The Devils prayer by Luke Gracias

“Guilt is the currency of the Catholic faith. Guilt is the mortgage on our souls, held by the faith. We pay for it in repentance, abnegation, altruism, and charity until the day we die. Our penance is a journey, and as we travel down its road we are given a sense that we are being forgiven or healed. It is some sort of cosmic wheel that we choose to believe in, to help us shut out the Devils of our past.”

This tale is of stories within stories, that build up a history of human manipulation and mistrust (and I could add deceit and depravity).

Siobhan’s mother disappeared six years ago and Siobhan has just heard that her mum committed suicide in front of 80,000 people during a religious event and that she was a nun when she did so.

At her mothers memorial service Siobhan is approached by a priest who brings her something of her mothers and tells her that “Sister Benedictine” asked him to pass them on to Siobhan.

Siobhan sets out on a journey of discovery to find out what her mum wanted her to know and what others want for themselves or to keep hidden.

Siobhan finds out what her mother lived through, from the age that Siobhan was four, until the present day. None of it is expected or ordinary. It is a long twisted story. Siobhan is periodically interrupted as she discovers the truth of her mothers life and has to take action to protect herself. Her mother has given her information and Siobhan must decide what to do next.

And, phew, what a wild ride that was! Totally absorbing and engaging. I certainly would read that again and recommend it. Particularly if you like historical/religious – good versus evil type tales.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, 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?
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