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Does Satan have a malevolent Earthly presence?

Deputy Samantha Cody finally bagged her man. The jury’s verdict: Guilty of three counts of murder despite Richard Earl Garrett’s “the devil made me do it” defense. The penalty: A trip to San Quentin’s death row.

But, even with Garrett safely locked away, other murders occur, each with his “signature.”

The bizarre deaths attract a cadre of characters to Mercer’s Corner, a tiny California desert community: Nathan Klimek, star reporter for “Straight Story”, a supermarket check-out tabloid rag; Penelope, no last name, and her pseudo-Satanic followers; Awinita Stillwater, a local Cherokee Indian spiritualist; and Reverend Billy Thibideaux and his First Church of God disciples.

As fear and panic grip the community, Sam struggles to uncover the truth only to find more questions than answers. Does Satan have a malevolent Earthly presence? A face? A name? How could Richard Earl Garrett continue his rampage while locked up? How could he know details of the brutal killings and, more importantly, know what lies in the deepest recesses of her heart? Could she ever defeat a man who appears to possess such unearthly powers? Are her tough-mindedness and professional boxing skills enough to wage war against “the right hand of Satan”?

Follow Samantha Cody’s further adventures in DOUBLE BLIND.

Devil’s Playground can be purchased through Amazon and Smashwords.


“D.P. Lyle knows his stuff. Using his medical knowledge and knack for suspense, Dr. Lyle creates mesmerizing narrative and dialogue that capture your attention. The first book in the Samantha Cody novel hooks you from the start and takes you on an alarming journey into the DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND!”

“Deputy Samantha Cody is thrilled to see Richard Earl Garrett sentenced to the death penalty for brutally murdering three innocent children. Though Garrett always claimed, “the devil made me do it”, Sam is not as convinced. Soon, she begins to doubt herself as other murders occur. Garrett is behind bars, but the murder weapon disappears from the evidence room and Garrett knows the details of the crimes shortly after they occur. As a terrorized community looks for answers, Sam realizes that she may have to believe in the unimaginable for this case to be solved.”

“DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND tackles the world of Satan worship by using unforgettable characters. From the tabloid reporter to Reverend Billy Thibideaux, the characters all have their niche in the story and are used to move the plot along while adding twists you didn’t see coming.”

“I loved this introduction to Sam, and I plan on keeping up with her stories in the future! Sam’s second story, DOUBLE BLIND, is my next stop!” –Round Table Review


D. P. Lyle, MD is the Macavity Award winning and Edgar® Award nominated author of the non-fiction books, MURDER & MAYHEM, FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES, FORENSICS & FICTION, FORENSICS & FICTION 2, and HOWDUNNIT: FORENSICS as well as the Samantha Cody thrillers DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND and DOUBLE BLIND, the Dub Walker Thrillers STRESS FRACTURE and HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL, and the media tie-in novels ROYAL PAINS: FIRST, DO NO HARM and ROYAL PAINS: SICK RICH based on the hit TV series. His essay on Jules Verne’s THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND appears in THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS.

He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars.