Author Layton Green
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 demagogic priest seemingly able to perform impossibilities, and the identity of the newest target. Himself.
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, Layton Green 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 by Layton Green. 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.