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The Devil's Playground Paperback – 1 May 2014

2.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571312357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571312351
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Stav Sherez so happily went back to read this early novel - it's really complex ,clever and enjoyable - and if you are a music fan the interesting record references will delight you too. A little ragged towards the middle perhaps - but still an excellent book
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Possibly the most boring book I have ever read but I determined to struggle through it to the end if only to give it a fair review, (in my opinion). The good news is I did add a few words to my vocabulary that I discovered in this book, but otherwise I found it hard to concentrate on the story and kept losing track of the plot as it seemed to drift from one character to the next. The book seemed to be a tourists' guide to the drugs and sex sleaze available in Amsterdam and the supposed heroes spent their time in a drugged haze getting nowhere solving the crimes, while the Amsterdam police force apparently completely lost any interest in finding the killer or linking it to other murders. What could have been solved quickly if the detective and the amateur detective had kept their heads free of drugs dragged out into a long monotonous and winding trail during which I frequently was tempted to abandon reading it. Well, never again. This book has put me off this author for life! A total waste of money and reading time.
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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I normally read a book in a day but I couldn't get in to The Devil's Playground, despite loving Mr Sherez's other books, and it took me days to finish it - I began to wonder if it would ever end. Firstly it is a long book and very wordy, full of cod philosophy on the nature of violence, among other things and extracts from the diary of Holocaust victim, which didn't have much relevance to the plot which is the hunt for a serial killer in Amsterdam but concentrating on his last victim, an English tramp called Jake who has recently discovered he is Jewish. Cue a holocaust subplot. It is all too long and overly complicated for me, as if the writer is trying to cover too many bases.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa040f6f0) out of 5 stars 29 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ad1c288) out of 5 stars A great supernatural YA read that had me glued to the pages! 12 Jan. 2016
By Colleen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you liked THE CRUCIBLE, you'll love this YA re-imagining of the Salem Witch Trials.

Elizabeth is sixteen, and she and her family have been hiding the fact that she's a witch her entire life. There's a good reason: they live in Salem, and it's the late 1600's. Theocracy rules, and any citizen who stands out seems not only peculiar but suspicious. The town is religiously extreme, isolated, and one false accusation of witchcraft away from mass hysteria, which is where DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND opens.

Ever wonder what would've happened during the Salem Witch Trials if there actually WERE a witch in town? I know I did. DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND serves up some well-imagined supernatural justice without destroying the emotionally unsettling mob-mentality phenomenon in 17th century Salem Village. With all of the historically accurate figures playing their role, Eagar injects into the town an actual witch, whose most "supernatural" facet at times is ironically, her reason.

With a touch of romance, plenty of action, and more than one heart-rending betrayal, DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is a great supernatural YA read that had me glued to the pages.

For me, DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND fixed something emotional that THE CRUCIBLE had broken. 5 stars.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b98181c) out of 5 stars Not my typical genre, but a great read nonetheless 12 Jan. 2016
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not my typical genre that I find myself reading often, but this book is very well written. The characters are interesting and very human with flaws like the rest of us, making you care that much more about them. The author does a great job taking you back to Salem during the height of the witch trials. Suspenseful, humorous and exciting. Has something for everybody. Would definitely recommend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b9817e0) out of 5 stars Magic, and witches, and Salem! Oh My!!! 29 Feb. 2016
By Kristina Oden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Non-Spoiler Review - Devil’s Playground revolves around sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Winters who even though may be a witch, but doesn’t know the first thing about magic. Her father, a wizard himself, has forbidden the use of her powers for her own protection. But when accusations of witchcraft start flying through their Salem Village Elizabeth attempts to save the innocent women from the horrible demise the village has in store
.
I found Devil’s Playground by Heather Eagar wonderfully written. The Salem Witch trials were a dark time in American history. During this “Witch Hysteria” people feared that the Devil was trying to find ways to infiltrate and destroy Christians and their communities. The storyline was well plotted and what made it all the more scary was that it came across as quite realistic. Whether you love them or absolutely hate them, Heather Eagar’s intricate characters completely draw you in. Thank you for giving me an outstanding story with characters that have stayed with me long after the end of the book. If Devil’s Playground was meant to capture the struggle of what we view as TRUE good and evil then the author has very much succeeded.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b53ba50) out of 5 stars A fun, enjoyable young adult read. 29 Mar. 2016
By Levi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
(FYI: This is Levi’s wife writing this review; we share one Amazon account.)

I enjoyed reading Devil’s Playground (although at first I was hesitant to read this book, due to the name of the title), it was a nice young adult novel. As I began the book I thought it was okay and I was able to easily put it down (as perhaps with any book, as one begins to get to know the characters and the setting). However, the more I read, the more I needed to keep reading because I wanted to know the whole story. The plot of a young witch learning more about witchcraft and trying to protect her family had many twists and turns. I felt I had the ending figured out, but I was wrong, it surprised me. I was happy with the ending, but I was also torn by what did not happen. I felt the characters of the book were genuine or consistent with who they were. It was also fun to see this world of magic and learn of its rules. I read some other reviews who mention the language is modern, which is true and it was a bit distracting once in a while, but I was fine with that. Overall I enjoyed this book and recommend it as a fun, enjoyable young adult read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ad1c870) out of 5 stars Amazing book! 14 Feb. 2016
By Amber A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The author takes you on an unexpected, and very realistic journey filled with magic, danger, and survival. Free up your time, because this one will keep you up all night. This book was impossible to put down!

I loved this book thoroughly. This book had me from page one. This read was so compelling, and I found myself so addicted to the book that I lost track of time. It was one of those books where you sink in, and don't come out of it till 5:00 am.

I am amazed with this authors work already. This debut author has literally made my night/day. I am stunned by how realistic all the magic was, and everything else as well. Everything I went through in this book was nothing but pure awesome sauce.

Survival, family, magic, and some really unexpected moments that left me baffled, yet totally in sync with the book. In the end it gracefully pulled itself together. Not only was this book beautifully written, but also worth way more than 5 stars easy. If I could rate it 10 stars I would.
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