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the-summoner

A United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony in the bushveld of Zimbabwe. Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, product of a violent childhood and a worn passport, is assigned to investigate. Aiding the investigation is Professor Viktor Radek, religious phenomenologist and expert on cults, and Nya MasA United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony in the bushveld of Zimbabwe. Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, product of a violent childhood and a worn passport, is assigned to investigate. Aiding the investigation is Professor Viktor Radek, religious phenomenologist and expert on cults, and Nya Mashumba, the local government liaison. What Grey uncovers is a terrifying cult older than Western civilization, the harsh underbelly of a country in despair, a priest seemingly able to perform impossibilities, and the identity of the newest target. Himself . . . “The Summoner is one of those books that make you want to turn on all the lights in your house and lock the doors . . . The settings are authentic and you can feel and smell the countryside . . . This is a wonderful read for those who enjoy both suspense and action stories.” — Seattle Post-Intelligencer...

Title : The Summoner
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781477805084
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 346 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Summoner Reviews

  • Bob Milne
    2019-03-24 00:41

    With The Summoner, Layton Green introduces us to Dominic Grey, a Diplomatic Security special agent with a flair for unearthing dangerous religious cults. His story begins with the disappearance of a US diplomat during a Zimbabwe religious ceremony, but quickly gets darker, stranger, and more sinister with the secrets he uncovers.Part mystery, adventure, and thriller, this is an exciting tale that grabs hold of the reader early on and refuses to let go. The physical descriptions of Zimbabwe are absolutely stunning, creating a unique setting that lends itself very well to the atmosphere of magic and mystery that Green has crafted. There are political, cultural, and religious elements to the story, all of which are so carefully blended that the glimpses of the supernatural are impossible to simply disregard. Early on, I knew the book could go either of two ways, with one leading to my DNF pile, and the other leading me here, to an enthusiastic review and recommendation.Green's story is well-paced, with a generous amount of background information that never gets in the way of moving the story forward. Dominic Grey is an interesting protagonist, a little hard to warm up personally, but strong enough to entrust with carrying the rather ambitious plot. Fortunately, his partner/colleague, Professor Viktor Radek, provides more of a human element, allowing the reader to find an emotional attachment to the tale. It's not a pretty tale, and readers who are at all squeamish may find themselves tempted to skip certain passages, but it's a temptation that must be denied in order to fully appreciate the significance of Grey's work.There were a few twists that I saw coming, and a few surprises that fell a little flat, but for the most part I was pleased with how things developed. Even when he truly surprised me, I never felt cheated or betrayed by the changes in direction. I was a bit concerned about how the story would end, especially since Grey's role in carrying the franchise erased any possibility of real danger, but the climax here really works.As a self-contained story, the book works well enough to satisfy readers looking for something a bit different, but it certainly leaves a lot of potential for the books to follow. Given that it's the second book, The Egyptian, that originally caught my eye - I really only read this one because my OCD prevents me from jumping into the middle of a series - I was thoroughly relieved to find myself wanting more at the end.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

  • Charlie
    2019-04-10 01:37

    Gems: It is impossible to turn away from the rituals of the cult and the depravity of its followers. Hidden away in the darkness is something worse than most people have ever imagined. Zimbabwe is mysterious, but grows even more so as the practices, fears and superstitions toy with Western thinking. For those who love plot-driven suspense thrillers, The Summoner will not disappoint. Good and evil are in continual struggle and it seems everyone has a motive to do both. The squeamish will squirm and the unflinching might twitch. It appears lead character Dominic Grey isn’t going away either – he’s only getting started.Flaws: As I mentioned above, this is a plot-driven story and for those readers who like this approach, they will be happy with The Summoner. However, when it comes to character development, the story slips. Character details are often described rather than revealed, which left a formulaic bitter after taste in my mouth. By doing so, I never felt attached or truly invested in the characters. Even when in danger or during horrific acts, I really did not feel overly concerned about whether they lived or died. Will I follow Dominic Grey to Prague? I’m not sure, it all depends if I get a deal on airfare.

  • Sibel Hodge
    2019-03-19 22:41

    Wow! The Summoner is a chilling thriller - full of suspense, intrigue, and action. Eloquent descriptions and vivid images give you the feeling you're actually in Zimbabwe. You can taste and smell the country clearly. The writing was engaging from the first page. I'm interested in Voodoo and the African version of Juju, which is the main premise for this novel, so I found it enthralling and couldn't put it down. If you're looking for a gripping read, you should definitely check this one out. I can't wait to read the next one!

  • Joanne Moyer
    2019-03-29 21:19

    “Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, is serving in Zimbabwe when a United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony. His investigation takes him into the dangerous world of ancient cults and beliefs. Well written and fast moving this first book in the series kept my attention and made me want to come back for more”

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    2019-03-30 21:30

    A crowd of chanting people, a leader in a red robe, a cloud of smoke, and Addison's girlfriend, Taps, who saw it all and who lost Addison in the crowd.Taps couldn't believe Addison just disappeared.....they had been to other ceremonies such as this, but this one was completely different....no one had ever vanished. The investigation into the disappearance was being led by Dominic Grey. He was being helped by Nya who he knew was smart, but who he also knew had ulterior motives for involving Grey. A religious cult was the main reason for the disappearance, but finding the leader was proving to be difficult. Nya needed to get Taps involved and needed her to tell them everything William had done and said and where he had gone in the weeks before the ceremony. Taps was fearful of giving information....she said they would come after her, but Nya said the information would help find William and hopefully it would. One piece of information she gave about a church looked promising, but that turned out to be a dead end. The investigation was beginning to become dangerous and was leading nowhere....THEN more bad news...another disappearance occurred, and it was a young girl.The second disappearance led Nya and Grey to a remote village where no one would speak of the disappearance or the missing girl for fear of the N'anga. It also lead them to a nightclub and to the owner who was quite dangerous and ruthless. Gathering evidence about the cult and their practices and why things occurred became more hazardous and gruesome each day.Nya and Grey’s lives were in constant danger as they got no closer to solving where N’anga was…they knew he was the one responsible but he couldn't be found.The book is gripping and has a wealth of information about Zimbabwe and its people, culture, and customs. There are a lot of twists and turns, horror, torture, and secrets. The vivid descriptions of the lush, beautiful landscapes of Africa adds to the book's intrigue. If you are squeamish, this book may be disturbing, and you won’t be able to imagine how cruel someone can be to another human being. Despite all of this, I am going to give the book a 5/5. Green is a masterful writer...he allows the reader to definitely feel the emotion and tension of the plot and the eeriness of the religious rituals some cults follow.

