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The Devil Aspect

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,417 ratings  ·  707 reviews
Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this bone-chilling, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

Czechoslovakia, 1935: Viktor Kosárek, a newly trained psychiatrist who studied under Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Constable
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Cavak Well, it's a toss-up.

It's a murder story about a ruthless serial killer, so you often have the aftermath of graphic violence described to you. The tit…more
Well, it's a toss-up.

It's a murder story about a ruthless serial killer, so you often have the aftermath of graphic violence described to you. The titular Devil Six's pasts aren't pretty either, lots of murder, body mutilation, and rape in one case. Often, you have forewarning to whenever something gruesome will show up.

Violence that occurs in present tense is in the second half, and there's one instance that is brief but graphic. But like the first half, you can predict when the violence will happen. It's not in excess, but there is a handful. I wouldn't say that it goes into rated R splatter film territory all the time though, so there's that for you to consider.(less)
Zoe The end is to show that Mr. Hobbs is the Devil. The real, actual Devil, who embodies the essence of what is most evil in every generation. It also ill…moreThe end is to show that Mr. Hobbs is the Devil. The real, actual Devil, who embodies the essence of what is most evil in every generation. It also illustrates how man is blind to this, and keeps trying to explain the devil away as a psychological phenomenon, a personality or archetype that exists in man instead of a supernatural being. As long as we ignore the devil, refuse to acknowledge that evil is real, he will keep on embodying the worst atrocities and crimes. It's pretty simple, really. If you go looking for the Devil, you will find him. If you don't recognize him for who and what he is, he will stay.(less)
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The wonderful Craig Russell's latest novel is a Gothic Horror, a well researched piece of historical fiction set in Czechoslovakia amidst a background that echoes the rising drumbeat of Nazism in Germany and its consequent repercussions. It is 1935, Victor Kosarek, an ambitious psychiatrist who studied under Carl Jung, takes up his post at the notorious Hrad Orlu Asylum housed in a ancient medieval castle steeped in dark history and local folklore. This cutting edge and well resourced facility i ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Czechoslovakia 1935, and in scenes reminiscent of London’s Jack the Ripper, someone is butchering women in a most brutal and sickening manner. Cold, damp, and foggy weather lends an ethereal and creepy feel to the streets and alleyways of Prague’s Old Town, whilst at the same time having the effect of dulling the streetlights - very convenient for those with murder in mind!

In a small village outside Prague, psychiatrist Victor is about to start his new job at an asylum for the criminally insane.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1935 and the political changes which took place two years earlier in Germany begin to influence the attitudes of more and more citizens of Czechoslovakia. A psychiatrist, Viktor Kosarek, arrives at Hrad Orlu Asylum to observe some most dangerous murderers kept there. Kosarek introduces Carl Jung’s ideas into his practice and his intention is to analyse the minds of his patients.
This novel is not for the faint-hearted readers, as the analysis of the murderers’ minds starts with the d
The Devil Aspect is absorbing, mystifying and deliciously sinister. Craig Russell is a talented writer that has superbly blended a compelling nefarious plot, with inexplicably damaged characters, myths and legends, and a setting that is dark and chilling. I just loved it. :)

Dr Viktor Kosárek is a young enthusiastic psychiatrist who was a student of Carl Jung and he joins the staff at the Hrad Orlů Asylum, not far from Prague. The asylum is one of the most advanced high-tech facilities i
Sumit RK
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Here am I and I here stay,
for this is where Evil resides.
Here am I and I here stay,
for this is where the Devil hides.

It’s difficult to describe a book like The Devil Aspect. For me, It was an excellent psychological thriller with a perfect blend of historical fiction, mystery and horror.

Set in Prague in the year 1935: Viktor Kosárek, a psychiatrist arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The asylum is located on a mountain top castle outside of Prague and houses
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Czechoslovakia 1935, a small rural village sits in the sinister gloom of an ancient castle that has a primordial history of evil. It is now being used as an asylum for six of the most violent murderers in Europe and their murders are indeed stomach churning. A young psychotherapist begins his work with the patients at the asylum in order to prove his theory of The Devil Aspect of personality. In Prague, a detective attempts to solve brutal murders that more than resemble those of Jack the Rip ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1935, Prague.

A young doctor named Viktor comes to the ancient castle/asylum, Hrad Orlu, excited to test his new theories in psychology. Housed at this asylum, isolated atop a mountain, are the 6 most dangerous killers alive today. At the bottom of the mountain in the town proper, a police detective named Lukas is trying his best to solve a series of murders which the press attributes to the "leather apron killer." At the same time as these events, the Nazis are on the rise in Germany. Will Vikt
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
6 evil stars for the "Devil's Six"

Shrouded in mystery, the eye of evil takes hold of the darkest minds in the faces of the most notorious killers of all times. Secluded, up in the mountains near Prague, in an old stone castle that was built upon the devil's nether “Mouth of Hell”, the devil still controls his hold.

