Saturday 23 April 2011

GuestReview: The Summoner - Layton Green

Series: The Dominic Grey Novels 1
Genre: Mystery, suspense
Pages: 332
Published: March 2011
Review by Lis

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. Himself.


Oh my! That’s what I thought several times while reading this book! It was a surprise to learn that this book was self-published, because hot darn people, it’s good! Not that self-published books are bad, but they usually have editing issues and are badly spellchecked. None of that in The Summoner. It’s a well edited, well written, edge-of-your-seat, eye widening and mind blowing book. Yes, it’s just that good. Of course, now you want to know why, right? Well, keep on reading!

The novel is set in Zimbabwe and features Dominic Grey who is diplomat security for the ambassador to Zimbabwe. He is assigned to solve the mystery of a missing American diplomat, also the golf buddy for the ambassador. He is joined by Nya, a local Department of Foreign Ministry agent and Viktor an expert on cults and a religious phenomenologist. A what you ask? Wikipedia told me this: “The phenomenology of religion concerns the experiential aspect of religion, describing religious phenomena in terms consistent with the orientation of the worshippers.” What unfolds is a well-crafted mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

The story is interspersed with religious and occult facts and story to support the subject of the story. That worked well for me because it not only shows the author did his research, but also gives the story claim and makes it believable.

The characters are just as mysterious as the plot itself. They come with backgrounds, have motivation, are complex and there is a rare depth to them that you don’t often see. All of that without the author laying it all out there for you to read. The author gives you just enough tidbits to keep you guessing but enough that it makes the characters believable. The sexual tension between Dominic and Nya…hot damn people!

The story is mostly centered on Dominic, but there is enough of Nya and Viktor that they aren’t just the support cast. I found myself really like Dominic. He is the epitome of dark and mysterious that you so often see in detectives.

Let’s just say that this book surprised me a lot. The writing and style of writing is excellent. It’s not flat, there’s no circular narrative. Instead it’s paced just right and imaginative. The author paints a vivid picture of the characters’ surroundings and I almost found like I was right there with them!

So yes, this book sure deserves the praise it gets and it’s worth reading if you like a good mystery with even more mysterious characters. I even liked the cover! It suits the story. All in all I was very glad B. sent this book over! 

[1] Wikipedia phenomenology of religion:


  1. I was tempted to review this one-but wasn't sure. It sounds really good!

  2. It sounds good, really I would like to read that one! I love well-researched books!

  3. I have this one waiting for me to review on my Nook. I'm so glad to hear that it's so good. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  4. I like the sound of's always nice when a self published book turns out to be pretty good! :-)

  5. I read and enjoyed this as well. Great review.

  6. Sounds like a great read, loved reading your review!

  7. Okay, now I'm curious about the book. Thanks for the review.

  8. Thanks again Lis :D
    You totally saved this week!

  9. interesting review - sounds worth a look!

    Mark Lawrence

  10. Bucky
    I am glad Lis picked it up cos it sounds good :)

    That I know you like :)

    Yay, I hope you enjoy it too then. I can't wait to see what you think

    That is sure does

    Thanks for stopping by :)

    I am lucky to have her around :)

    Melissa :)

  11. Hi Mark :)
    All thanks to my trusted sidekick

  12. Self published books usually do have editing issues, but not always. I'm glad to see you found a gem.

  13. I know what you mean about self-published books sometimes. Glad this one was good!

  14. Great review...not one that I would read but I enjoyed your take on it!

  15. I have this book on my TBR, so I am really glad to know that it's an action-packed read. Thanks for the review!

  16. I don't read many self-published books but good to know this one;s good. It's not my usualy reading genre so I'll pass on picking this one up.

  17. Thanks for the lovely comments! :-) It's always nice to read! This book was good to read and for a self published book it was awesome!

  18. LOL...Hot darn, I will add this. I feel the same way about SP books. It's not that they are all not perfect but there are very few "perfectly written". Interesting.

  19. Thank you for reviewing this, Lis! The premise had intrigued me but I still wasn't 100% sure if I wanted to pick it up. It'll definitely go on the TBR now. ^_^

  20. Bermuda
    The gems are truly the best


    I do like to bring more genres to my blog :) Big thanks to my guests for that

    I hope you enjoy it!


    I am usually bad to notice things like that anyway ;) My mind fixes all things wrong in a text anyway

    I hope you do since Lis sure seemed to like it

  21. this isn't what i normally read, but it sounds good!!

  22. I echo your surpise that a self-pubbed book is so good - I have a secret fear of them myself. Perhaps this review and more like it will attract the attentions of traditional publishing houses and it can get even more exposure.

  23. It sounds like a good book, but I am not that much interested in religion. So I'll pass this one.

  24. Steph and Aurian
    Thanks for stopping by :D



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