Lamb Among Wolves caught my attention right away. Not only was it a novel by Russell James, but it was another demon story by him coming on the heels of the entertaining The Demon Dagger. James never fails to entertain and terrify so I started into this novel with the highest of hopes.
Cyndi Fisher had spent her young life caring for her alcoholic father. When he passes away, she thinks she is free for the first time in her life. Then comes a mysterious invitation to fly to Paris and meet a grandfather she never knew, and she had a feeling her life would change forever. She had no idea just how much. Upon reaching Paris, she learns that her grandfather is Father Jack Cahill, a renegade priest and exorcist who did not know he had fathered a child. Not only does he suddenly have a granddaughter thrust upon him, but he also receives a message from the Vatican that his talents are needed to save the church and the world. Satan has launched a scheme to return to the world and Jack and Cyndi are the only line of defense against his attempts to unleash hell on Earth.
Cyndi finds herself traveling through Europe trying to outwit demons that are assembling the relics of a saint that may not have been a force of good during her life. Jack does not know why the demons are hellbent on getting the relics, but he knows that he must stop them even though they seem to always be one step ahead. As the secrets of the past slowly come to light, Jack and Cyndi begin to understand the plot that Satan has hatched. Saint Pudentiana once almost brought about the end of the Catholic Church. In the hands of Satan, her relics once again have the power to achieve this goal, and Jack and Cyndi must bring all their faith and strength to the forefront in a battle to save the world from Satan’s dark rule.
Russell James knows his demons but Lambs Among Wolves is a much different book than The Demon Dagger. In fact, I do not really think that I would classify Lambs Among Wolves as a horror novel but rather more of a thriller with a bit of a horror edge to it. While there are plenty of demons in the story, they are secondary in the action to the mystery of uncovering the history of Pudentiana and what the relics mean for the church. The novel opens with a chapter straight from a horror novel but then turns into something completely different as the intrigue around the relics mounts. There is enough horror in this novel to satisfy fans of the genre but it is kept as an enhancement to the story rather than the focus. Jack and Cyndi must work their way through the mystery of the demonic plot to stop Satan from coming back into the world. That sounds like a horror premise, but the story is dominated by the mystery behind the plot rather than the plot itself.
Lamb Among Wolves is touted as a mix of The Exorcist and The Da Vinci Code, and this is probably a fair assessment (although it is far superior to anything written by the hugely overrated Dan Brown). James has a strong background in European history and that of the Catholic Church and this knowledge comes through in this novel. This knowledge adds to the story but it does not bog it down. Instead, James creates a rich tapestry upon which to build his story by weaving history and fiction together to create a realistic world that comes to life on the page. Lamb Among Wolves is just an entertaining read that I did not want to put down. Quite simply, it is one of the best books I have read this year. Horror fans are sure to like this novel, just remember that it is not really a horror novel, and those who like a good thriller and are not deterred by a demonic twist are sure to enjoy this one. All in all, Lamb Among Wolves is just one hell of a book. Give it a read.
I would like to thank Crossroads Press and NetGalley for this review copy. Lamb Among Wolves is available now.
After the death of her father Cyndi receives a letter and plane ticket inviting her to France to meet the grandfather she never knew. In Paris, an anonymous parishioner requests a meeting with Father Jack Cahill at a sidewalk cafe. The players are now engaged and as soon as Cyndi and Father Jack meet at that cafe the game is on. Who’s playing this wicked game, why these two players…how is this connected to the ever growing increase in demonic possessions, gruesome crimes and church vandalisms?
This is a multi-layered work of fiction which includes a great bit of actual history of the Roman Catholic Church, first-class relics, pre-Vatican II religious rites, exorcism, and saints. Part thriller, horror, mystery and an edge of your seat battle between the light and the dark. I would recommend this book to a wide audience; those with an interest in the 2nd century Roman Catholic era, and readers who enjoy a good thriller with a touch of evil.
Thank you #netgalley for,allowing me to read, and review #LambsAmongWolves
It's a quite exciting book, more thriller than horror. It's a good casual page turner for the summer. Mystery lovers would probably enjoy more than horror fans.