“It was that - that extinguishing of their very last hope – that I savored more than anything, more even than the extinguishing of their lives…It was then they realized that the De
Andrew Smith
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley

In 1930’s Czechoslovakia, shortly before the German occupation, six of the most notorious killers in Central Europe are being held at a remote castle now being used as an asylum. The castle is an impregnable place that seems to exist as part of a soaring cliff face. And it’s got history, before the Devil’s Six, as they are known, it once housed an infamous killer who would regularly descend from the castle to murder local villagers before returning to the safety of the fortress. Psychiatrist Vic
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's 1935 in Czechoslovakia, a pre-Nazi era is upon us, and a mass killer of epidemic proportions, is continuing his bold ruthless killings. It is a time of fear, a time of dread and horror that runs through the city of Prague as the police seem to try in vain to catch the diabolical killer know as the Leather Apron killer. All this murder, mayhem, and fear takes place in the book, The Devil's Aspect.

Viktor Kosrek, a newly trained brilliant psychiatrist has arrived at Hrad Orlu Asylum, a state o
Louise Wilson
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prague, 1935: Viktor Kosarek, a psychiatrist trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlv Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle just outside of Prague. The asylum houses six most treacherous killers - known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer and The Demon. Viktor hope to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
This novel was like reading Irvin Yalom with a punch of gore (a lot of punches, and kicks!)

I really liked how Russell blended Nazism and their White/Aryan craziness into the story in the background. Also the Jung/psychological aspects reminded me of Irvin Yalom's work (It's kind of Yalom with a punch of gore)
The start was amazing, so atmospheric, it made me want to visit Prague. The character names were a bit confusing in the start but once I got used to, overall they sound quite charismatic. Re
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader by: Tammy
A creepy, original historical thriller!

Viktor Kosarek is a young psychiatrist, a protege of Carl Jung, when he’s hired to work at the Hrad Orlu Asylum in Prague. The year is 1935. The facility is considered state of the art for its time, a castle built right into the mountaintop.

Hrad Orlu is home to six of the country’s most notorious murderers, and each has a chilling nickname by the staff.

Viktor’s theory is that these patients share a personality trait of evil in common, and he has developed
The gateway to hell, a church of Bones, Jungian psychology and Slavic and German mythology, the sense of the gothic, the dark forest, the advent of the Holocaust, all combine here to make a fine, menacing and fear inducing tale,a historical psychological thriller. I do believe as in this book, that some places retain the energy and memory of negative emotions and events. The combination of mythology and the philosophies of Jung was an inspired choice. Well written and researched, this would make ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
The Devil Aspect is such a delicious thriller. A story about psychopaths and a serial killer on the loose. What's not to like? The time period in this book also adds much to the story since there is a big growing unease in Czechoslovakia and also a burgeoning xenophobia. And now there is a serial killer loose as well. Amides all this is Dr. Viktor Kosárek taking up his new position as a psychiatrist for the so-called "Devil's Six". Six really nasty and dangerous psychopaths.

This book was ver
Set in Czechoslovakia in 1935 with the menacing shadow of Naziism growing daily, Craig Russell has presented us with a truly gothic horror of murder and madness.

Viktor Kosárek, a young psychiatrist has accepted a new position in a secluded high security asylum for the country's six worst serial killers. Built on a cliff top and surrounded by forest the Devil's Six as they are known are kept in strict isolation. Viktor, trained in Jungian psychology is convinced that each of them is harboring a
Nick Borrelli
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, really blown away by how great this book was. Blew through it in two days. Perfectly creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing. I can't recommend this book enough. If you thought The Alienist was good, this one is even better. ...more
Ivana - Diary of Difference
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The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell was a very pleasant read for me for many reasons! I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

The Plot

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates–the country’s most depraved murderers–while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has sp
Margaret M (limited access to Goodreads this week)
“I will return,” the voice hissed in Viktor’s ear. “I will return and show you the truth and you will be blinded by it. I will show you such horror and fear that you will be burned by its beauty and its clarity.”

The Devil Aspect is simply a Masterpiece in Gothic crime and one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read, with deep characterisation and a stunningly evil plot making this a sensational read.

Psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek, following years of research, has developed a theory tha
4+ stars for enjoyment, 5 stars for writing skill, so 4.5 stars

What a fascinating gem this turned out to be.

It’s 1935ish Czechoslovakia. Viktor is a psychiatrist who takes on a new job at an asylum for the criminally insane, set in a converted ancient castle deep in a forest. It houses six inmates, called The Devil’s Six (sort of a Frankenstein vibe). Meanwhile, police in Prague are frantically trying to catch a serial killer who is a copycat of Jack the Ripper.