  • Martin Hill
    2019-04-14 00:34

    It's hard to classify Layton Green's novel The Summoner, the first entry in his best-selling Dominic Grey series. Part mystery, part suspense thriller, part horror, it crosses genres the way Layton's globetrotting hero crosses international borders. Whatever genre you want to put it into, however, The Summoner remains a damn fine read.The mystery: Dominic Grey, a Diplomatic Security Service agent working out of the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, is tasked with investigating the disappearance of a retired American diplomat. Joining him are the beautiful Zimbabwe government official, Nya, and Viktor Radek, a specialist in religious cults.The suspense: Someone doesn't want the fate of the missing diplomat known, and Grey, Nya, and Viktor soon find themselves targets.The horror: The missing diplomat may have been the latest victim of a Juju priest with the apparent power to call forth a deadly Juju demon.Green, a self-described globetrotter himself, does an excellent job of creating a sense of place in his description of Zimbabwe, a country in the process of self-destruction. While his development of the characters of Grey and Nya is well done, the author's portrayal of Viktor truly stands out. A mountain of a man, Viktor is something of a modern day Van Helsing from Bram Stoker's Dracula—intellectual, driven, and courageous despite being an academician.If you enjoy any of the three fiction genres mentioned above, you'll enjoy The Summoner.

  • L.A.
    2019-04-18 17:41

    Article first published as Book Review: The Summoner by Layton Green on Blogcritics.In Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, life is often difficult and fraught with danger and hunger. It is here that Dominic Grey finds himself, working in the capacity of Diplomatic Security. Often quick to speak his mind and not always the first to follow rules, he has bounced around on different job. Always a fighter, an expert in self-defense and a practitioner of jiu jitsu, he is not someone you want to mess with. After a stint with Marine Recon, he was later recruited the CIA, where he might be too much of an independent rogue who does what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Though he may not always be the most political figure, Dominic Grey has been crafted by author Layton Green to be a superb character, one who engenders trust in others and someone to be relied on to handle most situations.In The Summoner, Layton Green’s character Dominic works with Nya Mashumba, a liaison to the ambassador, and Victor Radek. Nya, a tall attractive young woman, seems quite capable, but Victor Radek is the real surprise. At almost seven feet tall, he is almost a giant. His demeanor showed that he was used to being taken seriously. What brought them together was the disappearance of William Addison, a close personal friend of the ambassador. His girlfriend reported him missing, but the disturbing and almost unbelievable part was that he disappeared at a traditional Yoruba ceremony. The young woman was quite hysterical insisting he disappeared, while in a circle in the middle of the ceremony, in full view of everyone attending. He was in the circle, a sort of fog appeared, she heard screaming, and when the fog cleared he was gone.Grey is skeptical, Nya is introspective, having a secret of her own for agreeing to the investigation, and Radek is enthralled, his background deals with religious phenomena and how perception is often the precursor to many different alleged miracles claimed by those of faith. This is right up his alley. Beginning as with any investigation, by talking to witnesses and pounding the pavement the investigations goes forward.Following up on leads guides them to some very unorthodox characters. One name continues to come up, it draws dread and expressions of concern a horror when brought up during questioning. N’anga, who is it and what does it mean. It does not take long to begin to stir up the wrong kind of trouble and Dominic receives a warning, a very dead and desecrated monkey in his lodgings. Grey is not one to take warnings lightly, and he hunkers down even further, pounding out even the smallest of clues. Can he and his companions find William Addison before anything happens to him?When another disappearance happens in the same way, they need to step up further, to find the culprit behind this crime. When bodies begin to show up and Dominic himself is attacked, all bets are off. This has now become deadly, and he will stop at nothing to find the answers. But, can they find the answers in time or will they only find more bodies? Will Nya explain her actions and bring more trust to their team? The case is bizarre, and the ceremonies seem almost magical, can this group of individuals find the truth, and stop further murder from happening?This is one of those books that make you want to turn on all the lights in your house and lock the doors. You begin to look over your shoulder often to make sure someone is not there. It is chilling, yet strange, with just enough of realism to keep it spooky. The settings are authentic and you can feel and smell the countryside. Green does an excellent job at creating the vision. His characters are quite bold as well. Each has their own reason for being involved and together they make a fierce team. Trust is not automatic but grows throughout the story as each action unfolds. The flaws that make his characters human also make them real, and you get to know them well. Dominic Grey will be a character to look forward to in further stories.I would recommend this book for reading groups and book clubs; it is well researched and full of intriguing information. This is a wonderful read for those who enjoy both suspense and action stories. It is full of both as well as a light bit of romance. It is quite intriguing and has a very satisfying ending. This book was received as a free copy from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.

  • Giovanni Gelati
    2019-03-30 19:41

    I read this on my new Kindle; it is the first full length novel I have read on it. I have posted previously that A.J. Pompano’s digital short story was my first use of the device. Overall, the Kindle is an amazing device and tool. I love it! Oh, yeah the novel by Layton Green: this was as much fun and just as amazing as turning the pages with the new machine. I don’t know which I enjoyed more. The originality of the novel, the narrative, the setting, the characters are just mind blowing, this novel rocked in more ways than one. Check it out:“A United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony in the bushveld of Zimbabwe.Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, product of a violent childhood and a worn passport, is assigned to investigate. Aiding the investigation is Professor Viktor Radek, religious phenomenologist and expert on cults, and Nya Mashumba, the local government liaison.What Grey uncovers is a terrifying cult older than Western civilization, the harsh underbelly of a country in despair, a priest seemingly able to perform impossibilities, and the identity of the newest target.Himself.The first work in a globe-hopping series whose protagonists investigate the world's most bizarre and dangerous cults, The Summoner is a stylish, haunting novel of mystery and suspense that will linger long after the last page is turned. 95,000 words.”The descriptions of the settings in Africa are just intense. Layton Green leaves nothing to our imagination, putting us right there in the midst of it all. I felt like I could smell the grass and see the different plants he described so well. The description of the novel doesn’t do it enough justice. There are so many different elements to this novel that trying to focus one just one or two elements of it is difficult.The characters of Dominic, Viktor, and Nya are just a trifecta of personalities that I hope has a long and prosperous run. Green can go in so many different directions with these three that I don’t see them getting to be tired reading in a long time. I feel I was taken to school on the JuJu cult plot and won’t forget the different rituals that were performed anytime soon. Personally he gained a fan and reader in me; I can’t wait for the next installment to come out. What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Shelfari & Linkedin. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, Wattpad. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Amazon Banner on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com

