"[An] excellent, engrossing historical horror novel, one that explores the symbiosis of power and evil in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Russell, the author of the brilliant The Devil Aspect
, is a steady guide, ferrying readers between Hollywood’s promises and its terrible reality. His precise, gorgeous prose shines."—New York Times Book Review
"Superb! The Devil’s Playground
is imagination on steroids! 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. 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? Bravo!"—Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bone Collector and Hunting Time
"Craig Russell walks a razor's edge between gothic suspense and horror. 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."
—Lincoln Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A blend of murder, noir, and horror set against a fascinating time-trip through Hollywood. The Devil’s Playground
is totally engaging." —Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan series
"I’ll read anything Craig Russell writes. Indeed I’ve read everything he’s written. His are secret-ingredient thrillers: robustly mainstream novels – readers of Preston & Child, Dean Koontz, and Steve Berry, form an orderly line – charged with a special dark energy, like some elusive taste in a spiked cocktail. It’s addictive. 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. In an age when far too many same-old-same-old books are clogging the charts, The Devil’s Playground
– fresh, forceful, elegant but wild – deserves to crash the bestseller party."—A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
"Russell brilliantly braids together clues and scares for a superior standalone about the production of a legendary horror film. . . Russell’s painstakingly researched Old Hollywood sections carry the vivid grit and texture many historical mysteries lack, and he’s exceptionally good at maintaining a creepy atmosphere. This intelligent page-turner belongs on the shelf next to Riley Sager’s film-steeped thrillers."—Publisher's Weekly (starred)
"One of the most creative twist endings I have experienced in ages... The Devil's Playground
might just be the best mystery of the year."
"An engrossing thriller likely to satisfy even the most demanding hardboiled fans as well as movie buffs… a gallery of sharply-drawn characters … twists lurking around every Californian corner and a pace that never tires… wonderfully drawn and unique protagonists … a memorable piece of work that I just lapped up with relish."—Maxim Jakubowski
"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. Your only complaint may be that the book has to end. But, oh, what a perfect gothic ending it is."
—Washington Independent Review of Books
"Craig Russell's The Devil's Playground
is a lavish production of the golden age of Hollywood... Deliciously, the cool, hard-bitten tone of Mary's chapters is in lockstep with that of a classic noir."
"The mystery of the lost film is merely the tip of the iceberg. This book offers so much more and had a bit of everything I love, including a good old-fashioned murder mystery, a fascinating historical setting, just a light dab of the paranormal, and gothic vibes that are practically oozing off the page." —BiblioSanctum
"The three narratives are expertly intertwined in this richly textured and erudite Hollywood gothic... Russell brings the decadent L.A. scene alive."
“This is a tremendous work of historical noir... The mastery of silent film history was also exceptional... Expertly written and plotted, this excellent novel is a deeply satisfying amalgam of mystery and horror.”
"A masterwork. . . This is a terrific blend of historical fiction, with its depiction of classic Hollywood, and chilling supernatural elements. We go along for the ride."—Bookreporter
“Extensively researched… A large cast of characters and extensive use of red herrings make this a complex and atmospheric novel, perfect for fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia.”—Library Journal
"There’s witchcraft and Voodoo, gunplay, arson, and premature burial...nothing is what it seems to be amid the artifice of Hollywood.... Intriguing and entertaining." —Kirkus Reviews