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The Devil's Playground Paperback – 2 Feb 2006

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Paperback, 2 Feb 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (2 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141014067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014067
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 3 x 18.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 997,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Twitter: @stavsherez

Born in 1970, Sherez attended Latymer Upper School and the University of Leeds.

Stav Sherez's first novel, The Devil's Playground, was published in 2004 by Penguin Books and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger.

Sherez's second novel, The Black Monastery, was published by Faber & Faber in April 2009.

His third novel, A Dark Redemption, the first in a London-based police procedural series, was published by Faber and Faber in February 2012.
It deals with Joseph Kony and the legacy of LRA child soldiers now living in London.
A Dark Redemption was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2013.

The second in the Carrigan and Miller series, Eleven Days, was published by Faber in May 2013.

From 1999 to 2004 Sherez was a main contributor to the music magazine Comes with a Smile. He has also written for various other publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, Zembla and the Catholic Herald

Product Description


'A page-turner of a thriller’ -- Metro

'Impressive … a meditation on representations of violence decanted into a crime thriller’ -- Time Out

‘A gifted writer … deserves to be the thriller of the summer’ -- Economist

‘Ambitious, audacious, powerful’ -- Observer

From the Author

I wanted to write about Amsterdam. It seemed a confluence of what I was looking for. The past is always present there. You really get a sense of it in the architecture and look of the city and I wanted to show how crime always has a past, how every event can be spooled back to old resentments and enmities and how the past can suddenly blow up into the present. Then there was the legalized nature of the sex and drugs industry. I wondered what lay underneath that. I saw the body of a prostitute stretchered out under neon and police lights. The dramatic possibilities ensnared me. The canals and small streets. It's very atmospheric, very creepy - exactly the kind of setting one needs for a crime novel!
I wanted to show how crimes don't have an end. How murder and betrayal stretch down the centuries infecting all those that came after - both the victims and the perpetrators and how time doesn't heal all wounds. For me the Holocaust and the atom bomb are the real start of the twentieth century. I wanted to look at how the past still informs us, both politically and personally, and how we try to deal with that. I also wanted to make the link between modern serial killer crimes and historical crimes, how the same psychopathology motivated both, beyond history and beyond politics. I think some of the best crime books put history into their crosshairs - I think it can add texture and mystery.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Louis Finn on 24 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most impressive thrillers I've read for a long while. Detective Van Hijn is an interesting and original character, and his hunt for a possible serial killer in Amsterdam is well told and very scary in places. However it is the scenes set in the Holocaust that really take you to the dark side and have you horrified one minute and shedding tears the next. Some of the images in this novel stayed with me long after I'd finished reading. I admire authors who manage to combine a well-paced thriller plot with such thought-provoking subject matter - and I'd certainly recommend this novel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
My god, the previous reviewer must have read a different book! This is one of the most ambitious, dark and successful crime novels I've read in ages. The idea of snuff movies from Auschwitz is almost too horrible to contemplate - but Sherez convinces us that such a thing could have happened and his treatment of the subject is brilliant. Plus, surprisingly, he has a sort of twisted, Larry David-style humour. Very strange, very satisfying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AJ on 9 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read this recently for the fourth time, I was moved to review it.
Sherez's novel is an exceptionally well written thriller, streets ahead of the run of the mill police process fillers than invade the bookshelves of the nation.
If you like Amsterdam, it's also the most descriptive novel of this fascinating city.
The main character's delving into Europe's bleak and horrific past makes this a particularly involving serial killer novel. There is less suspense than in many thrillers, but to be honest: most suspense is fairly predictable anyway; does the hero survive? who will die next? I'd trade these obvious outcomes for a well crafted novel like Devil's Playground anyday.
Buy it here, it's only a penny plus postage. Don't let this one get away.
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