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The Diabolist by Layton Green
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The Diabolist (2013)

by Layton Green

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There is more action and suspense and less yakking this time as the two men fight diabolists who worship, not on the grudge holding fallen angel of Christianity, but Ahriman, the Zoroastrian god of darkness, equal of the god of light. The inevitable exposition centers around the different types of Satanic cults, an interesting topic. A scary, tense read. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Nov 23, 2014 |
This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/2013/06/6242013-diabolist-by-layton-green-boo...

The Dominic Grey series has been picked up by Amazon's Thomas and Mercer imprint, which goes to show, yet again, that if your book is good enough, even if you start out self-publishing, someone is going to notice!

In this third-in-series novel, the reader travels with Dominic Grey (our tough guy) and Victor Radek (our absinthe-addicted cult phenomenolist) from San Francisco to England to Paris and Italy on the trail of a killer whose victims are leaders of so-called "black cults".

In this intelligent thriller, we come across great thinking points on Satan, Lucifer, and the origin of evil even as we follow our main characters on their journeys (most of the time they are on separate paths as they follow various leads).

We may not feel too sorry for the victims, but whoever is killing them has to be even worse. Intrigue, betrayal, deception, kidnapping, truly evil villains and a mysterious beautiful woman who keeps appearing (and then disappearing) - what more could a thriller offer? Oh! Danger! There's plenty of that in this title as well.

Although this is a series, the author does a great job of filling in background info which means that you don't have to read the previous two titles to appreciate this one (but I DO recommend them!). In my review of the first novel, The Summoner, I stated: "I'm hoping to see a lot more of one of the secondary characters, Victor Radek, who is interesting in his own right." - and in this novel, Victor definitely comes into his own.

One thing that distinguishes this series from many other thrillers that I definitely appreciate is the character development. There's not just swashbuckling, knuckle-clenching action, you learn enough about the protagonists and their backgrounds to make you care about what happens to them.

QUOTES:

He didn't know what was more disturbing: being helped by a beautiful girl who kept disappearing into thin air, being chased by a pack of bloodthirsty Satanists who knew his name, or taking a plane to London in pursuite of a mysterious figure who terrified both the bloodthirsty Satanists and the girl.

Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Characters: 4 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 4 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING: 4 out of 5 stars

Sensitive Reader: One dream sex scene and some brief scenes of violence. ( )
  jewelknits | Jun 26, 2013 |
I’m not at all surprised that Green has been picked up by Amazon’s publishing imprint, Thomas and Mercer. I regarded both The Summoner and The Egyptian as unique and exciting thrillers and I am glad the author has gained recognition for his work.

The Diabolist is the third cleverly crafted novel in the series featuring Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek. In this installment, the investigator and the renowned phenomenologist are convinced that a series of bizarre murders of the worlds religious leaders are the work of a charismatic prophet preaching for a new age. As Dominic attempts to infiltrate the upper echelons of the international cult, Viktor works to unravel the chilling end game planned by the ghost from his past.

Fast paced and action packed The Diabolist is an intelligent psychological thriller. Moving from San Francisco, to the catacombs of Paris, and between the streets of London and a hidden monastery in Sicily, Radek and Grey need to sort fact from fiction, truth from illusion in order to prevent further murders and expose the mastermind of a plot to destabilise organised religion.

A larger question in the novel addresses the nature of faith and how the concept of good and evil is defined within it. The focus on darker occult practices might disturb some readers but it is where faith, science and the inexplicable intersect that interests the author and his protagonists.

Though you could read The Diabolist as a stand alone, familiarity with Radek and Grey strengthen the appeal of this novel. Central to the character development of both men is the way in which their beliefs are challenged by the events that take place.

I liked having the opportunity to learn more about the enigmatic Radek in this installment. Radek’s cool, academic persona is rattled by the confrontation with an old friend, now enemy, triggering a personal and professional crisis. The troubled past of the absinthe-drinking professor reveals his motivation for his study of the world’s belief systems, and his particular interest in unexplained phenomena.

As with the earlier books in the series, this novel is characterised by an original, complex, and meticulously researched plot and intriguingly flawed characters. The Diabolist is a provocative thriller that challenges a simple world view and I am looking forward to the next installment. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jun 16, 2013 |
Author Layton Green's "The Diabolist" is the third entry in his deservedly well-received series of intriguing paranormal thrillers featuring the investigative team of former Diplomatic Security Agent Dominic Grey and his partner, religious phenomenologist and cult expert Viktor Radek. Readers familiar with any of the locales through which the novel's gripping plot weaves will appreciate both the accuracy and stirring attention to detail the author brings to his San Francisco, Paris, London and Sicilian settings. Equally clear is the extensive research Green brings to dark and disturbing life as Grey and Radek combat the fearsome, ancient evil driving a seemingly super-powered madman's plan to wipe out all competitors in uniting the world's satanist factions to displace humanity's major religions. Whether primary or secondary, good guys or bad, all Green's characters are as vivid as they are flawed, and show that the borders dividing good from damnable are often at best, gray. "The Diabolist" is a very good book, and one well worth reading deep into a chilling, stormy night. ( )
  RGazala | Jun 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek aren’t your typical private eyes. They specialize in mysteries involving religious cults. Here, Interpol comes calling with a case: in Paris and San Francisco, leaders of satanic cults have been murdered. Grey and Radek soon zero in on Simon Azar, leader of the Order of New Enlightenment, a new and increasingly influential cult supposedly based in London, but Azar seems to be keeping a lot of details about the cult secret (including the location of its new headquarters), and it’s difficult to nail Azar for the murders—even when Grey’s and Radek’s own lives become seriously in jeopardy. This, the third Grey-Radek novel, is a well-crafted and exciting thriller with a pair of interesting protagonists (Grey, the ex-Marine and juju master; Radek, the expert in cults and religious phenomenology) and a charismatic villain who makes our skin crawl.
added by LaytonGreen | editBooklist (May 13, 2013)
 
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Satan's successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips.

—Mahatma Gandhi
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They called themselves the House of Lucifer.
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The bizarre murder of a Satanic priest in San Francisco draws Dominci Grey and Viktor Radek, private investigators of cults, to the scene. Witnesses claim a robed figure, seemingly able to appear and disappear at will, set fire to the priest. When the leader of another Satanic cult in Paris dies under similar circumstances, the case only grows stranger and more dangerous. Convinces that a charismatic New Age prophet is behind the murders, the investigators undergo a perilous journey into the world of the occult as they try to penetrate the prophet's inner circle. From the catacombs of Paris to London's nefarious East End, from the haunted walls of Yrok to a monastic fortress in the Sicilian wilderness the case plunges Viktor and Grey intoa vortex of black magic, ancient heresies, and the dark corners of their own pasts.… (more)

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