– Donna Thomas, an avid reader of Historical Fiction
favourite has been “The Prince Madoc Secret” – Erma Tihor
The Lucifer Scroll – the second book in Midland, Ontario author Barrie Doyle’s The Oak Grove Conspiracies. Doyle’s sequel toThe Excalibur Parchment, literally starts with a bang when protagonist Stone Wallace becomes the subject of an assassination attempt.
The suspense continues as readers are taken to Istanbul where historian and archeologist Huw Griffiths, searching through the rubble of a long-forgotten church, discovers clues that may lead to the discovery of the Holy Lance, the spear that pierced Jesus Christ’s side.
Griffiths’ daughter, history professor Myfanwy (Mandy) – who gains an assistant that she doesn’t want – and the two men are drawn into an adventure of intrigue that leads them, individually and together, to Niagara Falls, Georgian Bay, New Mexico, England, Austria and Wales. Along with their allies, the trio find themselves pitted against modern-day Druids and, at one point, Nazis, dodging the real and spiritual weapons aimed at them in the race to find the scroll that will lead to the lance.
Barrie Doyle creates a story where evil is evil, good is good and you have finish the book to find out which wins
I’ve been reading a lot of mystery and suspense novels lately and The Lucifer Scroll was one of the most readable of the bunch (second only to a couple of Ian Rankin novels). The Lucifer Scroll begins with an explosive opening and the action doesn’t let up until the end. Even when Lord Greyfell and his wife, Nees, are brought in to explain the spiritual danger of the Druids, Doyle imbues the expositional material with an urgency reminiscent of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness.
Like most books in a series, it may help if you’ve read The Excalibur Parchment, especially as it relates to the relationships between Huw and Mandy Griffiths and Stone Wallace. But there’s enough backstory in The Lucifer Scroll that it can be read as a stand-alone book.
What Doyle has excelled at is crafting a tale of intrigue that incorporates temporal and spiritual battles that seem to transcend time. He creates a story where evil is evil, good is good and you have to read to the end of the book to find out whether good or evil wins – even if it means you end up staying up until the wee hours of the night to find out.
Josh Tiessen, artist
I’ve never read anything Arthurian, but we were given this book as a gift and read it aloud as a family. We were immediately swept into another world that we found absolutely irresistible. Each chapter left us craving for more, anxious for the next time we could imbibe in this feast of words. Written almost like a screenplay for a thriller, we loved all the rich colourful details that transported us from one epic scene to another. The second book is on our Christmas list, and we can hardly wait. This book, and likely the rest in the series, must certainly be made into movies.