  • William Bentrim
    2019-04-12 18:18

    The Summoner by Layton GreenA country in corrupt decay sets the scene for a morally reprehensible Yoruba priest’s deprivations. This blackest of villains is on a quest for spiritual and political power. Dominic Grey, a security agent of questionable pedigree, is his only stumbling block. Dominic Grey is certainly not the white knight but a more believable, emotionally conflicted hero. He appears to be a man with a moral compass that is undeterred by legal and illegal restraints. While he is not exactly likeable he is admirable. Viktor is a mysterious, international, professorial enigma. His character was shrouded in mystery. Nya was well painted as a woman on a quest for revenge. The book illustrated a wealth of mistrust between allies and opponents. The background of Zimbabwe was thoroughly depressing. A smidgen of research leads me to believe the author portrayed the country accurately. I happen to discuss the book with friends who had visited Rhodesia and then later visited when it was Zimbabwe and they confirmed the negative changes. Another acquaintance who was a policeman in Rhodesia also lamented over the condition of the people and the rampant corruption. This is not a book for the light of heart, it is frightening and gruesome. It also points out the power of psychosomatic reactions to belief systems. It is not a fun read but it is engrossing. BTW I read this book on my Droid X using the FBReader from Geometer Plus free application. I highly recommend the book.

  • 1000 +
    2019-04-15 01:28

    Yes, I did put TWO Five Stars up there. Let me explain why before I delve into the actual book. I've given out Five Stars before on many different books. Five Stars, to me, means I thought it was a great book and I loved reading it. But giving Mr. Green's The Summoner Five stars and Five stars alone downplays how I felt about this book. Dominic Grey is working for the U.S. Embassy and finds himself deep in the heart of an investigation involving the occult. Grey battles his own faith as he delves deeper into the occult to rescue the Ambassadors friend and must rely on his faith to save his and everyone else's lives.I will say this: BUY THIS BOOK. You will not be disappointed. This is perhaps the first book that I've received through Review that I was shocked hadn't made it onto the NY Times Best Seller list. This book is a shining star example of what Indie authors should strive to be. I'm extremely happy to note that it appears this is the first in a series featuring Dominic Grey. I will eagerly be awaiting another book! MelissaReviewer for 1000 + Books to Read

  • R. Scott
    2019-03-30 19:37

    Excellent book. Scary as hell but well written. Layton Green really did his homework on this as far as locations, the Yoruba religion, etc. His portrayal of Dr. Fangwa and "Click clack" was disturbing and intense. I'm really looking forward to reading "The Egyptian."

  • TC
    2019-04-16 01:24

    I read about this book on another book blog a while back, and it has been sitting on my kindle neglected until yesterday. Fresh from a supernatural book about fairies I thought it seemed like a short-ish hop to bizarre and dangerous cults that embrace spirits and rituals.When a US Diplomat disappears during a religious ceremony in the Zimbabwean bush there are hundreds of witnesses but no one willing to help the investigation. Dominic Grey works as a diplomatic security expert and is asked to investigate with the assistance of phenomenologist and cult expert Professor Viktor Radek. Being in Zimbabwe they are only to investigate under the supervision of a Government liaison, Nya Mashumba. As Grey and Nya , guided by Viktor's expertise, find increasingly disturbing evidence of a cult at work they also become targets.In the past I have read odd articles and pieces about voodoo and juju, as well as other minor religions and cults but nothing as in depth as this. The details of the rituals were graphic in places, not recommended if you get a bit queasy about gore, but I also found the academic perspective of how cults work, provided by Radek interesting.Grey is a complicated character with a difficult past, but I found him likeable and not lacking in depth. Nya is a little more mysterious and provided a good foil for him. The book is predominantly written from his viewpoint but also from that of other characters in places, allowing a greater insight into each of them.The story does cover some of the issues faced in modern Zimbabwe, and provides some interesting description of a country I only know a little about from the news, but it doesn't labour details of the political situation. I felt I got a better feel for the place than I had before, without lots of unnecessary information that didn't really progress the plot, it struck a good balance.I found the book well paced and interesting, but my minor complaint would be some of the language used by the author. In places it was quite archaic and obscure, and I found myself using the dictionary far more than usual. Where the words related to specialised areas of study I didn't have a problem but elsewhere there seemed to be a lot of words used for effect rather than for the benefit of the reader.Overall though this was a really good read and I'll be interested to see where future installments take Grey.

  • Murphy's Library
    2019-04-02 18:27

    from Murphy's Library — http://www.murphyslibrary.com/ — rated 4 and a half thereDominic Grey is an investigator that has been given a difficult task: discover what is behind the mysterious disappearance of an American diplomat. Investigating for the Consulate of Zimbabwe he never thought he would find such a result in this mystery.The Summoner is one of the most well described self-published works I’ve read. The story is extremely fragile to tell, because it has to make the occult understandable for the reader, but the author got to the point where everything he writes in the plot was so well based by the tales and facts that you believe it.The characters are rich and you can see that the mythology of the cults and locations was really researched. This isn’t a book where the things are throw to the reader… In The Summoner everything is explained, and that why you get so convinced.I need to tell that this book surprised me in its plot and its narrative. Both of them are really good, and I truly recommend this story.The cover is a turn off, but you can get past it faster than you think! The book hook you up soon, you don’t have any ice to get past when you start reading.I really know after The Summoner that Layton Green has a brilliant future writing and should truly get his books in the big lists! Congratulations, Layton.

  • Thomas Walsh
    2019-04-16 21:39

    "Summoners were officials in ecclesiastical courts who delivered a summons to people who had been brought up on various charges; the office was prone to corruption, since summoners were wont to threaten to bring people up on charges unless they were bought off." - wiki and "The Canterbury Tales." The Ambassador of Zimbabwe has disappeared. Lawton is very clever here. He introduces three key players, Grey security agent for the missing Ambassador, Viktor, a religious expert and Nya, a local agent. Now the most clever part is that the Ambassador has, literally, disappeared. He was surrounded by an ancient tribe and then, poof, he was gone! But, as it is revealed, more people have disappeared because of these ancient, isolated tribe rituals. Spooky, mysterious and well written, I recommend this novel to those who are inclined anthropologically. More to come....

