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Devil in Disguise is Julian Clary's second fiction book and in my opinion just as enjoyable as his first.
Simon and Molly have been best friends since the first time they set eyes on each other at university.
Simon is gay but unfortunately for him he fancies straight men only. Simon spots his prey and with the aid of alcohol or a shoulder to cry on he sets out to have his wicked way with them. As you can imagine this occasionally has a bad outcome.
Molly is a bright confident musical theatre singer, who lives quite happily with her painter and decorator boyfriend Daniel.
While Molly is struggling to launch her career Simon just seems to drop onto success with his drag act, a rather acerbic character called Genita L'warts.
Then one day Simon decides that Daniel is going to be his next conquest and slowly sets about worming his way into Daniels pants even though he knows this will break Molly's heart. Inevitably Simon and Daniel get caught in the act by Molly.
Molly leaves Daniel and seeks solace from Lilia Delvard, the land lady of KitKat cottage whom Molly once stayed with. Lilia seems to of had a fabulous career singing with all the greatest singers of the forties and fifties. Broken hearted Molly succumbs to Lilia's plans to turn Molly in to a super star. Molly follows the bizarre regime that Lilia sets out for her, involving cold baths, Cigarettes, Brandy and Drugs.
Eventually, with the guidance of Lilia, Molly reaches stardom. Meanwhile, without Molly's watchful eye Simon's life has spiralled out of control. When Molly decides she wants a break from singing and touring against Lilia's wishes Lilia sets into action her plans. What is the secret that Molly confessed to Lilia when heart broken? Is Lilia all she seems? And will Molly ever forgive Simon?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it had me hooked from the beginning, it's a lot less vulgar than Julian Clary's first book, his writing style has improved and relies less on shock value and more on a plot.
The female characters in this book are very strong. Yet again the men are portrayed as being weak; Simon is guided by his desire for instant gratification and preys on vulnerable men. Molly is also a vulnerable character but determined to shake of her past, the book touches briefly on Molly's past in care, I think this is why Molly falls under Lilia's spell and follows her regime without question. Lilia seems like a lovable old lady, and this is how she worms her way into Molly's life, with stories of her glorious career and the tragedy of losing her parents so young.
As with Julian Clary's last book I don't think Devil in Disguise will appeal to everybody, but it is an enjoyable read, the plot is better structured and I am looking forward to his next fiction book. I have not read his memoir A Young Mans Passage but will be keeping an eye out for it in the library as I am interested to know if his fiction books are in any way based on his own life.
Thank you for reading.