Book Review | The Summoner
Author: Layton Green
A missing diplomat, a mysterious religion and Dominic Grey. Grey is a special agent with Diplomatic Security and he’s been assigned to find out what happened to William Addison, retired head of Consular Affairs for Zimbabwe. He was last seen at a Juju ceremony, where he reportedly walked into the middle of the crowd and disappeared. Grey has been told he must be accompanied by one or both of the aides he’s been assigned with while he investigates. Professor Victor Radek, who seems to spend more time investigating a bottle of absinthe than showing his expertise in religious phenomena and cults. Then there’s the beautiful government liaison Nya Mashumba, who seems to have her own reasons for finding the man who performed the ceremony.
The N’anga is the Juju priest who seems to have the scariest of supernatural abilities. Summoning spirits and causing people to disappear. The strange Dr. Fangwa, a cultural attache who seem to have a zombie-like boy as his butler and an unnatural liking for Nya is a suspect. The owner of a club of debauchery seems to rule with an iron fist and fear, the man who calls himself “Lucky” always seems one step ahead of them as well. As more people disappear, Grey must try to find his way through a culture that doesn’t make any sense to him and a religion unlike anything he’s ever experienced.
While I felt this book a little slow to start, once the story started to role, I found it hard to put down. A sometimes disturbing look at the religious beliefs in African culture, it had twist and turns that you have a hard time keeping track of. The identity of the N’anga will leave you stunned. The character of Dominic Grey has many levels that you don’t expect and so does Nya. Just when you think you’ve figured out where the story is leading, you’ll find yourself turned around and heading in another direction. Layton Green is a presence to watch for.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*