  • MsBDiamondDiva1
    2019-04-02 23:33

    This book was good but in an offsetting kind of way. There was a lot of issues with the story line but eventually I connected all the strings. The main character to me is still a little odd acting and doesn't do what a normal person would do. I will continue to read this series to figure out if I like Dominic or not.

  • Beth Haren
    2019-04-01 17:36

    Love a good suspense book! I recommend that this one be read during the waking hours as opposed to a good bedtime story. Definitely sparked all the childhood fears of the bogeyman. I must now read more of the series to see if Viktor's character is expanded with more depth.

  • Bridget
    2019-03-23 00:33

    I was blown away when I read THE SUMMONER. It captured my attention and it felt like I was watching a movie. I was able to see everything that happened because of the vivid descriptions and it made for a really great reading experience. Pick up this book, you won't be disappointed!

  • April Rohrer
    2019-03-31 01:27

    I really liked this book. A new (to me) author, and a unique plot line. I like Dominic Grey, and the story about religion and cults in Zimbabwe was really interesting. Looking forward to reading the others in the series.

  • Keryl Raist
    2019-04-10 22:35

    So, what do stories and chocolate have in common? They both come in different levels of darkness. Some days you want light creamy white chocolate, sweet with just the scent of chocolate. Some days you want black, bitter, barely sweet with hints of the land it grew in 80% cocoa chocolate. The Summoner is a dark story. This is not a light, cute, or fun little read, but when you're in the mood for a dark story, it satisfies like Dagoba Eclipse (87% cocoa) chocolate. For a little self revelation here, Paranormal Thriller is not my first choice genre. Not that I don't like it, but I don't seek it out either. But if it's yours, The Summoner is an excellent example and well worth the reading.This is the first book in a series, and as such the story arc gets the characters together and gives them a reason to stay together. In a weaker writer's hand this becomes the main focus of the story, and the plot suffers for it. This is not true of the Summoner, the plot, although neatly accomplishing this goal, is not overpowered by it. Also, unlike other several other ensemble stories, where it seems like the only reason the group could possibly stay together or function is the author wants it that way, these characters actually work together well. And who are these characters? Dominic is the leading man. He's working diplomatic security for the American Embassy in Harare Zimbabwe, and watching his career fizzle like the last ember of a campfire with a wet towel tossed on it. As he puts it, his moral compass and the moral compass of his bosses do not agree on what direction north is. He values everyone's life. They'd prefer he did his job, making sure the (American) people around him are safe, ignoring whatever chaos and danger might be around unless it threatens them. Then a friend of the American Ambassador, a man called William Addison, goes missing. He and his girlfriend visit a religious ceremony in the bush. William walks into the center of the ceremony and vanishes. Because he's a friend of the Ambassador there will be an attempt to find him. Dominic gets called in to investigate (Why him specifically is a little fuzzy. We're left with the impression that he was available. He wasn't a cop or missing persons investigator in his pre-security life, and most of his current investigations are in visa fraud.) But this is Zimbabwe, so it's not like he can just go off and John Wayne it. The Zimbabwean government wants him to have someone from the Government with him at all times. Enter Nya. We don't ever find out what specifically she does for the government, but we do know that investigating missing Americans isn't part of her usual tasks. She's reserved, mistrustful of the Americans, and has a vaguely sinister air about her. After all, she works for the Zimbabwean government, not an entity known for its justice, competence, or its dedication to providing the best possible outcomes for anyone who isn't the government. She's wary of Dominic, unsure if he's a colonial lay about, out to abuse the locals, or an ineffectual do-gooder. He's wary of her, seeing a woman willing to work for Mugabe's thugs. Between them: the professor. Victor is a religious phenomenologist. He studies how people understand the things that happen in relation to religious experience. He's the guy who wants to know how people react to a bleeding statue of the Virgin Mary, not the guy who tries to figure out why it's bleeding. He's also my favorite of the characters. The fact that I've got a degree in religious studies and did some course work on phenomenology may have something to do with this. The fact that we're not given much background on him, and he's left a mysterious and complexly dark character is also part of the attraction.And so the story begins, these three are going to find William and learn to trust each other. Of course, it's not a simple disappearance. Like the X-files at it's best, this is dark, creepy, and by the end you don't know if magic actually happened or not. Both Scully and Mulder could have walked away from this case satisfied that their own personal truths had been vindicated. The setting is Harare, Zimbabwe, and the surrounding suburbs and bush. Before reading this story what I knew about Zimbabwe could be summed up like this: it was doing its best to make North Korea look competently governed. After finishing The Summoner, I want to get more books on Zimbabwe and it's religions to learn more about it. Reading The Summoner I feel like I was there, that for a little while at least, I got to spend some time in a beautiful country ruined by ugly men. The setting also works as a metaphor for the religious ceremony at the heart of this case. The dark Juju ritual is exotic and terrifying. It, like Zimbabwe, is far outside the experience of most westerners, and tinged with a vague sense of discomforting awfulness. I liked the romance, but it's a men's romance. There's basically only one spot in the story where a bit of lovin' fits in, and it's right there. I don't know if it's common enough to be a cliché, but I've certainly seen it in a lot of stories written by men. The hero gets beaten to a pulp. The heroine patches him up. They've got a few hours until it's time to move onto whatever the next step it. Sex ensues. The romance makes sense and is in character for the characters, but as soon as you see Nya going for the first aid equipment, you know what's coming. What I did find especially refreshing (though this might be a side effect of being written by a man) is that Dominic and Nya certainly like each other, and are tentatively moving toward something solid and permanent, but they don't start spouting declarations of undying love. Characters that fall in love in three days turn me off. Characters that value each other and are willing to fight for each other in that short of a time make me very happy. I have one fine quibble with The Summoner, on several occasions the plot is forward by the characters doing stupid things. They have a tendency to wander off and investigate on their own, without telling the others what they're up to. Now, I get these aren't bosom buddies who have long ties to each other, but still, people are getting killed, the bad guys are really bad, with torture and fates literally worse than death on the menu, and still, keeping each other in the loop is haphazard at best. In storytelling there is the meta story, the story as built by the author. Characters acting stupid to keep the plot going is the kind of thing where the meta story starts to show to the reader. If the characters do a good job of checking in with each other, then the death-defying, last-minute, out-of-the-blue rescue can't happen. If everyone keeps everyone in the loop, the mystery of what happened to Nya doesn't work, and the reveal of the bad guy happens a bit sooner than Green wants it to. Another example of the meta showing is Dominic is a jujitsu master. He's a match for any two guys, and often more than that. He was a Marine. He's got deadly force down. But, when going to the rescue, when he has the advantage of both range and surprise, instead of pulling out a gun and blowing the bad guy away, he closes in for fist fight. (The careful reader will mention here, but he didn't have a gun to pull out. He'd lost his gun by that point. To which I'd reply, why didn't he get a new one or find his old one earlier? He had time and opportunity to do both between losing his gun and getting into the position where he could have shot. He doesn't have a gun because the author wants it that way.) Victor, also in perfect sniper position, opts for creeping in unarmed, and taking his chances instead of shooting the N'ganga (The Summoner, the alpha bad guy) from afar. Now, a few clean bullets don't make for good storytelling. They don't ratchet up the drama. They don't allow for more last minute saves and tension filled fights where Green gets to show us how good he is at writing combat (and he is good at it.) They do however, make a whole lot of sense if you believe the set up, that Nya is being horribly tortured, her skin ripped off a few inches at a time, and that every minute they delay is another minute in excruciating pain for her. If you believe in that set up, and supposedly those characters do, they should be doing everything they can to move as fast as possible to get her out of there.This is not a perky little read. There is no happily ever after here, especially not for William. The mystery of what happened to him is solved, but everyone is left with scars, physical and or mental, from this case. I found the ending is all the more satisfying for it's reality. Dark, gritty, stories where horrible things happen and then the main characters skip off into the sunset are like walking in too small shoes to me: irritating and painful. While I'm sure Dominic and Victor will be back, I'm less certain about Nya. She may be too broken to have much of a role in the coming stories. Or not. We're left with some hope, but no certainty with her. The one thing I do know with certainty, when Dominic Gray II comes out, I'll be there to read it.

