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Devils in Exile

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  996 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Neal Maven comes home from his tour in Iraq to nothing—no job, no friends, no future. Then he meets Brad Royce, a fellow vet, charismatic and confident, with the lifestyle and the one woman Neal has always wanted: Danielle Vetti, Maven’s high-school dream girl. Royce offers Maven a spot on his team of vets who intercept major drug deals, take the dirty money, and destroy t ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Pocket Star (first published 2010)
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Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Hogan's previous novel, Prince of Thieves (aka The Town) better, I have to admit. I'll peg this novel at three.

The premise was rousing -- an Iraq vet working two crappy jobs -- at a convenience store and parking lot attendant in Boston -- is pursued by the slick Brad Royce, a Robin Hood type character who steals massive amounts of cash in phony drug deals and then flushes their product. He recruits Maven to join his crew. Maven gets involved with his girl. The busts go bust and all hell b
Terry Hinkley
Good story with intriguing concept of war veterans using their skills to rip off drug dealers. Nice build up to dramatic conflict between partners and ultimate betrayal from their leader.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well - this is definitely not a book I would have never picked up on my own - that's for sure! as mentioned before I got this book from the library during Valentine's week - Blind Date With a Book was the name of the game. books were wrapped up and you could check them out - title and synopsis unknown. it was actually pretty nerve wracking, just as a real blind date would be...

I was actually kind of disappointed when I unwrapped my book. This was such a manly book! great quality for a real life
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing Prince of thieves (The Town), which was easily my favorite read of 2011, I admittedly had extremely high expectations for Devils in Exile. But I wasn't near as impressed with it as I had hoped to be in the end, but this does happen when I expect too much, or too little from a book, movie or most other types of art forms. Apart form that, I will say that this is a good story, with compelling twists and and ending that I didn't see coming. Neal Maven, a recent (8 months out) vetera ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went through a few bouts of confusion regarding my opinion of this book while reading it. I didn’t like it nearly as much as I liked ‘The Town’ and even found myself checking the publishing dates of each book, certain that ‘Devils in Exile’ had been written in Hogan’s novel author stage (only to find that this book was his most recent release.)

‘Devils in Exile’ lacked the character bonds that I found so alluring in ‘The Town’. Characters fell flat and crucial details were omitted. The love int
Ross Cumming
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I initially became aware of Chuck Hogan's writing through 'The Strain' trilogy and also through the film 'The Town', which was a brilliant film adaptation of his novel 'Prince of Thieves', which is even better than the film.
"Devils in Exile' tells the story of ex-Iraqui war veteran Neal Maven, who has now left the service and is struggling to adjust to civilian life back in his hometown of Boston. Maven works as a car park attendant and also covers the graveyard shift at a gas station convenienc
Brett Starr
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Devils In Exile" is the real deal, a top notch thriller / crime drama that is realistic, current & gripping!

I first discovered Chuck Hogan after reading his last novel The Strain, co-written with movie producer Guillermo Del Toro. After finding out Chuck Hogan has alot of other very well written books - Prince of Thieves, The Killing Moon, I couldn't wait to read more from him. Then just last month I see he has a new novel coming out and I couldn't resist reading it.

Great characters, grea
Keith Thomson
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Green Beret Neal Maven is the ultimate warrior, with comparable smarts and a dry wit. Tragically, when he returns home to Boston from the War in Iraq, society has little use for him. As author Chuck Hogan puts it: People see not a battle-tested hero but a potential Travis Bickle. When they say, "Great to have you back," what they really mean is, "Now please go away again."

The best work Maven can find is parking cars. At nights. Supplemented by shifts at a minor-league convenience store. On the w
Zoe Blackwood
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chuck Hogan is a rock star. His novels always have a thread of tension that excites me and leads me to the next page.

This story about a war veteran trying to find his place in the world again is a look at what motivates us, what we truly want in the world - to do something, to be something that is positive, even if its reached in unconventional ways.

Maven is a hero that I sympathized with. He was a good soldier that in peace time simply wasn't sure how his skills could contribute to society. If
Joshua Emil
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Devils in Exile is the story of an "innocent" veteran who got mixed up into the drug trade by taking out both the buyers and dealers. Take the cash and dump the stuff. As Neal Maven, the veteran and protagonist, goes deeper in to the relationship he has forged with his comrades, questions arouse if the leader, Brad Royce, really has good intentions.

