The action is back in Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham and rejoins the original trio of characters - Clovenhoof, Nerys and Ben - for the first time since the second book.
This latest adventure sees Clovenhoof adopting a baby and learning the ropes of fatherhood. He meets the women of SCUM (Sutton Coldfield Union of Mums), hires a simian au pair called Gorky, and leads a breast-feeding protest against the dogmatic, smartphone-compatible Consecr8 Church.
Meanwhile, Michael is working for the ARC laboratory, owned by the Consecr8 Church, where its zealous benefactor Chip Malarkey has tasked him with obtaining the DNA of every animal on the planet...
Beelzebelle is funny, manic and rude, as you would expect from authors Goody and Grant. It is a joy to return to the original characters, especially Clovenhoof, AKA Satan, who was forced into retirement on Earth in the first novel. The debate about breast-feeding in public is a central theme in the novel, allowing Goody and Grant to try their hand at satire, whilst also coming up with endless comical synonyms for the word 'breast'. Norks?!
The novel also features the best villain in the franchise to date. Chip Malarkey is a self-righteous mogul/preacher with Farrage-style views on breast-feeding and what constitutes indecency. Rather than a God Complex, he has a Noah Complex, which leads to a very exciting finale.
On top of all this excitement, there is also the matter of the Beast of Boldmere, a ferocious monster wreaking havoc across Birmingham, accidentally created in the ARC laboratory from a curious mixture of DNA...
Best of all, there is much fun to be had for Birmingham readers, especially those in the Sutton Coldfield area such as myself, who will enjoy spotting references to local roads, bars and Sutton Park. There is even a map in the front of the book which reveals that Clovenhoof lives around the corner from my house. Yikes.
You can read my reviews of the full Clovenhoof franchise elsewhere on this blog. The quartet of novels are Clovenhoof, Pigeonwings, God Squad, Hellzapoppin'.