  • Shaunda
    2019-03-31 18:36

    I love when I stumble upon an author & his writing style is sooo refreshing. Layton Green is that author.As you know, I love love love reading. This book: The Summoner was AWESOME. Do you hear me, this book was A-W-E-S-O-M-E.I always wondered about this religion. I know it exists, but I respect it enough to stay clear of it.The story & character's are very believable. I especially like Professor Victor Radek. He was very enlighting, in regards to Juju. I was not aware it had other names depending on its orgin. Juju, Devou, Voodoo. See I did actually learn something. Looking forward to reading the next installment: The Egyptian I'm excited & you already know your gurl will be back with her review on this one too!So until next time, Ciao!ps. I dare you to read it.

  • Blood Rose Books
    2019-03-21 19:32

    In his debut indie novel, Layton Green takes the reader to Zimbabwe where the government is corrupt and a new old religion has reemerged on scene with dramatic results and even the corrupt government is wondering how much power this religion will hold..Dominic Grey, has traveled the world but has never found a place that he truly feels is home, as his childhood was not one he would wish on anyone. He is currently station in Harare Zimbabwe with the American embassy to provide investigative support and security detail for any of the embassy members. His is summoned to an investigation when an United States diplomatic goes missing while attending a African religious ceremony. However, Grey is forbidden to do any investigation outside of the Embassy alone, therefore his is assigned two partners. Nya who is the local government liaison who Grey is not entirely sure he can trust as she seems to be hiding something from him and she does work for a very corrupt government and Victor a cult expert, whom Grey just finds odd, imposing individual but odd. Grey has never been one to play by the rules, so forbidden or not, he search takes him to places through out Zimbabwe, with and without Nya, to discover what happened to the disappearing Untied states diplomatic and what Grey finds is nothing short of disturbing, shocking and impossible.Green does a good job of describing the different African religions from this area, though I did find myself still a little bit confused around this topic as a whole (but as long as you understand the very basics about what Green wrote you will be fin reading this book). The part when the different religions is also when the books slows down a bit as you and the characters get a quick education and understanding of the different religions. This is some what needed within the book, however, it is slow nonetheless. This is also the readers first introduction to Victor who is a professor of religious studies more specifically a religious phenomenologist with an expertise on cults. Victor is an imposing individual, but you do not really get a sense of his true "power" until later in the book. I enjoyed how Green capitalized on Victor's dark past, to makes him more than just fascinated with the Juju religion.As I have never been to Africa therefore, I have not been to Zimbabwe, I cannot say how accurate the description of the landscapes, street and people that Green has used. However, I could picture myself there when I was reading the book, and everything that Green introduces about Zimbabwe seemed realistic to me and not improbable. With an intelligent and sometimes witty writing style, that moves smoothly through out the book, Green is definitely able to capture a reader and with a plot that keeps the reader guessing, and full of suspense I don't think that readers today can ask for more.Grey is a strong character, who have a black past and is always just searching for a place that he can call home. He does not like authority and wants to do anything he can to get the job done, and he is not above saying F*** You to the management if he believes he is doing what is right, especially if it is saving the helpless. I also liked that he had trained in a different form of marshal arts while living in Japan when her was younger. Green does a good job of showing how Grey's past has made him into the Man that he is now. Green explores the psychological affects that religions can have/use on their followers, in this case the use of fear. At times reminded me of the witch hunt where individuals were willing to watch innocent individuals being murdered right before them and praising "God" the whole time. I think that Green explores this unique experience extremely well and it was a new subject for me to read about, which is why I enjoyed it that much more. Green also explores the psychological idea of the Mob mentality, where a Mob acts as one and an individuality is lost. This is where what an individual would see as bad in a normal occurrence, does not have the same thoughts while part of a Mob, they have lost their identity, the Mob is now their identity.Green keeps you guessing as to who the N'anga is and who works for him. The N'anga is a very sinister individual,who Green did a great job of keeping the N'anga mysterious and only revealing information about him that the characters in the book are able to find out. This book is all about Suspense and keeping the reader and the characters on their toes. As Zimbabwe is a very corrupt political scene within the novel, Grey and Nya are unsure who they can, even each other comes in to question especially Nya as she works for for people who are not to be trusted. Zimbabwe has been corrupted by money and power, therefore, individuals will do anything to achieve them.Okay the cover may not be that great (okay it really needs to be improved), but the book speaks for itself once you read it. I look forward to Greens next novel and the exploration of different religions from around the world, and how they have been corrupted into something that may or may not have been intended. Anyone looking for a Psychological Mystery Thriller and a New (and I think upcoming) author then this book is for you.Enjoy!!!Note: There are some gruesome aspects within this novel. If you are unable to read about animal sacrifice, torture or a child abuse, (though it is a slight amount of this last topic) then this book is not for you. The events are not overly descriptive in each of these aspects, but I still think that some individuals may have a problem with them.