So there is a lot going on. Russel
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
While a possible Jack the Ripper copycat stalks the streets of Prague, frustrating the investigatory efforts of Kapitan Lukas Smolak at every turn and leaving brutally eviscerated victims in his wake, Dr Victor Kosarek, a young and ambitious psychiatrist, heads to Hrad Orlu Asylum where the Devil's Six are held. Here he hopes to prove his theory that we all have a hidden darkness, a Devil Aspect, which lurks beneath every seemingly innocent facade. His test subjects are the worst of the worst, m ...more
Chris Berko
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took me a while to get into. The setting was decent enough and the story had the potential to be pretty spectacular but the characters felt flat and not much happened until about a third of the way through. Then things started to pick up and I became very intrigued as to what the hell was really going on and who was responsible for what. I loved the ending and have a lot of respect for the way the author kept me guessing right up until the reveal even though the clues were there the who ...more
Spooktober read #8!

“It was then they realized that the Devil is just God in his night attire."

I’m not sure what this says about me, but if you have the words “asylum for the criminally insane” in your book blurb, I’m paying attention (once again, thank you Mother, for letting me watch “Silence of the Lambs” inappropriately early in life: this is working out great!). This book could have just been about the Devil’s Six’s stories, and I would have been on board. But then there was also a Jack the
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1935. An asylum outside Prague. Viktor Kosarek is a psychologist who dreams of being able to cure the severely insane. Not just any mentally ill patients...but the most dangerous. The criminally insane. Murderers. Those who have what he calls The Devil Aspect. Kosarek decides to conduct an experiment. He will use narcoanalysis to get inside the heads of six serial killers held in the asylum. Five men and one woman. A cocktail of drugs will allow him to probe for their impressions of their crimes ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow this book is so dense, without being heavy. a historical thriller which touches on politics, very relevant being set in 1935 Czechoslovakia. it also offers insight into psychology and mental health with a touch of implied supernatural motifs. Russell sets the story with aplomb building slowly to a super fast paced climax. I literally just finished so my thoughts are not completely organized Haha yet the story structure was incredible drawing from thriller, philosophy horror elements. highly ...more
Schizanthus Nerd
Content warnings include (view spoiler)
‘Maybe it would be best,’ she said at last, ‘if you left the Devil alone in his hiding place.’
This book had so much to love - a serial killer on the loose, a medieval castle with a dark history that’s now an asylum and a psychiatrist delving into the minds of the most notorious
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It’s been a while since I read something like The Devil Aspect, a historical suspense-thriller displaying many characteristics of Gothic horror. In some ways it felt like indulging in a treat that I haven’t had in a long time, because I ate this one right up.

It is 1935, and the story opens with our protagonist Viktor Kosárek arriving at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum in Prague, where he is about to begin his new post as its
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the close of the book, Craig Russell has included a small piece on why and how he chose to write this, and the depth of research he undertook in its creation. With its sublime mix of history, both societal and psychoanalytic, folklore, murder and mental disturbance, this is a real edge of your seat read, so settle back and find out why…

The book follows the progress of a grisly murder case, where a woman is eviscerated in the same style as Jack The Ripper’s victims some decades earlier. As the
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel brings a fictional character of Dr. Viktor Kosarek, who introduces his sedative-aided hypnosis therapy to his patients to find the Devil Aspect in human psychology. While he works on his cases, the folk myths, superstition and legends of Easter Europe come out.

1935, Prague, Czechoslovakia

Dr. Viktor Kosarek, 29 years old, just recently was an intern at Bohnice Asylum. Now, he has taken a new position at Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. A place known for confining murderers k
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an atmospheric and well written, Gothic novel, with an excellent setting and sense of brooding intensity and fear. It features psychiatrist, Victor Kosarek, who studied under Carl Jung. When we meet him, he is heading for the Hrad Orlu Asylum, having previously lived in Prague. The asylum is housed in a castle, surrounded by forest, and looms over the small village of Mlada Bolsav.

The asylum houses only six patients – Pavel Zeleny, known as The Woodcutter, Hedvika Valentova, The Vegetar
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Award-winning, best-selling and critically-acclaimed author. His novels have been published in twenty-five languages around the world. The movie rights to the Devil Aspect have been bought by Columbia Pictures. Biblical, his science-fiction novel, has been acquired by Imag

Articles featuring this book

Horror has always thrived on tried-and-true terrifying tropes—whether by wholeheartedly devouring them or flipping them inside out, the genre...
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“Maybe it would be best,” she said at last, “if you left the Devil alone in his hiding place.” 4 likes
“I think it allows the public to enjoy the thrill of a story without the fear of the reality. The reality is too much to bear, so they detach themselves from it. That’s maybe how all myths were born.” 2 likes
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