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Cunning Devil

(Lost Falls #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  510 ratings  ·  67 reviews

In a town where the monsters don't always have claws, someone has to look out for the little guy. That's where I come in.

They call me cunning man, conjurer, wizard, but mostly they call me Ozzy. If a witch is throwing curses your way, or there's something scary scratching at your window in the night, I've got just the charm for you.

Mostly, though, I find things. Lost tr

Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published March 10th 2017
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  510 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'll be clear, I paid for this book on a countdown deal. I'm leaving this review because I know how new authors struggle without reviews. I don't know the author but I hope he's slavishly working on book 2. I'm only 25% into the book yet I know it can't possibly tank bad enough for me to retract this review. His character building is wonderful--I'm not giving any spoilers, just wait until you meet Alcaraz, Lillian and the Dealer. It's a glorious experience reading a book by a new author that doe ...more
Alice Liu
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm always thrilled to discover a self published book that stands up to the leading authors in the genre (Butcher, Hearne, James, Aaronovich...). I'm saying it here: Chris Underwood will be one of the Urban Fantasy greats. Underwood brings out the complexities behind his characters and monsters in a way that compels the reader to anthropomorphize some of the oddest creatures. Yet, an air of mystery remain as he weaves complex plots that are full of action, impossible choices, and unusual allianc ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like a good episode of Supernatural

Short and sweet: I liked it. If you ever liked Supernatural or enjoy urban fantasy check this out.
Pros: Well written, good characterization. Loved the inclusion of some less popular mythos and creatures.
Cons:Someone posted that this was a new contender for fans of the Dresden is not nearly funny enough for that. Also the synopsis is somewhat misleading; the MC is less of a badass who can shrug off bullets and more of a super lucky scrappy type.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
What are you waiting for? Go buy this book! Cunning Devil has well-developed characters set in a world worth exploring. Conjure men, hedge witches and the like are not often the heroes of the average urban fantasy. Okay, so this setting isn't urban, but there's no 'village fantasy' genre...yet.

The Dealer is easily one of the most intetesting characters I've met out of the 180+ books I've read this year. Is he Ozzy's friend, foe, or a bit of both? What's his motivation, and will he cost our hero
Stephen Gaudet
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very cunning, very cunning indeed

A very different type of urban fantasy, with a well developed world. Rarely do we see a hero wrestling with the ethics and consequences of his monster hunting. This book was a refreshing change of pace.
Sherry Wilson
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Don't miss out on this book!

Ever since I finished "Skin Game", the last Harry Dresden book 3 years ago (and with no sign of a new book coming out), I have been looking for a character I could enjoy as much as him. I think I found him in Ozzy Turner. Ozzy is a man trying to do the right thing even though the odds may be against him. There are strong, likable characters in this story. I can't wait for the next book in this series Anyone who likes Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, or Kim Harrison shou
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Cunning Devil I found a new to me UF series that is worth mentioning. It has a male folkwitch/cunning man in the lead in a world with magic and otherworldly creatures like goblins, hags, vampires. There are three in the books in the series so far and I enjoyed them all. All the books have a mystery at their core and the supernatural elements are integral to the mystery. The leading man Ozzy, is skilled at finding lost things/people and is likeable. He does his best even when the personals cos ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having just finished this book, I'm a bit too giddy to give a proper review without giving away loads of plot points and other such things in my excitement. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this series - there need to be more books like this, more authors like Chris Underwood, breathing life back into the genre that has become urban fantasy - even though I would actually hesitate to call this urban fantasy. The only thing I can think of to say without giving things away, at the mome ...more
C. E. Stokes
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, a well written story. I enjoyed the depth and uniqueness of the characters. For some reason, I had trouble getting into the first half, but once they hit the Goblin Mountain, I started to get more interested.

I will check out the second book, mostly because I'm hoping to see more of Ozzy and Lilian's relationship development.

3.5* Interesting story--looking forward to book 2!
Li Kim Min
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is a pretty decent book and I managed to finish both books of the series in one go over 2 days.
For some reason with the description of the main character Ozzy I keep getting images of Chris Hemsworth or or his brother in my head which sort of made this book extra amusing.

The narrative is pretty cool and I love the twists and turns taken as well as the surprise at the end although this author is very fond of dropping down hints for future use. You kind of get that feeling even in the very be
Barbara Howe
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults and older teens
Ozzy Turner is a man you don’t want to cross. He is a cunning man, aka white witch; a magic user specialising in breaking curses and finding lost items or people. A man dedicated to protecting his community, the town of Lost Falls. What’s the difference between the white magic he uses and black magic? Nothing. The only distinction is in what the magic is used for, and the line between is thin. Ozzy is human enough to sometimes step over that line, especially when given a good, hard shove.

In Chri
Simon Howard
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Meet Ozzy, a cunning man..... he's your go to man if you've been cursed, or something scary is messing with you. I came by this book by accident, just scrolling through Facebook and saw the ad thought the blurb sounded half decent and decided to take a chance, so glad I did.... this is a Corker of a read and the first in a series to boot!
Ozzy in addition to being a wizard is good at finding things, so when a father asks him to track down a family heirloom Ozzy takes the case a case that soon be
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
What is the opposite of urban fantasy? Country fantasy, rural fantasy? Not sure if this book is that rural but we are not talking suburbia either. Whatever you call it, it is good.

The characters are well-developed, there's some humor, a good plot, and some twists. Plenty of action; this is not a dull book.