  • Tracey S Choat
    2019-04-13 17:35

    Four and a half starsA thrilling experience! This is the first book I've read that the plot is located in Zimbabwe and I enjoyed the descriptions of the area and learning about the traditions and religion of the people. This book is rather violent and there is blood and gore, but it's not over described. I did suspect who the killer was but still was shocked when he was revealed. The main character is well defined. I will read the next book in this series.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-20 19:39

    This book is an intense page turner that has some pretty hard to read animal sacrifice but overall a fantastic book that I could not put down Full review will be posted on The Cubicle Escapee.

  • Yvonne (Fiction Books)
    2019-04-03 17:40

    It really is difficult to believe that this is Layton Green's first foray into the world of thriller writing. In Layton, we have an amazing new talent, together with a strong and instantly established new character, in Dominic Grey.I should say straight away, that this is not a book for the faint-hearted, or those of you with a weak stomach.I suspect there has been great thought about Dominic and his path for future adventures, before Layton has taken pen to paper, with the result being a character that has great depth and strength of character, right from the opening page.We get to know about Dominic's own troubled past almost immediately, which straightaway forms a bond between him and the reader. From his violent and abusive childhood; his struggle to strengthen himself in mind and body, so that `The Sins Of The Father Shall Not Be Visited Upon The Son'; and his continuous, ongoing battle to maintain that equilibrium and balance in his life. His ethos and beliefs are that he can control his demons and use their power to help people, he operates only on facts and keeps a clear set of morals.All these emotions and reactions are layed bare by Layton, so that the reader can almost get inside Dominic's mind, as he plots his next move.Layton seems to have built a central core of two other characters, during the course of this story, who I think Dominic will ultimately take with him, on his future adventures:Nya is the perfect foil for Dominic's fragile volatility. Calm and dispassionate in her work, whilst all too aware of the plight of many of her fellow Zimbabweans. She is trying desperately to hold on to her strong Christian faith, instilled in her by her father, but is constantly being tested as to it's validity and worth.Victor is still, even at the end of the book, quite a strong, complex character who hasn't yet been fully exposed as a recognisable force in his own right, although as Dominic's new employer, his personality should begin to unfold with time.Layton has managed to strike a good balance between being informative about a country, with it's obvious inherent political and social problems, without bombarding the reader with a `Party Political Broadcast' about the situation.Through his fantastic use of the English Language, he eloquently portrays vivid images of the beauty of this troubled country; its sights, sounds and smells coming alive in their descriptions. You can almost `feel the landscape'.The macabre, graphic and often troubling plot, evoked some very disturbing thoughts and managed to convey the palpable and obvious fear, suspicion, hatred and superstition, which is all too evident in modern Zimbabwean society.The way that a people, in such obvious turmoil and looking for something tangible to cling on to, can be whipped up into a frenzy of `religious' fervour, is expertly crafted into the plot by Layton, making the book a true experience of human vulnerability.The plot had many twists and turns along the way and several times I felt that I had cracked the secret of N'anga, only to be thwarted as the next chapter unfolded. In the end, the secret identity was a complete surprise and was a well thought out storyline, that few would have guessed at.Some reviews have pronounced this book to be too `wordy' and have slated Layton for using words whose meanings have to be looked up. Whilst the latter comment may have been the case for me a couple of times, it only made me think about the writing more and concentrate on the content more intently. It is good to see the English Language being used to its full potential, without the slang and text speak, which has invaded our communication chain recently!! It was great to have actually needed to READ a book.Layton Green is definitely a new force to be reckoned with in the genre of thriller writing, an author of the highest calibre.

  • Suz
    2019-03-25 17:21

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.At its core, this novel is a whodunit; a story about the investigation into the disappearance of an important American diplomat. Wrapped around this core is an amalgam of ancient religion, the supernatural, and commentary on the current state of Zimbabwe. From the very first page, the author deftly captures the breakdown of the economy, the urban decay of the city of Harare, and the hopelessness of a people. The author had certainly done his research, and actually lived in the city while writing. His knowledge and experiences allowed him to create a stirring portrayal of the country. When working on a novel like this, a writer has to be concerned about cultural appropriation, which is generally viewed as a negative by most members of the literary community. This is especially a concern when dealing with native religions that the west tends to view as primitive or barbaric (or finds "cool". I'm looking at you, Kabbalah). In this case, the author uses Yoruba (Juju) as the central focus of the diplomat's disappearance. Is this cultural appropriation? Maybe. I'm hardly qualified to judge. I can, however, mention that during his time living in Harare, the author did interview many practitioners of the religion. Additionally, he completely avoided traditional ceremonies and strictly concentrated on a extremist sect worshiping a dark god. This relieved any possible offense to the religion itself (blame it on the extremists!). Bottom line: anyone with religious sensitivities, proceed with caution. Everyone else, you are good to go. This book suffers from what I would call the "First of the Series Pitfalls," which mainly consists of the need for excessive character building, often at the expense of action. The first book in a series needs a reader to become invested in the characters as motivation to continue with the subsequent book. This can cause the book to have a slower pace in the beginning, when the reader is learning the personality traits and backstories of the individual characters. Personally, I appreciate character development. I want the characters to come alive; not be cardboard cutouts of a generic stereotype. However, in The Summoner, the character development sometimes felt a bit forced. For example, the main character, Grey, saw a man treating a boy harshly in the street, leading him to think about his past with his abusive father. This scene felt like a very contrived way to introduce Grey's backstory, as the man or the son had no relevance on the story and never appeared again. These sorts of incidents were peppered into the first third of the book. Outside of the somewhat forced character development, the story is a huge success. The book takes the reader on a turbulent journey, constantly throwing curve balls to keep up the intrigue. Guessing the identity of the villain was great fun, and despite having figured it out halfway through, I still wasn't entirely positive my guess was correct until the reveal (which was a fantastic "Ahha! I was right!" moment for me). Some people who figure it out early may be disappointed, but knowing ahead of time does not detract from the novel in any way. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in either the supernatural or thrillers.

