Thursday, 29 September 2016

Beelzebelle by Heide Goody and Iain Grant - A Review

Everybody's favourite Prince of Hell is back, and this time he has a baby....and a monkey. What could possibly go wrong.

With Beelzebelle, the 5th in Goody and Grant's Clovenhoof series, Jeremy Clovenhoof (aka Satan, exiled from Hell and now living in suburban Birmingham) is back leading the story and where he goes, chaos follows. Trailing along in his wake, trying to pick up the pieces are his neighbours Ben and the man-hungry Nerys, and his nemesis Michael (aka St. Michael, exiled from Heaven, also living in the Birmingham area). And what is that chaos? - well, start with JC getting a baby (and a monkey), joining SCUM (Sutton Coldfield Union of Mothers) and getting himself, Ben and Nerys made temporarily homeless, then throw in a new church being built by a slightly dodgy seeming chap, the death of Nerys' dog and the sudden appearance of a mighty monster - The Beast of Boldmere.

As expected from this series chaotic scene follows chaotic scene but somehow the authors manage to tie everything up by the end. Just when you think things cannot get any dafter they somehow manage to up their game finishing up with a scene of such magnificent insanity and (that word again) chaos that it would take the likes of Cecil B DeMille to film it (and I would love to see a visual version of the Clovenhoof stories)

What I really like about these stories is that in Jeremy Clovenhoof Goody and Grant don't portray Satan as 'Ultimate Evil' just someone who likes a bit of fun and mischief, okay, a LOT of fun and mischief. JC is one of those people you would end up hanging around with (even though you know it won't end well) and contrary to what you would expect from The Prince Of Darkness he does often try to do the right thing (often in a very convoluted and roundabout way, but the right thing nonetheless).

If I had to compare these authors with anyone, and I may have said this before, I would say Tom Holt at his best, but if I went in a shop with enough to buy only one book and it was a choice between the two I'd come out with Goody and Grant book every time.


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