Layton Green is one of my favorite indie authors who I first started reading in 2011. While I do think that overall this book could be read as a standalone novel, as there are very few references to the previous books other than a few sentences here and there, it is the character development in the previous books that would be missing in this series as well as quite a bit of Grey's back story. Plus I enjoyed both of the first two novels, so I personally think that you should pick them up. The first two books are The Summoner and The Egyptian.
In the third book in Green's Dominic Grey series, Layton had Grey and Viktor traveling all over the world in order to solve murders of Satanic leaders.
There are some bizarre murder occurring on the religious scene, however, these are not your typical religious figures. First, a satanic priest in San Francisco, where witnesses claim that a robed figure appeared out of now where and set him on fire. Then another satanic priest of a highly secretive cult is murdered under very strange circumstances Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek, private investigators of cults, are brought in to assist in the investigation. Nothing that Grey and Viktor have done before will have fully prepared them to what lays ahead and Viktor is forced to face his past, that he wished to keep buried in order to keep his sanity as absinthe becomes more and more his friend. Grey and Viktor will have to questions everything they believe in as the lines between good and evil, black and white and real and paranormal become more and more blurred as the body count raises, Grey and Viktor must rely on each other in order to survive.
This is the best Dominic grey book yet, once again Green was able to hook me in right from the very first chapter. The mystery, thrills and action are unsurpassed within this book as Green keeps them coming, but even with all the action (which I will say Green does an awesome job with fight scenes that you feel like you are there and they are not unrealistic, he knows the limits of his characters) he is able to produce well round, interesting and realistic characters that you will instantly become attached to. Furthermore, you will find yourself learning something about history, cults, psychology and the cities that Grey and Viktor visit, that the book will hold your interest just with these aspects. If you think that this seems like a lot to take in or occur within a book, do not worry, Green combines them all together without the book feeling over whelming to create a sit in the edge of you seat novel that you will keep you wanting more.
Green has really developed and learned from his first book the Summoner. He now is able to meld the information he needs to portray within religion, history, and cults smoothly into the plot that it does not seem slow. The information is well placed, informative, interesting and you can tell that Green has done his due diligence in the portrayal of the information about cults. Speaking of the Cults, Green's imagination for cults is unsurpassed in any other cult based book that I have read and each book has a different take on a cults that I have personally never heard of. Green lays out the cults in a very scary way that never actually leaves you feeling like they are fake or made up. Although all the books within the Grey series have some sort of "paranormal" aspect to them, I like how Green is able to eventually explain what is happening either through science or the power of thought/mind. I think that this is even more creative (and more research needed) than just relying on the paranormal to remain unexplained.
I love love that the further Green gets into the series the more we get to know about another main character Viktor Radek. I am personally happy that Green decided to make both Grey and Viktor main characters as they each bring entirely different aspects (both strength and weaknesses) to the mystery, thrills and overall plot within the book as the reader gets to view what is happening from two different point of view, trains of thought and experiences that Grey and Viktor have had. While in the previous books the main focus as been Grey and his past (which was not pleasant and we do get a few more tidbits from his life as a street fighter), this book we get to divulge into Viktor's past and all of it is interesting, but not all of it is pretty. Viktor is really a man of mystery before this book as it is only hinted that he has a dark past especially with his constant need for absinthe. I find both Grey and Viktor as very fascinating characters and probably one of my favorite duo in the books I read, as they both bring something very different to the plot and story.
This is a great book that leaves me wanting more from Green and his Dominic Grey Series. If this is the first time you have heard of this series I suggest you run out and get started. Green's books are going to become a household favorite to those who want to delve into the darker side of society, those where the morals of people are skewed very far to the left, and where cults survive with a flourish. If you are looking for the next up and coming author in the thriller/mystery genre Layton Green is the author you are looking for and Green will give you everything you have been asking for. As you can probably guess I highly recommend this book and the first two within this series, so get out there and pick them up.
Note: As this book does involve satanic cults, there are scenes that some readers may find disturbing as there are some descriptive parts in regards to sacrifices and ritual.
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