The Devil You Know (Nick Engelbrecht)

The Devil You Know (Nick Englebrecht #1) - K.H. Koehler Nick is a daemon, and not just any daemon – he’s the son and heir of Lucifer himself. Yet he tries to avoid all that, focusing instead on being a witch and part owner of an occult shop with his friend and business partner Morganna.Until Vivian enters his life, a fellow daemon, hunting by Seraphs (warrior angels with no sense of humour who would very much like to pound daemons into the dirt). Sparks quickly fly between the two daemons, even if Morganna doesn’t approve.Nick’s also an ex-detective and is called in by local police when they need help from someone in the know and with his woo-woo – such as when a small child disappears in mysterious circumstances. Nick’s sure there’s more to the disappearance than it seems – but is also heavily distracted by the issues consuming Vivian’s life. Especially when the two appear to be linked and the enemy discovers him, Lucifer’s son, as an excellent prize.This book has massive props for originality. Nick is a daemon, the son of a demon and a mortal woman. Actually, he’s the son of Lucifer and a mortal woman and Lucifer’s heir; not just a paperwork exercise, he’s expected to step up and take over just as his father did from his grandfather.He and his dad don’t get on, as can be imagined – and that not getting on is rather well done. There’s a combination of revulsion and rejection of what his father is and stands for, linked with his abandoned-child desire for acceptance and respect coupled with a fear and shame of not reaching his father’s standards. And all of that is done without pages and pages of angst and moping.Nick as a character has a lot of intriguing elements, as does Vivian, his love interest. Together they have a lot in common and not just their heritage – they’re not saints by any stretch and they don’t pretend to be. While Nick has a conscience that he does apply and lines he doesn’t cross, he’s also not a nice person and doesn’t have many illusions about that. Sometimes this goes too far into behaviour that crosses from “not a nice person” to “inexcusable arsehole” but usually doesn’t – it’s a balance that needs to be addressed. In general he’s quite deep and involved with a strong level of characterisation to make him very compelling very real, someone you want to get behind and support while, unfortunately, having moments when you want to punch him a few times.Read More