3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An exorcist in trouble - lucky there's a demon to lend a hand,
This review is from: Speak Of The Devil: Number 4 in series (Morgan Kingsley Exorcist) (Paperback)
In Speak of the Devil we return to the world of Morgan Kingsley, freelance exorcist, and semi-unwilling host to Lugh, the demon king, who has been forced into possessing her body as part of a plot by his brother, Dougal, to seize the demon throne. The novel starts shortly after the end of the previous book, The Devil's Due , and Morgan's life is still in chaos following her entanglement with demon politics: the state Exorcism Board has suspended her license to practise, she still hasn't received the insurance payment after her house was burnt down, her relationship with her boyfriend, Brian, is under strain, and Lugh is continuing to attempt to seduce her at the only time they can have contact, when she is asleep and dreaming. To cap it all, the wealthy father of a man whom she was hired to exorcise, and who ended up brain dead, is suing her for negligence, adding legal problems to her other worries - it's no surprise that she feels like she's teetering on the edge of a mental collapse. It's at this point that she receives an unexpected, and most unwelcome, parcel: a severed hand - it seems that the mysterious stalker from the previous book has decided to escalate from abusive telephone calls to unpleasant gifts; a trend which continues when Brian receives some faked photographs suggesting that Morgan has been unfaithful to him, and leaves her in a rage.
If Morgan's going to get her man back, save her professional reputation - not to mention her life - and put an end to the law suit, she's got no choice but to find out what's behind both the stalking, and the suit - which is a dangerous prospect for both her and Lugh, especially when dead bodies begin piling up. It's lucky that she can rely on the assistance of Lugh's allies: Adam White, the demonically possessed police officer, and his mortal boyfriend, Dominic - a pair who regularly play a starring role in her secret fantasies, Lugh's Machiavellian brother, Raphael, whose loyalties are still suspect, and his son, Saul, newly returned to the mortal plane, and despising his father even more than she does. They are an ill-assorted group, but they are all she, and Lugh, have, and they need all the help they can get.
Black continues to move Morgan's story forward in this, the fourth volume of her adventures, and it's pleasing to see that she's developing psychologically as the plot progresses - trying to gain some self-control, admitting that she can't handle everything on her own, and beginning to work with Lugh instead of fighting him all the time. It's also good that Black makes it clear she's not a superwoman: faced with one too many upsets, Morgan does what any normal person would do and begins to sink into depression, rather than just barging on through, and it's up to Lugh to help her get over it. This allows him some development, too, and he comes over as being somewhat less manipulative and more caring this time around.
This makes the book somewhat more gripping than the previous outings, because both of the main protagonists seem more sympathetic, and by the end of the book when the plot is neatly resolved, and we've learned a few more secrets about the demons - both generally and those who Morgan knows - there's a sense of clearing the decks to, perhaps, take the fight back to Dougal in the demon realm. This means that I, at least, will be eagerly awaiting the next volume, The Devil's Playground .