The Summoner Layton Green, 2013.
Dominic Grey, working as a US diplomatic security agent in Zimbabwe, is tasked with finding out what happened to the ambassador’s good friend, who apparently vanished during a secretive religious ritual.
Together with a fierce and beautiful local official and a world expert on cults, Grey follows a dark trail of corruption and terror. Hunting a powerful and evil n’anga – usually a healer and spiritual advisor – Grey sees things that defy rational explanation and shake his world view to the core.
A tough guy with a lack of respect for authority and zero tolerance for injustice, Grey survived childhood with a violent father and watched his sick mother die despite all her faith and prayers. Now, his own beliefs – or lack thereof – are challenged by the magic and butchery he witnesses.
The Summoner is a deep book: on the surface a mystery/ thriller with a hint of supernatural, it is truly thought-provoking and disturbing on an elemental level. Green captures the essence of the dichotomy that is modern Zimbabwe: vitality and despair, beauty and secrecy, honor and corruption, globalism and racial tension. This setting creates a shocking juxtaposition of contemporary urban life with primitive rituals and belief systems.
Green leaves the reader with a deep sense of unease. What is real? Can unknown beliefs or concepts affect one’s reality, despite one’s own beliefs? Is magic real? The Summoner will get under your skin.