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The Devil's Playground [Paperback]

Stav Sherez
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2014

In his debut novel, Stav Sherez - author of the best-selling Carrigan & Miller detective series - explores a history of terror and mass murder rooted in Europe's murky past.

In a forgotten corner of a rain-lashed park in Amsterdam, the body of a tramp is found. The scarring on his body suggests he may be the latest victim of a serial killer terrorizing the city, but the police can find no name, only the telephone number of a young Englishman.

Jon Reed is summoned from London to identify the body of the man he once knew as Jake Colby. With a killer on the loose, he and the detective in charge of the case are determined to help uncover the truth of what happened, no matter where that may lead them.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (1 May 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0571312357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571312351
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,947 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

Amazon Review

When the body of a tramp, Jake Colby, is found in a secluded Amsterdam park, Dutch police detective Ronald Van Hijn believes that this is the ninth victim of the serial killer stalking the city. Yet, all previous victims were young, female and beautiful. What could have made the killer change his MO?

On the corpse Van Hijn finds contact details for Jon Reed, an Englishman who befriended Jake in London shortly before the murder. Van Hijn summons Jon to Amsterdam to identify the body and so sets him on his own journey of discovery.

Was Jake really a tramp? What revelation about his identity led him to a life on the streets? And did his fate lie not in the hands of a serial killer but in the horror of the Holocaust death camps some 60 years before?

The Devil's Playground is a thought-provoking debut crime thriller from a stunning new young talent. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Thriller coursing through history 16 May 2014
The Devil’s Playground – It Really Is!

The Devil’s Playground was Stav Sherez first novel originally published back in 2004 this paperback edition is from 2014. Having read this book and enjoyed it, it is very easy to understand why this book was shortlisted for a CWA Award personally I would have awarded it! Set in Amsterdam this book as a thriller not only examines the dark underbelly of this city where anything and everything is available for a price it also examines one of the darkest periods in recent European history the Holocaust.

This book also is able to question how much we really know about ourselves and how deeply we look back at our own families and cities. As a historian I often point out the Germans alone did not march Jews to the cattle trucks they had local help. Yes that means you France and you Netherlands large numbers of Jews were sent east with your citizens help. It also makes us examine what happened at the end of the war when some Germans and Ukrainians took on others identities to escape the allies and live out their days.

A body turns up dead in a park in Amsterdam and he has a book belonging to Londoner Jon Reed in his pocket along with his telephone number. Detective Van Hijn asks him to come and identify the body of Jake Colby who may have been part of serial killers known kills. He had taken Jake in as a house guest after taking pity on him and found that they were both Jews who knew little or next to nothing about their Jewishness. Jake went to Amsterdam to find out more and it is in that search that kills Jake and draws Jon in to an investigation that could end in his own death or that of those around him.
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