Thanks to Dan Brown, mythological fiction thrillers have become a rage among writers and readers alike. From Bible to the Vedas, ancient scriptures are being explored in more ways than before in the world of books. ‘The Devil’s Prayer’ by Luke Gracias fits the bill perfectly – there’s an ancient text that can shake up the world as we know it, a secret cult, ancient churches, chase sequences that send shivers down your spine and brutal savagery.
The book begins with a nun committing suicide in Spain. Thousands of miles away, Siobhan Russo identifies the nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who had abandoned them six years ago.When Siobhan travels to Spain in search of answers, she is confronted with dark secrets from the past that leaves her rattled. Her journey, too, is fraught with dangers; there are attempts at her life. But when she recovers her mother’s diary, the revelations change the way she looked at life.
The narrative shuttles between the past and the present. The pieces of the puzzle slowly fall into place as Siobhan reads through her mother’s diary entries. With keen attention to detail, the author weaves a heart-wrenching tale – a perfect mixture of mythology and history. While the language used is lucid, few sequences come across as brutal. Whether it is the rape sequence in the beginning or the savage murders towards the end of the diary entries, every word inflicts a numbing pain, piercing your senses. There have been times when I put down my Kindle and took a moment to ponder on what I just read!
Luke Gracias must be complemented for the brilliant research. This book is a perfect blend of history and fiction. For those interested, the author’s website lists the places where this book is set and some of the events mentioned in the book actually happened in the 13th century.
‘The Devil’s Prayer’ can easily be adapted into a screenplay and it would make for a great film. This psychological thriller also holds a lesson in morality for us – the choice between devil and good rests completely with us. Often, the greed of material possessions drives us against our own. It is our actions that determine the fate of those around us.
The book ends in a cliffhanger – probably a sequel is on the way (I would probably be among the first to lay my hands on it). Overall, it is a pacy, page-turner that will leave you wanting for more.
P.S. This review is a part of the Book Review Programme by Writers Melon. Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the review copy.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
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