The Devil’s Prayer

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Pub Date 26 Aug 2016 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2017


17th March 17 - Shortlisted for the Australian Shadow Award - Best Australian Horror Novel of 2016.

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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See the stunning locations from the book at

17th March 17 - Shortlisted for the Australian Shadow Award - Best Australian Horror Novel of 2016.

A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that...

A Note From the Publisher

Explicit Content Warning: The Devil's Prayer is a historical horror thriller that contains brutality, rape, sex, drug abuse and murder. Readers may find its content offensive and confronting.

Paperback available from 26th Aug 2016. RRP $19.99 USD.

Explicit Content Warning: The Devil's Prayer is a historical horror thriller that contains brutality, rape, sex, drug abuse and murder. Readers may find its content offensive and confronting.


Marketing Plan

The Devil's Prayer was converted from a film script written by the author. It is to be pitched as a TV series or film in early 2017. Book is currently available in Paperback in India only.
Looking for International Publisher. Or Looking for Print and Fulfilment in US, UK, Canada and Australia. Or Looking for a Literary Agent.

The Devil's Prayer was converted from a film script written by the author. It is to be pitched as a TV series or film in early 2017. Book is currently available in Paperback in India only.

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781925427332
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

"Religion is like a knife: in the hands of a surgeon, it heals, but in the hands of a murderer, it kills."

Death knells of the thirteenth century ring into the present day. This dark historical fiction reveals the legendary and supernatural origins of the Devil's Book; later hidden away in a monastery in today's Czech Republic and guarded by a secretive order of monks. Twelve pages, known as the Devil's Prayer, with the potential to end the world as we know it and bring about the reign of Satan, have gone missing.

One nun, committed to a vow of silence, risks her life to keep the manuscript out of the wrong hands. Her story is told through her confessions, to the only one she can trust with her (very) shocking and terrible secrets: her daughter, who takes her mother's Bible and a change of clothes and sets off to an isolated convent under the guidance of a mysterious priest.

The settings are beautifully rendered, from hidden passageways in centuries-old convents and monasteries, to churches and ossuaries decorated in bones. (See them at the author's website.) This book should appeal to fans of classics like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, and the more recent DaVinci Code.

Caveat: There are many mysteries left unsolved at the end of the book, which ended abruptly. Presumably a sequel is in the works.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Chilling. Scary. Painful. Brilliant.

It is a painful and heartbreaking yet captivating and horror story of a woman who faces such betrayal,deciet,lies and torture

And then it's all about her journey towards revenge and then the ultimate discovery that sets her on a difficult path.

I am so glad I picked this one up from NetGalley!

This was absolutely UNEXPECTED.

I opened this one up and then I couldn't spend a single peaceful moment til I finished it. Yes it was THAT good.

I was reminded of so many things, movies and books during this one. The DaVinci Code to name a few. The author has done a brilliant job with all the details and the research is clearly thorough because every word is written with such clarify.

If you enjoyed that, you will love this one so much!

But I really really suggest anyone reading this to give this one a chance

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I liked how the book mixed history and mystery but at the end it left me with what happened next.. I was hooked from the first chapter and was captivated until the end. I did see this book more a mystery than a horror book.

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Absolutely addictive. This is a page-turned historical thriller, and definitely couldn't put it down from the very beginning. Luke Garcias' style of writing, the high-leveled suspense will keep you in your seat unable to put the book down, leaving you to wonder what will happen next.

For the first time in a long time I had to stop myself from reading it in one seating because it was to good to finish in one-go. Absolutely loved the strong female characters, and the details of the several historical events and places. Gracias took me in a journey across the world and in an amazing adventure.

This book will definitely make you shiver and make your pulse racing!

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“The Devil’s Prayer” is a phenomenal book that makes you want to read it over and over again. The author blends history and fiction into a cocoon of reality that leaves the reader wondering what was historical and what wasn’t. “The Devil’s Prayer” is extremely well researched with no shortage of details.

A mixture of “The Da Vinci Code” and “Rosemary’s Baby”…. Highly recommend this new favorite of mine.

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An unusual book that, for me, was as educational as it was interesting. It is by far the book in which I highlighted the most passages for personal research.

Though raised as a Christian (Lutheran), I never knew too much about the history of Catholicism. The plot centers on the redemptive journey of a young woman, tricked into a sexual encounter with Satan himself, which resulted in the birth of her second daughter. Satan is personified not as a raging devil, but rather is portrayed as a seemingly unobtrusive "normal" man with piercing eyes... someone the main character keeps seeing on the perimeter of her daily activities. Of course, Satan's goal is not one intended to inspire hope in the future of mankind.

