but the characters were all too damn interesting. Couldn't give it a four cause I laughed too hard and I can't fault the author for giving us so much character in the characters that just because I want more ...more
Kristin Lansdown
If you ask me why it took me from February to April to finish this book I absolutely loved, I wouldn't even be able to tell you. This is really my first foray into anything remotely related to Lovecraft mythology and I didn't know it was so weird and....squirmy? Idk the descriptions make me super uneasy to point I was cringing occasionally. But I laughed out loud so often reading this! I love the easy dialogue, Harry's reactions and awe at everything felt so realistic. This was fun from beginnin ...more
Clay Kallam
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
“Department Zero” (Pyr, $17, 297 pages) is not an ambitious work, but is a professional effort that is light and breezy, and not to be taken too seriously – though the less-than-heroic Harry Priest is fighting H.P. Lovecraftian gods who could destroy our modern world. There’s plenty of room for sequels, and why not? “Department Zero” and its alternate universes offer plenty of options for Priest and his motley crew to battle more demons, monsters and annoying bureaucrats.
It's a cool Cthulhu / dimension-hopper procedural. I really liked the main characters. A few places the book bogged down a bit, but overall quite enjoyable. I'd read another if it turns into a series.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up on a whim and I'm glad I did. I really didn't think I'd get into it, but I must say that I absolutely loved it! If you like things like the show Rick and Morty, you'll probably enjoy this book.
Jason Bonton
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was actually quite surprised by this novel. Who would have thought reading about two assholes bickering back and forth like a married couple while trying to prevent Cthulhu from awakening could have been this much fun!
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the tone of this novel. It was funny and well written with a Dresden Files meets Lovecraft kind of vibe.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A solid, fun, fast-paced read. Just the sort of book to kickoff the summer.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic tale that took me on a breakneck ride through multiple dimensions. Epically awesome, and I will definitely be looking forward to more from this author!
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Definitely a supernatural version of MIB.Even up to the two main characters with similar love/hate partnership.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Fugitive and the Vanishing Man (The Map of Unknown Things, #3)
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal, #1)
  • Canary
  • Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
  • Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society
  • How to Be Better at Almost Everything: Learn Anything Quickly, Stack Your Skills, Dominate
  • Men's Health Killing Fat: Use the Science of Thermodynamics to Blast Belly Bloat, Destroy Flab, and Stoke Your Metabolism
  • Low Town (Low Town, #1)
  • Pop. 1280
  • Minority Report and Other Stories
  • Positive
  • The Windup Girl
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective (Johannes Cabal, #2)
  • Stiletto (The Checquy Files, #2)
  • The Darkening Glass (Mathilde of Westminster, #3)
  • Lost World Of The Aegean
  • Shield of Thunder (Troy, #2)
  • Something Buried (Andrew Hunter #3)
See similar books…
Paul Crilley is a Scotsman adrift in South Africa and has been writing professionally for the past 17 years. In that time he has worked on over thirteen television shows, one of which was nominated for an international Emmy award.

He has written eight novels, worked on five computer games, and also written comics for IDW. His previous novels include The Invisible Order books, a middle grade series

Related Articles

Myths and mayhem, the fantastical and the scientifically plausible, these are readers’ most popular sci-fi and fantasy novels published in the ...
135 likes · 28 comments