Book Review | The Devil’s Prayer

Title // The Devil’s Prayer
Author // Luke Gracias
Publication Month // August 26, 2016
Publisher // Australian eBook Publisher
Genre // Historical Fiction, Horror


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? 

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.


I went into The Devil’s Prayer with few ideas about what the story was actually about, beyond the synopsis provided. I think that’s the best way to begin with the book, because one of the strengths of this book is the suspense that begins on the first page and doesn’t let up the whole way through. I began to expect the unexpected and go along for the ride, and I’m so glad I did.

It did remind me of The Davinci Code in regards to general themes, although it is very different. Parts of the story are told through traditional narrative, but the majority of the story is told via a journal left by Denise Russo to her daughter, Siobhan, who takes possession of the journal after Denise publicly commits suicide. As such, we don’t learns as much about Siobhan as a character as I might have liked at this stage, except what we learn from Denise’s journal, although we do go on the journey with Siobhan as she uncovers things about her mother that she never knew.

This book is a thriller, through-and-through. There are terrible things that occur to the characters throughout – many times, I found myself wondering whether things could possibly get worse, and they did – but it does help to set the tone for everything that follows and it was quite confronting to read. 

Luke Gracias has obviously done a lot of research into events and locations for his story. It is well written, fast-paced and engrossing. While the ending did seem a bit abrupt, with plenty of unanswered questions, there’s room for a follow-up book. Even if there isn’t, where the story ended is enough for the reader to fill in their own blanks, too, which is not always a bad thing.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil’s Prayer. I rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of The Devil’s Prayer in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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