What I especially found fascinating about this book, however, is the content of all those highlighted passages to which I referred in my opening paragraph. Those passages focused on the ancient history of the Catholic church and the highly evocative descriptions of some of the most isolated monasteries and convents ever built, including all their hidden rooms, basements and attics... accessible only by disguised buttons and highly-guarded keys made centuries ago (e.g., much of the tumultuous activity took place in 1222) . I was also intrigued by "The Devil's Prayer", Pope Honorius, and Arnaud Amalric... If you, too, are not familiar with the above, I suspect you'll be tempted to do some research of your own.

All in all, a different kind of book where historical facts often overshadow the plot, although that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the story in the least. Still highly recommended!

*** This book was provided to me by the author and/or the publisher as an ARC in return for my honest review. ***

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The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias is a phenomenal book, a perfect mixture of history, religion, fiction and educational. Reminded me of my favorite Dan Brown books.
This book starts of in mysterious circumstance of a nun (Denise Russo) chased by a band of monks who hangs herself from a church bell in front of a ritual parade of eight thousand people leaving the reader in questions like who is she? why would a nun do something like that? What follows is a cat and mouse game between the nun's young girl Siobhan Russo in search of mothers past who disappeared six years ago filled with secrets and a band of monks pledged to make sure she fails.The dairy of Denise throws light to her past, a past shattered by acts of greed and betrayal forcing her to make a deal with the Devil. As the pages unfold, the pace of the book sets your pulse racing.

I loved this fast paced gripping thriller specially because the author has done a fantastic job in providing detailed information on the bible, monasteries, ancient manuscripts etc. It even inspired me to research more about the Devil's Prayer. [Personally I enjoyed climax leaving the reader to interpret Siobhan's next steps which may disappoint some readers. (hide spoiler)]

Overall, an absolute addictive fast paced thriller which succeeds in keeping the reader on the edge right from the beginning with unpredictable twists and remarkable narrative skills.
Highly recommended!! Can't wait to get my hands on his other works.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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A thriller that has it all.

The synopsis gives a good idea of what you'll find. It's definitely a psychological thriller as Siobhan finds herself on a real mind f*ck of a journey in learning about her mother and how her mother's decisions have directed the path of Siobhan's own life.

And if that wasn't all.... something's not right with her mother's grandkids.

The story doesn't end with this book but I felt like it reached a good stopping point. A place to catch one's breath before beginning the next chapter. For both the reader and the characters.

Thank you to the publisher for a free copy of this book and holy moly do I hope the next book is coming out soon! This one was riveting.

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The Devils Prayer is a dark, macabre, religious, psychological thriller, a real page turner that I couldn't put down!! Like Dan Brown, we have a cat and mouse game of religion and murder that skips from the 13th century to the present day and is chock a block full of facts regarding the history of monasteries and Catholicism that makes me wonder no more, why Catholics have so much guilt and shame.
Imagine your child has been pulled out of a swimming pool and is unresponsive, despite the heroic attempts at defibrillation by paramedics. You call out to God for help and miraculously your prayers are answered, but what if the Devil answered instead?
Denise Russo is a naive single mother to Siobhan. Out on her birthday with her friends, she is attacked and hard used, and left paralysed. The Devil offers her a deal, her life back in exchange for the souls of her attackers. If she defaults, then he will take Siobhan's soul as payment.
Skipping forward many chapters so as not to spoil your enjoyment of this book, Denise leaves home and becomes a Nun. She starts to research ancient scriptures and books that mention The Devils Bible in an attempt to stave off the threatened Armageddon that involves her family.
You simply must read this book!! It has been so well researched, yet it's not dry and dusty like other books that deal with the history of religion. It is part Dan Brown, Raiders of the lost Ark and Scott Moriani in my opinion. It is a fast paced read that can induce fear, read with the lights on if you are of a nervous disposition and the violence can be startling but necessary to convey the sense of evil that is being fought against. The book ends abruptly and I do hope that's because there is a follow on, or I will feel extremely cheated!! Amidst all this religious fervour, there are also parables and messages about the destruction and death of humans and the Earth that we are inflicting by our selfish behaviour, a sense of we need to be Eco- warriors in order to appreciate what we have and not destroy our children's futures, which was a nice touch.
I rated this as a 5 star read and I heartily recommend this book. Thanks to NetGalley for a marvellous read.

