I’ve written an awful lot of reviews (and a lot of awful reviews) over the years, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I’ve forgotten some of them, as with this, which was posted to the old TTA Press website on 29 June 2007:-
PRACTICAL DEMONKEEPING by CHRISTOPHER MOORE
Orbit trade paperback, 280pp, £6.99
Travis O’Hearn is more than a hundred years old, but doesn’t look a day over thirty thanks to the intervention of his pet demon Catch, inadvertently picked up while training to be a priest. Unfortunately Catch must, of necessity, eat people to keep his strength up and, while he manages to direct Catch at bad guys most of the time, this is not a habit Travis approves of. Travis heads off to Pine Cove, California, where he hopes to find the long sought after secret of how to rid himself of the demon, but Catch has plans of his own that involve finding a master (or mistress) whose wishes are more in tune with the demon’s own cravings for flesh and blood. The inhabitants of the small coastal town don’t know what’s about to hit them, though the djinn Gian Hen Gian, Catch’s ancient nemesis, does his best to warn them.
This book comes with an endorsement from no lesser personage than Carl Hiaasen and, regardless of the supernatural elements in the plot, Moore belongs to the same school of black comedy, albeit he doesn’t share Hiaasen’s gift for scathing satire. Practical Demonkeeping is a fast paced and fun read, with a plot that has enough twists and turns to keep the reader on his toes, and generates real tension alongside all the moments of pitch black humour. There’s a well realised venue in the town of Pine Cove and an amusing diversity of characters, as we get to meet small town Lotharios, crazy police detectives, cranky old men and a witch with attitude (in parenthesis, Catch and Gian Hen Gian seem quite reasonable when compared to the human dramatis personae). Moore’s writing is smooth and assured, with sentences that slip down like Irish Cream liquor, and he even bungs in a love triangle of sorts for those who expect such things. In short, an entertaining story that made no real demands other than of my smile muscles. Chances are it won’t change your life or even stay with you for very long, but you’ll have a good time for as long as the journey lasts.