The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias #bookreviews #horror

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her 29225318mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago.

In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul.

As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors.

And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it.

Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction?  – Goodreads.com

Some reviews I’ve read state this book is a mixture of The DaVinci Code and Rosemary’s Baby and that, along with the description, made me jump at the chance to read it.  But it didn’t quite meet my expectations.

Denise is a well-rounded and developed character with undeniable motivation to perform some pretty heinous acts.  The revenge portion of this book is interesting and sufficiently bloody, giving the reader a certain sense of satisfaction because frankly, these people had it coming.  Some of the historical data is fascinating and lends authenticity to the story.

I had difficulty with the style of writing – flipping between first person in Denise’s ‘confession’ and third person with Siobhan – and found myself confused as to who I was reading about in some sections.  While Denise is a well-developed character, by the end of the book, l still knew next to nothing about Siobhan.  In the first half of the book, there is an incredible amount of detail involving everyday types of activities that could be eliminated, but that improves over the latter half.

Although this book was a miss for me, in comparison to other reviewers, I’m in the minority on that.  If you’re a horror/supernatural fan, this may be your book.  As warning, this novel contains rape, brutality, and some gore, so if that’s an issue for you, take a pass on this one.

Thanks to NetGalley for and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.

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