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The Devil Aspect (Paperback, 2020, Anchor) 3 stars

Psychological Horror, Great Setting, Disappointing Ending

3 stars

This book is set in Czechoslovakia just as Hitler is coming to power. It has a great creepiness factor: a Jungian psychologist with a strange therapeutic technique, an insane asylum in an infamous castle, a surgically proficient serial killer on the loose in Prague, the uncertain shadow of Nazism beginning to peek through daily life, and more.

This book has lots of Czech names and references to local mythology. It made me powerfully curious about the Czech language, culture, and geography.

The main character's treatment on the serial killers imprisoned in the asylum was the most interesting part of the novel; the chase for the killer in Prague was more of a humdrum police procedural, but the implied connection between the two upped the excitement of the latter a bit.

The novel's turning point involved two characters doing something so dangerous and foolish that it seemed unrealistic, and I found …