Books by Layton
A Dominic Grey Novel
While investigating the murder of a Satanic cult leader, two private investigators follow the trail of a reclusive New Age prophet and are plunged into a vortex od black magic, ancient heresies, and the dark corners of their own pasts.
Praise for The Diabolist
Unbelievably good, unbelievably intricate, unbelievably Green.The Review Broads
A well-crafted and exciting thriller with a pair of interesting protagonists...and a charismatic villain who makes our head crawl.Booklist
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A Dominic Grey Novel
A former Diplomatic Security Agent, an expert on cults and an ambitious reporter shift through science and myth to uncover the truth behind a sinister biotech company’s miraculous life-extension product.
Praise for The Egyptian
[If] James Bond and the X-Files had a love child, this book would be it.Keryl Raist, To Publish or Not to Publish
The Egyptian combines mythology and modern scientific research in a fantastic thriller that leaves the reader breathless and on the edge of their seat...reminds me of Michael Chrichton's works with the mysteries, thrills, and the life-changing scientific discoveries.Cherie Reich, Surrounded by Books
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A Dominic Grey Novel
A religious phenomenologist, a Diplomatic Security Agent and their local liaison investigate the mysterious disappearance of a U.S. diplomat at a religious ceremony in the Zimbabwe bushveld.
Praise for The Summoner
Mystical, complicated, completely believable and terrifying...[w]ith and ending that will catapult you out of your reading chair. Riveting.The Review Broads
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Written in Blood
A Detective Preach Everson Novel #1
After a decade of tracking down killer in Atlanta, Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, returns to his hometown of Creekville, North Carolina to soothe his battered spirit and join the local police force. A bohemian community just outside of Chapel Hill, where hipsters rub shoulders with good ol’ boys, the eccentric little town is known to the rest of the state as the People’s Republic of Creekville. Soon after Preach arrives, a local bookstore owner is brutally killed in his home – the first murder in Creekville in over seven years. The only officer on the force with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Preach must work the murder case at the same time he tries to deal with the violence that has touched his own life. With the help of his partner Kirby and Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer’s community and the bizarre underbelly of Creekville. There have been changes in the detective’s old stomping grounds — and not for the better. Darkness and violence have found their way into the small southern town, taking root and spreading like kudzu through the forest. The danger and tension in the small town mounts, and when a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allen Poe novella, Preach realizes that his adversary is a literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed.
The novel is a page turner with compelling characters, including the quirky town of Creekville, which emerges as a fascinating character unto itself. Layton is brilliant at building suspense throughout the book right up to its unexpected denouement.
Praise for Written in Blood
Written in Blood provides the delights of a whodunit, with esoteric clues that refer cleverly to classic literary works, while, at the same time, offering the gritty sense of place and the kind of psychologically complex characters ordinarily associated with noir. These elements combine to make a smart page-turner, as dark and deep as the Carolina woods.Gordon McAlpine, author of Hammett Unwritten and the Edgar-nominated Woman with a Blue Pencil
Written in Blood combines bookishness and murder in brain-teasing ways, doubling the pleasure of a more conventional procedural. Fast paced and braided with twists, it’s terrific entertainment.Andrew Pyper, author of The Only Child and The Demonologist
Written in Blood has it all. The lead detectives are fully drawn and full of mystery, each battling his own demons while fighting for justice. And Layton Green nails the Southern setting, where the town of Creekville seems like a hipster’s paradise and yet bubbles with menace and long-held resentments below the kale-smoothie surface. On top of all that, Written in Blood has an ending that no one, and I mean no one, will see coming. A compelling and elegant work of crime fiction.Mark Pryor, author of Dominic and the Hugo Marston novels
A fast-paced, well-written mystery that skillfully combines a police procedural with literary sleuthing. Simply put, this novel is too good to pass up. If you haven’t read anything by Layton Green, start now. You won’t be disappointed.Larry D. Sweazy, multiple-award-winning author of Where I Can See You
A page-turner for readers who appreciate literary references and existential questions with their corpses.Publishers Weekly
Smart, tense, and mystifying, this is one of the best new mysteries I’ve read this year.Critical Mass Blogspot
[A] fascinating new protagonist who's both tough and sensitive.Kirkus Reviews
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A Shattered Lens
A Detective Preach Everson Novel #2
A detective investigates the murder of a teenage golden boy that has rocked a small town–and the chief suspect is the victim’s mother.
Annalise Stephens Blue is a Creekville high school student with plans to become a world-famous filmmaker. As she begins filming an exposé of the town called Night Lives, she uncovers more than she bargained for: on the very first night of filming, she stumbles upon a murder in the woods, and flees the scene steps ahead of the killer.
Detective Joe “Preach” Everson is called to investigate the murder. The victim, David Stratton, is the town’s golden boy and high school quarterback. A modern version of what Preach used to be. Not only that, the boy’s mother is Claire Lourdis, a beautiful divorcée who Preach fell for in high school. She is also the main suspect in her son’s murder.
Despite the cloud of suspicion hanging over her, old feelings resurface between Claire and Preach, straining the detective’s relationship with his girlfriend Ari, a prosecutor in nearby Durham. As Preach delves into the secrets lurking beneath the surface of the town and searches for a missing girl who may have witnessed the crime, he must put his own feelings aside and pursue the answer to a terrible question: is a mother capable of murdering her own child?