Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review - The Summoner by Layton Green

Title: The Summoner (Amazon)
Author: Layton Green
Date Published: December 2010
Pages: Kindle Edition
Genre: Adult Fiction
Source: Author

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.


The first work in a globe-hopping series whose protagonists investigate the world’s most bizarre and dangerous cults, The Summoner is a stylish, haunting novel of mystery and suspense that will linger long after the last page is turned.

Kim’s Take – This book was an amazing mystery, dark, chilling thriller, with small bit of romance of romance thrown in. Incredible and diverse characters make the story even better. It is not a book for the light of heart, as it can be very gruesome, horrifying, and gripping. But the story pulls you right in and I found it impossible to put down!

Dominic Grey is a believable, emotionally conflicted hero who comes from a violent past and is an expert jiu jitsu, making him a formidable adversary. He is a Diplomatic Security special agent who has been recruited to find William Addison, a United States Diplomat in Zimbabwe. The country has become corrupt, leaving large numbers of residents vulnerable to a depraved Yoruban priest’s quest for spiritual and political power. Dominic could never imagine the dangerous and deadly cult powers he is about to experience that will test his faith and beliefs.

He is teamed up with Nya, a local Department of Ministry agent, with her own mysterious reasons for becoming so deeply involved in the case and Viktor, who is a religion and cult expert. I found all of the characters to be very interesting and diverse. And other characters brought about in the book were equally interesting and mysterious.

They begin investigating the disappearance of Addison, who disappeared in a cloud of mist at a religious ceremony with hundreds of onlookers. Unfortunately, the believers are so terrified and such believers in the religious cult that they will not talk or reveal the identity of the Na’anja, one who summons, who is the leader of the Juju ceremonies held in remote places. These ceremonies are described in gruesome detail which makes you feel as if you are watching a movie and helps you understand why the participants fall under the psychosomatic belief of what they are seeing, which is described by Viktor as common in all religions, including those in the United States.  

The three soon become the targets of the evil Na’anja themselves and will become the next victims if they can’t overcome their inability to discover the identity of the Na’anja. I found myself suspicious of each character but was completely surprised to find out who he actually was.

The story is just incredible and well researched. Green’s descriptive writing style is so well that I found myself thinking I could actually smell and feel the African scenery. I loved learning about the customs, cultures, and struggles of the Zimbabwe people. And Viktor was very informative of religious beliefs and I found him to be a very fascinating character.

This is going to be the first in a series of books and I am so anxious to read the next. Layton Green is a superb author and I have every expectation that he will become well know for his excellent writing and stories.

This book was incredible and I highly recommend it!

Kim’s Rating – 


  1. great review, thanks. will check this one out!

  2. Sounds like a great book and I bet the jiu jitsu was interesting. Great review!

  3. Wow! This book sounds intense! I think my mom would really enjoy it, she loves these types of books! Great review!!!

  4. I'd never heard of this, but you've got me convinced I need to read it - off to Goodreads to add it to virtual mount TBR :)

  5. Well I got tingles just from the synopsis. Thank you for sharing your review today.

  6. Good book and review. My few cents... If you like books like this, you might also enjoy "Miss Garrote".