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After the death of her mother, Denise Russo, Siobhan needs to understand what caused her to vanish six years earlier, and finds herself caught up in a nightmare centuries in the making. Traveling to the convent in Zamora where her mother lived, Siobhan is in danger from the moment she arrives, and it is with great difficulty that she is able to access her mother’s final written confession. Reading it, she learns of a terrible betrayal that led her mother to make a deal with the Devil, risking Siobhan’s soul if Denise didn’t hold up her end of the bargain. As disturbing as all that is to Siobhan, other discoveries made in later parts of her mother’s confession are absolutely horrifying… as is the unfinished task her mother begs her to complete.

The Devil’s Prayer is unlike any book I’ve ever read; this historical horror thriller has it all. The historical aspects of the book are based on actual events that occurred in the 13th century, and the locations mentioned actually exist—a bonus to any readers who are also history buffs. (Go here to see photographs and read information about the locations mentioned in the book.) Gracias’ historical research is excellent, and the masterful blending of fact and fiction makes this story even more chilling.

The novel ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, but the point it ends on felt like the perfect stopping point, in my opinion. Don’t let that dissuade you from reading this fascinating novel. It’s my understanding that a sequel is in the works, and that’s a good thing because there is plenty more story waiting to be told.

The Devil’s Prayer is an excellent read, and superbly written. I recommend this one highly… add it to your reading list!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of the author and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I am grateful for the preview copy provided for this review.

This one of very few books I knew warranted a full 5 stars. It has just about everything.

Reportedly inspired by a documentary, it starts with history told with the same detail as Umberto Ecco's THE NAME OF THE ROSE and the pace of THE DA VINCI CODE. All of this ties in nicely with a very current suspense story.

Possible Spoiler Alert" The only thing it would seem to lack is a real ending. Instead, it leaves you with the a very strong hope that there will be a second installment (hopefully coming after you have been able to argue whether the the movie was better than the book.

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***This book was reviewed via Netgalley***

The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias is a brilliant series of nested stories recounting two generations of one young woman’s family. The mother who disappeared for decades, only to turn up dead in Europe. The two orphans raised by their grandma when their mother vanishes. The history of the Devil's Bible. Three stories and countless lives tied together by one elusive, powerful document.

The first story follows Siobhan, elder daughter of Denise Russo. After her mother's death, she embarks on a journey to Spain, where her mother had lived in self-exile as Sister Benedictine. There, Siobhan acquires a book her mother had written about the circumstances of her life.

Into this, in a brand-new voice and tone and style, we follow her mother's confessions of terrible crimes, the tearing treachery of close betrayal, and a deal brokered for vengeance. A third layer threads through Denise's Confession, telling the history of Armaud Almaric and the creation of the Devil's Bible. Yet another tone and style make up this innermost story.

I love that Gracias utilised three different tones/styles for each of the nested stories, making them unique in themselves. Unlike many books with nested levels, or A plot and B plot, I enjoyed all three levels, looking forward to each change. Usually I have one storyline I look forward to, and the others I simply tolerate. Not here! Description flows well, often in a lazy pleasing fashion, such as the one below-

“It is the prerogative of night, when thoughts, like relentless waves, break on the impressionable sands of the mind.”

Many points in this tale gave me pause to think, most often about the truly despicable depths to which humanity can sink. Denise’s ordeal at the hands of her so-called friends made me feel physically ill. People can be so vile to one another. Many moons ago I trained to do forensics anthropology. I wasn't able to pursue that career goal as planned, yet I have many times found myself grateful for that fact. I would have burned out long ago. Denise's story brought a lot of those memories back full force.

Denise’s story takes a turn for the bizarre that briefly left me wondering if she were perhaps schizophrenic, and that it passed on to the elder daughter. It was a nice theory while it lasted, but later evidence seems to have put paid to it. There’s no overt horror. Even the Devil is a gentleman. There terror generated by the human element, and plenty of psychological suspense to keep the reader guessing. There's a subtleness to this story, with hints of Stephen King’s Needful Things, and a healthy dose of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and The X-Files.

My biggest qualm is the ending. Two of the three story threads resolved, but Siobhan's wasn't. That thread just begs a sequel and I really want to know what happens next! Does she accept her mother's challenge, or turn her back on it? If she does pursue things, how far will the red monks go to stopping

🎻🎻🎻🎻🎻 Highly recommended if you like historical fiction, books like The Historian, Shutter Island, or books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, or David Gibbons. Also, if you enjoyed the shows/movies The Exorcist, Premonition, or The X-Files

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