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The Devil's Playground

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A single, huge painting dominates: an overscaled full-length portrait, painted in luxuriant colors, of a woman standing on the steps of some ancient temple. The Devil’s Playground, set partly in a richly evoked 1920s Hollywood, plays like Chinatown meets The Ring, and it’s the most sheerly entertaining novel I’ve raced through in at least a year … fresh, forceful, elegant but wild. Michaelides takes a literary turn in his latest novel, employing an unreliable narrator, the structure of classical drama, and a self-conscious eye to dismantling the locked-room mystery.

Craig Russell is a master of his craft… The Devil’s Playground may represent his pinnacle… Russell’s storytelling is seamless… Russell’s taut dialogue and visual storytelling feel like watching a movie… A tightly plotted, propulsive story filled with multilayered characters. The dam breaks, and the maid starts to weep again, tears re-finding dried tracks like a fresh fall of desert rain.

Why, when the fixer finally figured it ALL out, did she repeatedly send film scholars out into the desert to a woman she knew was a murderer--but never told any of them was a murderer--despite the fact that none of them came back? A wonderful stand alone mystery novel by Craig Russell in which he delves into legends and mysteries from the Golden Era, the Silent Movie era of Hollywood. Mary finds Norma’s cold, dead body, and she wonders for just a moment if these dark rumors could be true.

Screen trickery that defied logic, stunts and effects so radical that they could only be done once but which helped establish the movie’s infamy. As Mary Rourke charges headlong through the egos, distractions, and traps that threaten to take her down with the doomed production, she discovers a truth far more sinister than she—or we—would imagine. Unike Hyde, the author’s previous novel which I thought was a real snoozefest, The Devil’s Playground strikes a good balance between atmosphere and action. This is an epic tale of a book and wanna thoroughly enjoyed I absolutely love historical fiction and historical True Crime so I knew I would love a book that was historical crime fiction and I certainly did! Flashback to 1927 Hollywood, where Mary Rourke works for the film studio Carbine International as a fixer, the person who cleans up the messes made by actors that could damage careers and business.The level of period detail is a delight that evokes an unforgettable era in this beautifully plotted thriller, packed with surprising twists, that I am sure will appeal to a wide variety of readers as well as fans of the author. We also are introduced to an alleged voodoo queen in the Louisiana swamp back in 1907 and even further back the author takes us to introduce many aspects of the plot, all of which add to the mystery of Norma's death, the cursed movie production, and missing young girls who flocked to Hollywood in the early days of film to become the next big star. One of those books I enjoyed so much that I immediately bought another of the author’s novels (The Devil Aspect) and am so looking forward to getting stuck in. She is medium-height, slim and narrow waisted without being meager, her bust and hips fuller than the prevailing trend prefers; her dark hair beneath the navy felt cloche hat, too, is longer than is the current fashion and falls almost to her shoulders. He obviously had his thesaurus close to hand while he was writing this, because he never used the clear and simple word when he could find the more obscure and - I assume he felt - important-sounding big or complex word instead.

She steps through the portico and doorway, into an entrance hall that is wide and white, the ceiling ribbed with Spanish arches.Conway steps out from the air-­conditioned cocoon of the car, and the heat hits him instantly: dry and sharp and relentless. Also wonderfully strange is a film professor's 1968 trip to an abandoned hotel in the middle of the Mojave where a copy of the film may be hidden.

He has won the CWA Dagger in the Library and the McIlvanney Prize (for which he has been shortlisted another twice), and has previously been shortlisted for the CWA Golden Dagger, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, and the SNCF Prix Polar in France. The Devil's Playground conjures rich and riveting elements - 1920's Hollywood, a terrifying silent film, an elusive and inscrutable killer, and an eerie sequence set in the Louisiana bayou - all of which come together to create a masterful thriller.One villain is a woman of color, described in the most despicable stereotypical language; the other is disfigured .

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