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Art of Medicine

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Local cardiologist Doug Lyle uses his medical knowledge for writing's sake.

Orange County local Doug Lyle began writing his new novel the same way he always has, by asking "what if." This time he asked, what if a man who brutally murdered someone’s child wound up dead? Could the parents have had what it takes to seek revenge?

Lyle answers these questions in his upcoming novel, Run to Ground, which releases August 7. The book is the third installment in a series that follows Dub Walker, an intelligent, tough and depressed ex-Marine with a knack for piecing things together. The story is set in Huntsville, Alabama, as the forensic science and criminal behavior expert teams up with his best friend and ex-wife to find the murderer’s killer.

In many ways, Lyle and his character share similarities, he says. Both went to medical school, lived in Huntsville and share a passion for truth, justice and the American way. But unlike Walker, who left medical school to find his abducted sister, Lyle moved to OC to practice cardiology after completing a fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.

It wasn’t until Lyle began visiting writing conferences that he realized his expertise in science was an area of fascination for others. Once people knew of his medical background, they’d start to ask him questions that related to his skill set. And he was good at explaining the answers.

“I have a knack for making things simple,” says Lyle. “Maybe it’s because I’m from Alabama.”

He began to write nonfiction books centered on forensics, including Forensics for Dummies, Howdunnit: Forensics and Forensics and Fiction. He also wrote his first fiction novels, Devil’s Playground and Double Blind, about a deputy named Samantha Cody.

Over the years, he’s authored more than 15 books. Eventually his work lead him to consult other writers who wrote for popular forensics shows, such as “House,” “CSI: MIAMI,” “The Glades,” “Monk,” and “Law and Order.” He’s also authored three tie-in novels for the TV show “Royal Pains.”

Lyle never knows where the story will start, he says. But he usually has an idea of how it’s going to end.

“I always tell beginning writers that you’re going to throw out the first five chapters,” says Lyle. “You’re actually going to start on chapter six.”

A release party for Run to Ground will take place at Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach on August 4. And fans can expect more D.P. Lyle books in the future, with another Dub Walker and Samantha Cody novel already in the works. Lyle is also in the process of developing a comedic, fiction novel based in OC.

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