Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

If you enjoy dark humor, dry wit, tales of the occult and rooting for the bad guy, then you need to start reading Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard right away.  Cabal is a "scientist" obsessed with destroying death.  Toward this end, he has traded his soul with the Devil for knowledge of necromancy.  Unfortunately, it turns out that Cabal actually needs his soul to perform his experiments and so returns to the Devil, this time agreeing to collect 100 souls within a year or forfeit his own life for good.  To aid Cabal in his quest is a demonic carnival, his vampire brother Horst (one of Johannes' early experimental whoopsies) and an insane asylum’s-worth of escaped psychotics.  Johannes Cabal has one year in which to trick, bribe, extort, charm, bedazzle, bully, bludgeon or otherwise convince 100 people to sign their souls over to the Devil or he is dead and Hell-bound to boot. 

 
Johannes is purely despicable.  Many times throughout the book you will find yourself hating him and rightly so: he is the distillation of all the little evils (and many of the big ones) that flit through all our minds, but are rarely acted upon, making him, at times, easy to identify with, even if we wouldn’t admit as much in public. He is unique in his seeming total lack of connection with humanity and he feels nothing for his current evil undertaking, save that he believes he has no choice, a conviction that will leave you puzzled right up to the end of the book.  However, there is a dark humor underlying his every word and action, a subtle wink from the author that none of this is to be taken at all seriously. Well.  Not that seriously. 
 
Browse the book's Web site and the author's blog for more information.