The novel was somehow synonymous to an episode in the TV Series, "Person of Interest" (Season 1, Episode 3, "Mission Creep"). What makes it differen
Zohar -
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This book starts out great and with a subject which I identified with. Neal Maven, a loser in high school who turned out to be a lethal fighting machine in Iraq, is coming back home to…nothing. He works in dead end jobs, not making any money and quickly on his way to a life of mind-boggling boredom and solitary existence. In an instant of blind luck he impresses a man who pulls him out of the ordinary into the extraordinary life of a vigilante group that robs drug money. The group creates havoc ...more
Jason Gillespie
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Done and Done. First introduced to the work of Chuck Hogan via my reading of the Strain Trilogy, I branched out to his other works after finding out that his book 'Book of Thieves' was used to create the movie 'The Town'.


Set against the backdrop of Boston, the story of recently returned to the 'real world' former special forces solider Neal Maven is one hell of a intense, page-turning and well crafted look into a world of guns, drugs, and big scores. Working with a 'team' of m
D. Campbell
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely impressed with both the story and the writing. Chuck Hogan has created a fan in me. I was a bit nervous coming off of the Strain, which he co-wrote, but when he's on his own, he's great. I loved the characters.

The story is great and it runs very similar to my own book, Catharsis. I like the idea of a renegade taking on the drug lords, and that's what this one is about. I would have liked a bit more action in the book, and a bit less of the girl, but that's only personal preferen
Nov 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm waiting for the second installment of The Strain trilogy to arrive in the mail, so I got this novel by Chuck Hogan, one of the Strain co-authors, to fill the waiting time. It's good..I really like the story line, about an Iraqi vet who has been home 9 months and works two crappy jobs until he gets hired by a mysterious rich dude. He joins a band of "sugar bandits," who intercept drug deals, destroying the drugs but pocketing the cash. It's dangerous but pays well, obviously, and for a while ...more
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was trying so hard to be Clancy's "Without Remorse," and failing miserably.

Neal Maven is a 28 year old Iraqi war veteran who has some trouble adjusting to civilian life. Enter Royce, who offers Maven a chance to use his military training while getting rich and helping to get drugs off the street. Maven joins the team, of course, which is made up entirely of vets from various wars. The team ambushes the sellers and buyers in the middle of the deal, steals the money and destroys the pro
May 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Neal Maven has recently returned from Iraq where he was one of a group of highly trained soldiers who were killing machines. What will he do with these skill back home in Boston? Brad Royce. Royce is everything Maven wants to be: a fellow vet, charismatic and confident, principled, wealthy, and with a beautiful woman on his arm. Not just any beautiful woman, but Danielle Vetti -- the most stunning girl from Maven's high school. Literally the girl of his dreams. Neal becomes one of Royce's "sugar ...more
Wynne Kontos
Chuck Hogan may be best known for "Prince of Thieves" (changed to "The Town" after the movie based on it was released,) but I'm surprised filmmakers passed this book up in favor of the other.
Hogan's character in "Devils in Exile" is a former soldier tossed back onto American soil and forgotten, until his skills on the battlefield prove helpful at the most opportune time. He's thrown into a world of drugs, sex and manipulation. Not to mention one of the creepiest sets of villains I've ever read
Nov 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie by: Wendy at S&S
This is a rough, tough, fast-moving, glitzy, smart thrill ride of a story. Guys will love this book. It will make a FANTASTIC movie. The premise--Neal Maven, a recently returned vet is recruited into an interesting vigilante-style force--a group of other Iraqi vets who track down BIG drug deals, run a raid, destroy the drugs and take the money (no, they aren't Robin Hoods--these guys are keeping the dough and living LARGE). But when things stop adding up and 'missions' start going wrong, Neal di ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Devils in Exile is written by the author of Prince of Thieves, which later became the feature film The Town. Like Prince of Thieves, the protagonist is a somewhat reluctant thief. Maven is a war veteran struggling to get by working jobs as a convenience store clerk and night time parking garage attendant. After displaying his warrior skills while defending himself during an attempted robbery, he's recruited by Royce, another war vet, for a high risk / high reward job. Royce and his team raid dru ...more
Mario Kroll
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable action-crime story that follows a down-on-his-luck former special forces soldier as he tries to make his way in Boston after returning from the war in Iraq/Afghanistan. Soon he ends up in a tight nit group of ex-military that rob drug dealers, destroying the narcotics but taking only the cash. For a while, things go very well, until the protagonist begins to wonder where the inside information on their raids stems, and soon things prove out to have been too good to be true.