  • Shy
    2019-04-13 19:19

    Originally posted on The Bibliophile's JournalIt’s the year of 2009 in Harare, Zimbabwe. A Diplomatic Security Special Agent, Dominic Grey, is assigned to investigate a mysterious disappearance of an ex-US diplomat, William Addison, under the supervision of local authority, a government liason named Nya Mashumba. Earlier investigation showed that Addison went missing whilst attending a religious ceremony held in a Zimbabwean bush. With the help of an expert on cults, Victor Radek, they later find out that this ceremony was held by a movement derived from a traditional Yoruba religion, JuJu. This new version of JuJu has a darker side that involves evocation of evil spirits and ritual sacrifices that includes human sacrifice. As they get deeper into this investigation, they uncover more disturbing evidences that they believe to be related to this eerie movement. In this race against time, will they manage to locate Addison alive? And can they unmask the man behind this disappearance before they, too, become the victims?The Summoner is a plot-driven, well paced novel that is full with intrigues that will keep readers questioning and guessing till the very last page. While reading this novel, it is very obvious to me that Layton Green has done an extensive research in the subject of Yoruba religion, its derivatives and also the life in Zimbabwe itself. He filled his novel with articulate, summarised version of this vast information in such concise yet detail way, which makes it easier for someone with little to zero knowledge about these subjects to truly understand the important part of this novel, imagine the situation that shrouded the country and how depressing it really is. Besides that, Green also managed to maintain the suspence elements throughout The Summoner by carefully organised the mystery, spice it up with multiple interesting twists that readers could hardly expect. All these make this book such an engrossing read.Like many other plot-driven book, The Summoner also comes a little flat when it comes to character development. It is true that there are some descriptions about the characters, for example Dominic and Nya’s backgrounds, but they are often spelled out rather than revealed. This makes me feels detached from the characters to the point that I do not really feel much when something happen to them. There is not much that has been revealed about the third important character in The Summoner, Victor, so I really hope that readers will find out more about this interesting, intelligent man in the next instalment. Other than that, there is also a brief romantic relationship that occurs unexpectedly in this book that I find too rush and little bit unbelievable. I understand the author’s intention in not turning this book into love story but I think it would be nice if there are some explanations on their relationship.In the nutshell, The Summoner is a gripping, gruesome and disturbing story that is packed with action and information. For those who are squirmish, there are some parts of this book that will surely make you squirm (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!). The pace, the unexpected twists and shocking revelations surely make this book one engrossing read.

  • Emily
    2019-03-24 20:38

    I haven't read a true mystery or thriller in awhile, and reading The Summoner was definitely an interesting experience. Not for the squeamish, this story takes politics, religion, anthropology, culture, human rights, and philosophy and shakes them up into a cocktail that's different from other stories out there.Our unlikely team of protagonists are thrown together purely out of necessity. Dominic Grey, a member of Diplomatic Security, and Nya Mashumba, an agent for the government of Zimbabwe. They've been asked to look into the disappearance of a minor diplomat. The disappearance would have been pretty much ignored except for the fact that this diplomat is well-connected and also disappeared during a religious ceremony conducted by a sect that the Zimbabwean government finds problematic, to say the least.Hopes that the diplomat will show up at a secret girlfriend's house or befuddled after a few days' overindulgence are quickly dashed when Grey and Nya realize that the answers they seek are intertwined with the practices of JuJu, an African religion as complex as it is mysterious to Grey and Nya. They're joined in their investigation by Professor Viktor Redek, a religious phenomenologist, who provides most of the background information on JuJu and what its beliefs and practices look like.This isn't an action adventure type of thriller- there are no car chases or anything like that. The tone of the story is much more cerebral and the details are revealed slowly and percolate for awhile before the next layer of the story is unwrapped. This isn't to say that the story isn't engaging- far from it, in fact. This is just a story that isn't afraid to take time for the telling, and the reader needs to pay attention.The setting of Harare, Zimbabwe is almost a character in and of itself throughout the story. We as the audience are exposed to the corruption and poverty that permeate every level of society and we see it from the perspective not only of Grey, an outsider, but of Nya, for whom this is her native land. We see the destruction that greedy and indifferent people can wreak on a nation, and that large scale havoc is played against the small scale havoc of trying to solve the disappearance of one man. The note from the author says that this story shouldn't be interpreted as an historical account, but it definitely should make one want to find out the real story, such as it is.As the story deepens and progresses, we learn that just about everybody here is keeping secrets, whether they be about the case or about other things, including both our intrepid investigators. I have to say, though, that the secrets Professor Viktor's keeping are probably the most intriguing ones, in a serious Agent Pendergast kind of way.The resolution of the mystery was a surprise to me but tied up elements that had been introduced throughout the story thoroughly. The door is wide open for future adventures of Dominic Grey, and that's definitely a good thing. The unusual locale, the incredible detail and evident research that went into the story, and the story that isn't afraid to push the boundaries between the mysterious and the supernatural put future installments in this series on my to-read list for sure.

