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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Shadow Cartel’ by Layton Green

People’s Temple Agricultural Project, Northwest Guyana, November 18, 1978

The man known as John Wolverton cocked his head at the sound, a faint thwap that echoed through the vines and trees. He reasoned the shot had come from a poacher’s rifle.

Surely it hadn’t come from the Port Kaituma airstrip. From Congressman Ryan’s delegation, sent to investgate the conditions of Reverend Jones’s utopian cult that had set up shop in the middle of the Guyanese jungle. Reverend Jones was a sociopath, but he wasn’t suicidal, and the doctors agreed the two were mutually exclusive.

All of the doctors, that was, except the forensic behavioral psychologist who speculated that in extreme cases, a sociopath who knew his joy ride was finished might use suicide as a tool. A final act of defiance against the societal forces that dared inhibit his desires.

A utopian cult, when first mentioned, sounds like the perfect retreat, however to me, Reverend Jones doesn’t sound like he has a stable enough personality for heading up such an ideology.

Sociopath – A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behaviour.

This is the fourth book in the Dominic Grey series, so I know from experience that the storyline will open up quite quickly, with the pace and intensity of events soon overtaking the pages!

If you enjoy your thrillers slightly on the dark and macabre side, well researched and written, then this series is a must for you!

To discover more about both book and author, click here


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit your host, Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I remember quite well the Jonestown Massacre these opening lines make reference to. I had to look back to see what the premise of the novel was, because for a moment there I thought this might be about those horrific events in Guyana. I hope you enjoy your latest outing with Dominic Grey.

    Here are the opening lines of Perfect Hatred by Leighton Gage:

    “The action began auspiciously.
    Salem Nabulsi had prayed for good weather – and God had rewarded him with a day of brilliant sunshine.
    He’d hoped the woman’s husband would leave at his accustomed hour – and the husband had departed fifteen minutes early.
    He’d feared the woman would not admit him to her apartment – but she had.
    And he’d feared she wouldn’t die quietly – but she did.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      Unlike today’s instant communications, where we are almost as up to date with your US domestic news and politics as we are with our own; back in the 1970s the only international news we really ever got to hear about, were matters affecting our own British Commonwealth countries, unless the seriousness of the event was going to have worldwide ramifications.

      Therefore, I have rather had to play catch-up with my own first lines, as so many of you picked up on the tie in with the Jonestown massacre, which was never really explained in the prefacing pages of the book. Neither does the premise for ‘The Shadow Cartel’ indicate whether the link between this rather disturbing prologue and the rest of the story is going to continue, or whether the incident in Guyana and the storyline of the book merely touch tenuously from time to time.

      Your own book, ‘Perfect Hatred’ sounds just as intense and intriguing as my own, right down to the rather sinister cover art. Have you read any of the other books in this series, as I see that we are already up to book 6 in the Mario Silva stories? I was just wondering if they could be read successfully as stand alone stories, or if I need to go back and start at the beginning of the series.

      Thanks for sharing your lines, this looks like another author for my list 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      • The Mario Silva books are rather intense and I’m currently reading the seventh and final installment. I plan to do a review of these last two together.

        I actually read these out of order (1,5,2,3,6,7) as I’ll explain further in my review. I did heed the author’s advice in reading books two and three in sequence, but was fine otherwise. Of course you know me… I still think character development works best in the proper order. You might well enjoy these!

        • I have marked ‘Blood Of The Wicked’, the first book in the series, for my ‘want to read’ list, as the arrangement all sounds a little complicated and I am probably better off starting at the beginning of Mario Silva’s journey!

          I did notice that the 7th and final installment of the series was published in 2014, although Leighton actually passed away in 2013. Was this just a posthumous publication; was the book completed by someone else, in his name; or should I just wait because you are going to explain all as part of your review?

          As a slight aside from this particular series, I had another series recommended to me by a fellow twitterer today. It sounds good to me, so I’ll leave a link for you to see what you think …



          • Oooo, both the book and the author sound fascinating! I might have to give it a go – seeing that it IS book one in the series 😉

            The best I can tell, the last Mario Silva novel was completed by the author. He died of pancreatic cancer, which took him quickly. Sad.

  • I was a kid when the Jonestown massacre happened, but I remember it being all over the news. I’ve seen documentaries about it as well as the movie with Powers Boothe doing such a good job as crazy Jim. I haven’t heard of this mystery series, but I am going to check it out.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I am amazed that I don’t remember having heard anything about the Jonestown massacre before. I was 20 when the event took place and even then was an avid news follower, although to be fair 1978 was some time before instant communication enabled worldwide news to travel at the speed it does today.

      The ‘Dominic Grey’ series is well worth reading, although you do need to enjoy the slightly ‘noir’ storylines and complex characters that author Layton Green brings so vivdly to life.

      Thanks for visiting, it is always great to have you join in the conversation and have a good weekend 🙂

    • Hi Katherine,

      This series has so far seen our protagonist, Dominic Grey, travelling from Zimbabwe to Cairo; from San Francisco to Paris and England, in his quest to uncover and break satanic and paranormal cults.

      Where the reference to the Jonestown massacre is going to lead Dominic this time, who knows, but I am looking forward to his adventures on the way!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and have a great weekend 🙂

    • Hi Sandra,

      There must be some connection to the Jonestown massacre and although it doesn’t actually say it, this event seems to have been used as a prologue to the story, as the first proper chapter is set in present day New York.

      I am a big fan of the ‘Dominic Grey’ series, as is probably apparent if you check out my ‘all time favourites’ listings over at Goodreads!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, I always appreciate it 🙂

    • Hi Vicki,

      I’m afraid I didn’t make the connection with the Jonestown massacre, when I put together the post, as I honestly can’t ever remember hearing about it, here in the UK. However, since so many of you have linked my first lines with the event, I have been avidly checking out all the articles I can find about the time and the horrific nature of what occurred that day, has shocked me to the core.

      I am not sure just how this event connects with the premise for ‘The Shadow Cartel’, or even if it does, however Laytons keen interest and passion for the genre in which he writes, always ensures a gripping, exciting and enthralling read – although you need to enjoy a psychological thriller, with a slightly dark edge to it, to enjoy the series ti its full potential.

      Thanks for the visit, I always appreciate your comments 🙂

Written by Yvonne