A riveting 1920s Hollywood thriller about the making of the most terrifying silent film ever made, and a deadly search for the single copy rumored still to exist, from the internationally acclaimed author of The Devil Aspect.
"An excellent, engrossing historical horror novel."—New York Times Book Review
"Rich and riveting...a masterful thriller." —Lincoln Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Addictive." —A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
"Totally engaging." —Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan series
1927: Mary Rourke—a Hollywood studio fixer—is called urgently to the palatial home of Norma Carlton, one of the most recognizable stars in American silent film. Norma has been working on the secret film everyone is openly talking about... a terrifying horror picture called The Devil’s Playground that is rumored to have unleashed a curse on everyone involved in the production. Mary finds Norma’s cold, dead body, and she wonders for just a moment if these dark rumors could be true.
1967: Paul Conway, a journalist and self-professed film aficionado, is on the trail of a tantalizing rumor. He has heard that a single copy of The Devil’s Playground—a Holy Grail for film buffs—may exist. He knows his Hollywood history and he knows the film endured myriad tragedies and ended up lost to time.
The Devil's Playground is Craig Russell’s tour de force, a richly researched and constructed thriller that weaves through the Golden Age of Hollywood and reveals a blossoming industry built on secrets, invented identities, and a desperate pursuit of image. 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—could have imagined.