The Devil's Playground
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The second timeline whisks us further back into the past, to the golden age of classic Hollywood cinema. It takes Mary a little time to find her feet, acquiring help from LAPD's Jake Kendrick, but what becomes transparently clear quickly is that this is a dangerous inquiry that could get her killed. This story is told in third person in multiple timelines from the swamps of 1893 Louisiana to 1927 Hollywood and an old hotel in the desert of 1967. Out there, in the backswamp, the water slid sleek and black into darkening mists; pale wraiths of Spanish moss hung shroud like from the cypresses; the shadows were denser, fuller. This breathtaking tale–set against America’s favorite backdrop, Hollywood–seamlessly blends noir, gothic, and mystery in a way that’s unique to crime fiction.
And it’s not just the Hollywood set who demand her attention and her focus, there being a secondary thread to this story, one that informs Mary’s investigation in an unexpected way. Craig Russell shows us a vibrant late-'20s Los Angeles, assured in details and confident in ambiance. Robert Huston, heartthrob star who is known worldwide for buckling his swash in a number of historical epics. There is a rumor—again, a legend, almost—that a single copy, just one print, of The Devil’s Playground survived. 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.I was a little mystified by Boy and the connection and wished for more details and interactions in this part of the story. Populated with a truly memorable cast, Playground is a guaranteed one-sitting read…and how can you resist a novel about the scariest movie of all time? She knows—as everyone in Hollywood’s inner circles knows—that Norma Carlton and Veronica Stratton are— were—bitter rivals. FROM CWA DAGGER AND DOUBLE McILVANNEY AWARD WINNER CRAIG RUSSELL COMES ANOTHER DARK, GRIPPING MASTERPIECE . Absolutely stunning' M W Craven FROM CWA DAGGER AND DOUBLE McILVANNEY AWARD WINNER CRAIG RUSSELL COMES ANOTHER DARK, GRIPPING MASTERPIECE .
Yes, this is a movie with a dark, horror themed edge, so perhaps it’s not entirely unexpected, but in a novel that, superficially at least, speaks more to Curtis Hanson’s LA Confidential or Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, than it does William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, there is something in it that has the capacity to make the skin crawl, and certainly kept me on edge. There are satanic rituals, black magic and ancient fears and beliefs in play as the filming takes place. The author apparently also has a thing for penis length, as readers are exposed to a number of references about it. She is interrupted by the sounds of the young patrolman protesting as someone makes their way in through the main door downstairs.It's a time of prohibition and speakeasys, of grandiose homes, drugs, overflowing drinks, parties, and debauchery. The atmosphere of the novel, set mostly on this wild Greek island, echoes strongly the classical tragedies of Greece. Conway steps out from the air-conditioned cocoon of the car, and the heat hits him instantly: dry and sharp and relentless.
an imaginative gothic tale guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine the next time you walk a dark Edinburgh night' David Hewson 'Gloriously diabolical.Five minutes later, the maid is in a cab heading for home, the edge of her grief blunted by the more than a year’s pay in the pocket of her apron, and a telephone number to give as a reference for her next job.
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 first television adaptation in Germany, by Tivoli Films, of a Jan Fabel novel attracted an audience of six million viewers.Mary Rourke comforts the maid some more but is interrupted when an older man in a patrolman’s uniform, double chevrons on his sleeve, descends the grand sweep of white marble stair into the hall.