Tuesday, January 25, 2011

THE SUMMONER by Layton Green

The Summoner by Layton Green is the first book in the Dominic Grey series. Green was a practicing attorney for nearly a decade and has traveled the world over. He also has a lifelong interest in religions and cults and fifteen years of Japanese Jujitsu training. Combine all of these things together and you have the birth of the character Dominic Grey.

Life in modern-day Zimbabwe is more than difficult. Corrupt politicians, poor government, thugs, and superstitious religious beliefs are just some of the problems. When a former U.S. diplomat goes missing, Dominic Grey is given the task to investigate the disappearance. However, the deeper Grey digs the more mystery he finds shrouding the disappearance. As the questions pile up, Grey and his government-assigned chaperone find themselves spiraling down into the world of an obscure religious cult whose roots date back thousands of years. Soon, Grey finds himself in a race against time in a matter of life and death.

This book was a bit different than my usual reading material. It didn’t take long to see that Green is a competent and more-than-capable writer from a technical standpoint. For the first third of the book I didn’t really connect with the characters; however, after that point it seems Green begins to come into his own and he not only nails the technical aspects of writing, he also gets the reader feeling for his characters. Dominic Grey is an interesting protagonist who turns out to be much more complex than he first seems.

The book was nicely formatted with very few minor errors. Green clearly has spent a large amount of time learning the intricacies of the political and religious systems in Zimbabwe. This thriller calls to mind such series as Jason Bourne and Indiana Jones, with supernatural/religious overtones thrown in. I recommend The Summoner to anyone looking for a suspense-filled journey into a unique—and at times, terrifying—culture that’ll keep you guessing. Personally, I look forward to reading about more of Dominic Grey’s adventures.

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