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The Devil's Playground by Jenna Black

1/09/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy The Devil's Playground (a Morgan Kingley novel book 5) in the USA - or Buy The Devil's Playground (a Morgan Kingley novel book 5) in the UK

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pub: Bantam Dell. 368 page paperback. Price: $ 7.99 (US), $10.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-440-24494-3.

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She's carrying a passenger and life is complicated for exorcist Morgan Kingsley. Her demon is in her head but not in her heart. She has Brian for her bed but Lugh, the live-in, also the Demon King, is confusing the issue. He loves Morgan but he fancies Brian, too. It's something you have to learn to live with in the brave new world.

Demons are known about but the extent of their visiting from the demon dimension is not and it's increasing in an alarming fashion. They move into the head of a human on invitation but it seems not all of the hosts are willing. The use of junkies and other low-lifes to be the new hosts looks like a challenge from Dougal who would like to be King of the Demons. He doesn't know where Lugh is which is a very good thing for Morgan.

This is a novel about sharing. All the trials and tribulations of multiple occupancy are explored. It makes flat-sharing a breeze compared to mind-sharing. 'The Devil's Playground' is good, clean fun in the style of the 'True Blood' series. So when I say clean there are some fun and games in the bedroom, but it's necessary to the plot, honest. It highlights Morgan's dilemma. She is effectively carrying a hitchhiker who is able to take over her body when necessary.

This is part of a series but there is no problem jumping in at this point. With so many of these novels about the murky otherworld this has some good humour underpinning it and a swift sparky dialogue to its credit which helps to overcome a plot that is not hugely original. It's fast and funny so you forget that. After all, just how many stories can you think of that involve being possessed by a demon brain? The almost domestic setting allows for the kitchen sink drama of relationships to form a good part of the story bolstering the whole demon plot-thingy. A relaxing read which will make you grateful you are only sharing a bed and not your head.

Sue Davies

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