Title: The Devil’s Prayer
Author: Luke Gracias
Date Read: 11/05/2016 – 13/05/2017
I was instantly grabbed when I started this book, though unfortunately, the pacing and structure resulted in a story I was much less engaged with than I had hoped.
When a nun commits suicide in Spain and is identified as the missing mother of Australian Siobhan Russo, Siobhan travels to Europe to try to find out what happened to her mother. As she reads the confession written by her mother in the last months of her life, she is pursued by monks in red robes, who are after vital information that Siobhan’s mother was determined to take to her grave.
This book really tells four stories: Siobhan’s, her mother Denise’s, the story of a priest in the 1970s, and the story of a medieval priest. I felt that the scenes from Siobhan’s POV were the strongest; however, these scenes were actually in the minority.
The majority of the book is in the form of Siobhan’s mother’s confessional, in which she details the deal she made with the Devil and its aftermath. Perhaps this is due to it being in diary format, but I felt that there was far more telling than showing, which affected how easily I connected to the characters. The two stories set in the 1970s and further back in medieval times are only introduced in the last 20% of the story, and for the most part, consisted of rather a lot of historical info-dumping that slowed the story right down at the point where it was supposed to reaching the climax.
Having said that, even though I didn’t find the story engaging all the time, the writing style was easy to read and I got through it much faster than I expected.
To finish, I just want to give a content warning for some rather gruesome murder scenes. They certainly aren’t for the faint of heart.
(Thank you to the author and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I apologise for taking so long about it!)
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