  • Gef
    2019-03-30 17:31

    The Summoner is one of those sweeping thriller novels with a tightly wound mystery and plenty of suspense. I guess you could lump it in with a Dan Brown novel, a la The Da Vinci Code, but the one Dan Brown novel I read was interminable, and I've frankly been soured on this type of story ever since my first taste. Layton Green's offering, however, has kind of won me over to a degree, and offers a glimpse of what I could expect if I continue to give this kind of thriller novel a chance.The story revolves around Dominic Grey, a security agent who specializes with diplomats and other government entities. He is in Zimbabwe to investigate the disappearance, as a U.S. diplomat vanished during a secret religious ceremony in the outback outside the city of Harare. Aided by cult expert, Viktor Radek, and a gorgeous government liaison, Nya Mashumba, Grey has navigate the tumultuous political and cultural climate of Zimbabwe, as well as avoid becoming a target by a dangerous religious sect himself.Aside from a backdrop that is fairly new to me--can't remember reading any stories set in Zimbabwe--The Summoner plays the supernatural angle very well, teasing there is more to the superstitions and practices of the cult Grey investigates. In fact, there is a miniature history lesson in religions and cults laid out in this books pages that thankfully doesn't come off as dry and dull. There's nothing worse than getting smacked over the head by a lot of info dumping, when it comes to subject matter than is likely alien to the casual reader, but Layton Green manages to find the balance and through Dominic Grey's eyes we gradually learn about things and the threats they pose.The pacing is pretty good, building tension and plenty of proverbial road blocks thrown in Grey's way, though I found some of the dialogue a bit flat at times. Overall though, the characters come through nicely, and I particularly found Professor Radek to be the one I gravitated towards the most--probably because he was the expert on religious phenomena and offers those juxtapositions between the known and the unknown.The climax is a very good pay off, in my opinion, and while it doesn't traipse into gory territory, there is one scene late in the novel where a person in essentially skinned alive that was absolutely gruesome. And, it looks like Green has his eyes on turning Dominic Grey into a recurring character in novels, as there is apparently a sequel in the works. Don't get worried about cliffhangers or unresolved endings though, as the book works perfectly as a stand-alone novel.Thriller fans should be in for a treat with this one, and I'd say anyone looking for a suspenseful mystery with a relatively unique setting could find some real entertainment in this book's pages as well. Heck, even supernatural horror fans like me might want to take a chance on it, just to try something that is not their usual brand of reading. I'm unsure if I'll dedicate myself to the sequel and possible series of Dominic Grey novels, since I'm hip deep in so many series already, but I certainly won't count it out as a possibility.

  • Anachronist
    2019-04-17 18:44

    What I liked:One of the huge assets of this book was the fact that Zimbabwe felt very real, with its problems, poverty, crime, inflation, fauna and flora, culture etc. Somehow you can always tell whether or not the author has personally visited and explored the country he/she is writing about, even if you haven’t been to the country in question yourself. Here the answer to that question was definitely a yes. I might not have a chance to visit Zimbabwe so I was even more eager to dwell on every tidbit about the local culture and atmosphere. It was an interesting journey and it made this book more original than the usual fare.The premise was interesting as well – few authors bother with religion-based crime and cults because, let’s face it, religion is a sensitive topic. Even if you don’t mean any harm some people will be outraged/offended anyway. Mr. Green put an appropriate disclaimer at the end of the story just in case – a proof that he knows how delicate a topic can it be. Still he managed to balance things nicely, at least in my very humble opinion, bringing up interesting issues of the power of faith and boundaries of our mind. Well done!The research on Yoruba religions and Juju was impressive, detail-rich and absolutely persuading, exceeding the usual standards of such novels. I enjoyed it as African folklore is not exactly a well-known topic, definitely not as popular as European mythologies.The pace of the narration was as fast as I like, with several twists and turns; the mystery – not so easy to solve. I swallowed this one in two evenings and I liked the way it was written.What I didn’t like:If only the psychological portraits of main characters were more profound I would be very pleased indeed. Unfortunately they weren’t, despite the offered background. The book is clearly plot-driven, not character-driven and it’s a pity. Let’s say just this: most of the characters had potential which was left unexplored.Dominic was a bit too stiff to be totally likeable, not to mention his paramour, Miss Mashumba, who seemed to be a classic case of an introverted little clam. I know, I know, she has been mourning her late father; still her pain was not so terribly acute to prevent a little romance…and do not let me start on baddies who remained cardboard-flat and ugly, every single one of them…on the other hand I do hope not all is lost yet, there is at least one more book available; perhaps I will be able to warm to Dominic Gray, his beautiful Nya and even the mysterious, and a bit stodgy Victor.Final verdict with a warning:For the second time I was surprised that such a good book didn’t find a publisher – the Summoner is certainly better and more original than the average fare I have had the opportunity to get acquainted with. I will gladly continue reading this series. If you’re in the mood for an intriguing thriller, give it a try!For those who are squeamish about torture scenes: there are some parts of this book that might make you uncomfortable to say the least of it. They are not very bad, not nearly the worst I’ve read, but bad enough. Here, you have been forewarned.

  • BeaCharmed
    2019-04-19 22:39

    Teaser: It wasn't her nature to self-congratulate, but she’d played her part well. She had the feeling Grey would find what she needed. He was young, but had a competent air to him, and she recognized a quality in him she knew all too well, because she possessed it herself. Dominic Grey was a survivor. My Thoughts:"The Summoner" is a book that's hard to describe. It's mostly a mystery, but it's more than just that. There's philosophy and theology, and a fascinating look at voodoo and related religions. All of this is woven into the story; it adds to the mystery and also illuminates the characters. At times, Green has not only the characters but the readers questioning what is real, what is paranormal or magic, and is there a difference. The story is plot driven, not character driven, but the main characters are well done and I look forward to seeing them again in the next book, "The Egyptian" (sitting in my review pile). The main characters - Dominic, Nya, Viktor are complex and multi-layered. The secondary characters are not as complex but still well written. The story is set in Zimbabwe and it feels like you are really there; the country is not just atmosphere but part of the story. As the story went on, I kept changing my mind about who the villain was. There were many viable options and then something would be revealed or would happen that would appear to eliminate one, then later on they became a viable suspect again. I did consider the character who was revealed as the villain but discarded him/her. Green really kept me hopping, keeping up with the possibilities and the twists and turns. The language is occasionally over the top, but most often is descriptive. He knows how to show us, and not just tell us. This is a complex, chilling story, with a lot of depth. It will make you think and it will make you feel. Some quotes:CIA had recruited him. They loved his profile: he’d lived almost his whole life abroad, spoke three languages, had no relevant family ties, scored high on the I.Q. tests, and was already trained in self-defense. Not trained, according to his former commander, but extraordinary. Gifted.Cults conjured for Grey the worst religion has to offer: manipulation, gullibility, charlatanism.Judeo-Christian tradition is rife with similar beliefs. You’ve simply been conditioned to Christian doctrine. Concepts such as resurrection, prophecy, the Virgin Birth, turning water into wine—these don’t sound fanciful or outlandish to you, even if you’re not a believer. They’re part of your milieu.”A sinister curling of his lips caused a finger of oily unease to crawl down Grey’s spine.The mask had been stained the disquieting color of boiled flesh, as if the dye had magically captured the flush of a finger just after it had been dipped in the saucepan.The city writhed during the restless evening hours, stumbled past midnight, and then finally slumbered.