Join Layton Green, author of the suspense/mystery/thriller novel, The Diabolist, as he tours the blogosphere October 1 – October 31, 2013 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!
Oh man, what a book--it takes you through a (fictional) study of the world's most dangerous religious cults and the differences between them. It is the story of two men who used to be friends-one turned to a life of study; the other to the life of a cult leader wanna be who almost makes it! Grey who works with his partner Viktor as private investigators of cults transverses continents in pursuit of the elusive cult leader who is slowly killing off other cult leaders. Who will win this battle of good vs evil? I'll let you read the book and decide!
About the Book:
In this gripping thriller, the bizarre murder of a Satanic priest in San Francisco draws Dominic 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.
Convinced 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 York to a monastic fortress in the Sicilian wilderness, the case plunges Viktor and Grey into a vortex of black magic, ancient heresies, and the dark corners of their own pasts.
The Diabolist is a chilling novel that not only pulsates with action and suspense, but also mines a trove of fascinating historical, philosophical, and paranormal research to probe some of our closest held beliefs. From the opening pages to the astonishing conclusion, this latest installment in one of today’s most original new thriller series is not to be missed.
This book can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
First Chapter Reveal:
Mission District, San Francisco
They called themselves the House of Lucifer. Thirty minutes before midnight High Priest Matthias Gregory swung wide the doors to Red Abbey, and one by one the members filed inside. The interior was a Gothic-inspired mockery of its Catholic counterpart:
The crimson walls and vaulted ceiling hovered over the aisles with garish menace, pentagrams served as stained glass windows, an inverted crucifix hung on the wall behind the pulpit. Guttered candles lit the interior with a red glow, and Matthias had to admit the architects had achieved the desired effect: He felt as if he were walking straight into the mouth of Hell. Recognized by the government as an official nonprofit religious organization since 1966, Matthias had shepherded the House of Lucifer into hundreds of chapters worldwide. In the sixties and seventies, America had been fascinated by the House and other occult pseudo religions that had sprung up, like demented cornstalks, out of a collective repressed subconscious. Now demons and warlocks and vampires were regular occurrences in popular novels and films, and the popularity of the occult had leeched its power to shock.
Which made it all the easier, in Matthias’s mind, to carry out the business of the House.
Two armed guards frisked everyone at the door. The House of Lucifer received plenty of hate mail, the majority of it from fundamentalist Christians, but the most recent death threat had been different and more than a little unnerving. Matthias had found the letter on the pulpit six days earlier, after he had unlocked the church in the morning. This disturbed him because
he had closed up the night before, and there had been no letter. Matthias glanced at the clock above the front entrance, his eyes resting on the two naked succubi forming the hands. Twenty minutes until midnight. Incense wafting into the cathedral added to the gloom, swirling in scarlet motes above the aisles. Matthias waved a hand, his lieutenant struck a kettle gong, and the congregation began intoning the words to one of the Satanic psalms.
Matthias concentrated on the words, determined to let the ritual chanting clear his mind and strengthen his resolve. Despite his attempts to scoff the threat away, a lump of nervous dread had settled in his stomach. The letter had arrived not as an anonymous e-mail, or a crude letter bomb, or a phone call in a muffled voice. Instead, he’d found the letter on the
pulpit, inside an envelope sealed with red wax, a single word handwritten in capital letters on the face of the envelope.
Matthias had opened the envelope with a frown and read the words, scrawled in black ink, that appeared below his own name.
You will renounce your false religion and declare yourself a HERETIC, or you will die at the hand of the one true God on the sixth midnight hence.
The letter was unsigned.
The next night Matthias told his congregation about the letter, and in a show of righteous fury he announced a special worship service on the night of his threatened demise. Tonight was that night. Just in case, he had tightened security for the service.
A quarter to midnight. It was time to begin. Matthias held the letter up, shaking it in his fist. “One more childish letter from the narrow-minded,” he shouted, as the members smirked and clapped. “One more act of hate from those who preach love.” The high priest made a good living from the generous tithing of the congregation, but this job was not just about the money. Nor was it about the Devil. Matthias did not actually believe in Lucifer or any other supernatural being; he did not believe in anything outside the Darwinist reality of his own existence. What he did believe in was satisfying his natural carnal desires, and he despised any person, government, religion, or institution that stood in his way. His members hailed from all walks of life. Plenty came from the margins of society, but there were also businessmen, professionals, politicians, and even a few elebrities. Some joined for the novelty, some joined for the secret orgies, but most joined because they believed in the mission of the House, which was the ridicule and disruption of mainstream religion. His eyes slid to the clock. Eleven fifty. Matthias continued his speech, analogizing the death threat to prophecies from other religions that had failed to come true, especially some of the pseudo-Christian cults whose response to failed prophecy was to change the words of the sacred texts and issue new versions. The vigorous nods of the congregation energized him. As the gong announced the stroke of midnight, Matthias ripped the letter in half with a triumphant shout. Instead of the cheers he expected, the members in the front row reared in alarm. Some flung outstretched fingers in the direction of the pulpit. Even Oak, Matthias’s right-hand man and virtual cofounder of the House, looked stunned, and Oak wasn’t stunned by much of anything. The lump in Matthias’s stomach expanded, tightening his chest with the grip of fear.
He spun to see what had caused the stir. Not three feet behind him stood a black-robed figure, face hidden within a cowl. Just like on the day he had received the letter, Matthias had been first inside the locked building. There was nowhere behind him to hide, and it was impossible for someone to have slipped unnoticed down the constricted aisles. Before Matthias had a chance to react, the figure flicked one of its wrists and whispered a single word. “Burn.” And burn Matthias did. The flames sprouted as soon as the word was spoken, and Matthias looked down in disbelief as the fire licked and tumbled across his robe. Disbelief turned to horror when he felt the assault of heat against his face, smelled the nauseating stench of his burning flesh, heard the
dull whoosh of the flames, saw the hair on the back of his hands curl and wither into blackened wisps. As Matthias fell to the floor in agony, batting at the flames with the screams of his congregation ringing in his ears, the figure in the black robe
disappeared, winking out of existence as impossibly as it had arrived. With his last coherent thought, Matthias wondered if he had been wrong all this time, and if Lucifer himself had not come to reclaim his house.
About the Author:
In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade (even though he still resents having cut his hair for that first interview). He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door-to-door phone book deliverer, and the list goes downhill from there.
He has traveled to more than fifty countries, lived in a number of them, and has a burning desire to see every country, city, beach, moor, castle, cemetery, twisted street and far flung dot on the map. Religion and cults, as well as all things spiritual and supernatural, have also been a lifelong interest. Combine the travel and the religion with fifteen years of Japanese Jujitsu training, and the Dominic Grey series was born.
Connect with the Author:
Visit his website
And Now for the Giveaway!
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