It's a rela
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Home from the war, Neal Maven is working dead-end jobs and feels marginalized and unappreciated for his service to his country. When a mysterious stranger with flashy clothes offers a way to use the skills he learned in Iraq to take down drug mavens and dealers he jumps at the chance. Soon he is living the good life and things couldn't be going better but when he falls for his boss's lady and the rest of the team starts to get careless he decides he wants out, which is when the real trouble begi ...more
Karen Gail Brown
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A veteran of Iraq, Neal Maven, has returned home but does not fit in. He takes a job minding a paid parking lot because he cannot find anything else. One evening he is attacked by two men after his money. He is hurt, but rescued by a charismatic man...who offers him a job (Ross). The job is robbing drug dealers, destroying the product...and taking the dealers' money. Now,Ross is making money and leading the life he had hoped for, until the dealers start fighting back and his boss' planning start ...more
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great premise. Iraqi war vets/special forces guys returning home to find out that life back home is dull and meaningless without the action they are used to. Rich guy hires said vets and forms a team to help rid the streets of Boston of its drug problems. Well paced, well written, and entertaining from the first page. Builds its way up to a surprising turn of events, and then proceeds to pummel you for the last 50 pages with nonstop action. Not as good as Prince of Thieves/The Town, but strong ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I was really excited about this book, especially since I heard it was the same author that wrote The Town. I loved the idea of a Vet who comes home and finds himself working for the charismatic Ross, robbing drug dealers, destroying the product...and taking the dealers' money. Then, things start to get a little intense, the dealers start fighting back and the police start tracking down Ross and his team.

Even though the pace of the book was moving pretty quickly, I just couldn't get into it. I r
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Chuck's and am instantly sucked in to this gritty novel set on the streets of Boston. Finished, and very well done. Maven's return to the 'real world' from Iraq isn't going so well until he meets Royce, a fellow vet and man with a plan. As highly trained soldiers, Maven, Royce and a cherry-picked troop of vets take on the Boston drug trade and quickly bring it to its knees. But to what purpose? As Maven moves up the ranks, he realizes the choices he's made may cost him dearly. ...more
Jeff Moore
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this book, but it fell a little short for me at times. It was fast paced and full of action, but many of the characters felt a little flat, and at times, they were purely overblown stereotypes. I generally liked the main character Neal Maven, and had an emotional connection to him, but in the end, that wasn't enough for me to give the book a better rating. Overall it was a quick read, and kept me entertained, but with such a strong premise, and so much promise, I just wanted a l ...more
Marty Fried
I thought this book was OK, but I found it hard to really care about the characters. The main character didn't seem especially capable or smart, and mostly got through with sheer determination and the ability to not die when he should. I almost stopped reading early on, but I was a little too vested in it and I was curious to see if and where it might go. In the end, I think a solid 3, or 3 1/2 rating fits for me.
Stephen King, EW 7/29/11, said: "I'm reading Devils in Exile, by Chuck Hogan. It's a terrific Boston-based crime thriller about Iraq vets who decide to torch the city's drug trade. They grab the money when the big deals go down and trash the drugs. You read this and think, "It's the best damn Clint Eastwood movie that never got made in the rootin'-tootin'-Magnum-shootin' 1970s." Immensely satisfying for the action-minded."
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read. I'm really digging on Hogan and his stories about real people doing things for real reasons, like money. I don't agree with the choices that the characters make, but I can see where, in our society today, people will go to almost any lengths to ensure they get what they want. Me? I'm happy right where I am, but I love to read about someone who thinks differently than me. All hail Hogan!
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014february
Oddly like The Circle, with its commentary more on the criminal world than the capitalist one (though there's plenty of overlap between and betwixt).

Twisty, with a sympathetic main character, shady motives and some interesting crimes. It doesn't pack the emotional heft of Prince of Thieves (go read it, then rent Affleck's The Town, based on it), but it's a great reminder of how much I like Hogan.
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Chuck Hogan is an American author. His story "Two Thousand Volts" appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories 2009. He is the co-author of The Strain Trilogy with Guillermo del Toro. His 2004 novel Prince of Thieves was adapted to film as the Ben Affleck directed The Town in 2010.
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“So why go out as a question mark when you can go out as an exclamation point instead?” 3 likes
“The best way to kill a good thing is question it to death.” 3 likes
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