What makes it different is the main character isn't super powerful. He is not a wizard. Ozzy is a cunning man, a wiseman, a hedgemage. The local man, a few hundred years ago or in less populat
Gareth Otton
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Cunning Devil is an excellent start to a new urban fantasy series. It was a bit darker than most urban fantasy's with the monsters being genuinely monstrous and there being some very dark situations in this book, but it worked well with the story and was never glorified.

If I had to pick fault it would be that there's a lot of really nasty stuff that happens in the book to innocents (children, animals and creatures that just don't know better) which isn't my cup of tea. However, it is well writt
Chelonian Man
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading sci fi and some fantasy for over sixty years, with a break of 20 years when work and other commitments meant I hardly read anything, except on Holidays, when I did I frequently felt disappointed.
But over the past 10 years I’ve discovered some new (to me) fantastic authors.
But Chris Underwood who has written other books under another name, who’s books were fantastic meant that as soon as I knew he had written 2 more under another name I bought them and downloaded them to my Ki
Rhodri Jones
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book

Slow to build up, but a good urban fantasy/mystery novel. I say mystery because while the story points continues towards its inevitable conclusion, there is a bit of a "who dunnit" to it. I'd be interested to find out more of the background of the main character. Maybe a spin off where he spends his days in the mines. I presume we find out more about this in later novels.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cunning Devil

Great read, and a new author for me dribble over. The storyline is is great and set in a lovely place called Lost Falls, or at least it starts out being lovely. But due to some unsavoury characters, and a hero who is not quite a white hat but more of a man with a few character flaws to say the least. But his heart is in the right place, Ozzy is irresistible as a cunning man, living in a town full of unknowns. Fab
This was a decent debut book by a new author, though it sometimes felt like the more interesting story would be the main character's backstory, which the book references repeatedly as it goes along. Still, the main character is interesting, and the use of some lesser known mythological creatures makes for a nice change from the standard urban fantasy fare. I'm looking forward to seeing what the author does next.
Avrin Kelly
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I did not expect the adventure to lead me where it did, but it was a welcome surprise. My favorite character was the Dealer, I even had a nightmare about him while reading this book. All of the characters were well rounded and fleshed out. I really liked Ozzy, he's a character you can root for and he had a cool name. It was a really good read and I can't wait for the next installment to come out!
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me awhile to find this book - I kept seeing notes around the idea of "if you like Harry Dresden you'll love this" That actually turned me off the book for quite awhile - I do like the Harry Dresden books, but not interested in copies. I should have read it earlier - it's not like Harry Dresden, but original and a good urban fantasy in its own right. I look forward to the next book in the series. Always good to find a great new-to-me author!
Frank Bertino
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Rollercoaster of Plot Twists

How cunning can he be? Oz is a cunning man. One who can use magic, intellect, and dare we say cunning to protect the community and help individuals. The Dealer is his nemesis or is he? A job to find a family keepsake turns into a kaleidoscope of changing targets and goals. I enjoy the intricacies or the plot. The main characters are fully formed and believable. I anxiously await the next book.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
A lot of history at the beginning of the story, but the pace was fantastic and it ran urgently into scene after scene from the first few pages. The grieving H is trying to be a better man, with much of the story he's lurching from one disastrous situation to the next. He's trying so hard to do the right thing as he juggles a complex plot and so many characters. It reminded me a little of Dresden, and I loved it all. Great writing - loved it.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Great plot, wonderful potential but...

“Hello, I’m the big bad through the whole story; ruthless and cunning. Nothing can stop me... [last chapter] Oh wait, let me suddenly repent, help you stop me, and willingly take your place in your death curse. No problem, sorry for the trouble,” Geez...
Christopher Sparks
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good Reading

Not many people know what a cunning man or Pellar is, so to read a story using them correctly was really cool! I wish the author has picked something other than witch for the reverse side of that because witch originally meant wise man, but I can see why. Amazing story and I highly recommend it for his original mythology. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Harold E Britt
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cunning in action

This is a good exploration of an interesting alternative reality populated by legends,nightmares and humans changed to interact with "Strangers".
Fast moving and fun the story is twisty as any mystery fan could want while handing out doses of magic and fantastic beings.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love Ozzy!

Ozzy is a cunning man. He and his sister live in Lost Falls, where a lot of Strangers, mythical creatures, also live. Ozzy wasn’t always a cunning man. This book tells why he is a cunning man, what a cunning man does, and takes you on a great adventure with Ozzy, his friend Lillian, and his frenemy Rodetk.
Ann Alton
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

I will probably read more of this series. I am not sure if it was me, or the book, but there were parts that seemed to lag a bit. Otherwise, towards the end, i really started to like the characters, which is what drives me to read further. Now that I know the world and the characters, hopefully The next one will draw me in better.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Very nice book. I enjoyed alot . I'm usually not into supernatural type books but this one grabbed my attention and kept it! It was actually something new to read besides the same old things you usually see in these kind of books and now I can't wait to read the next book 😁
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The cover caught my eye and then the blurb sounded interesting. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book started out. The authors writing reminds me of the Jim Butcher and felt a little like The Dresden Files books.

I loved the story and the pace of the book. Interesting main character that I found myself cheering for!
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Chris Underwood spends an unhealthy amount of time in his imagination. Luckily, his partner and daughter are very tolerant. He writes the kind of urban fantasy he has always loved: stories set in perilous, darkly beautiful worlds filled with magic, monsters, and just a touch of hope.

Find out more about Chris at

Other books in the series

Lost Falls (2 books)
  • Pay Dirt (Lost Falls Book 2)