Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Rising above a hardscrabble childhood to become a star at one of Atlanta’s most prestigious law firms, Derek Miller is reliving The Great Gatsby in his own backyard. The spell is broken, however, when Derek’s investigation into the death of his mentor, a prominent psychologist, runs afoul of a mysterious government project involving research into psychic phenomena.
As Derek digs deeper, convinced his mentor was murdered, he is plunged into a rabbit hole of government experiments, clandestine figures, and supposed paranormal events. His investigation also puts him at odds with shadowy forces deep within the corridors of power — including those on the top floor of his own law firm.
With his career in shambles, a warrant out for his arrest, and his life in jeopardy, Derek is running out of time to unravel the secrets surrounding his mentor’s research. And if he fails, it’s not just his own life that will be at risk, but the lives of those he holds most dear.
From a theoretical physicist to a clairvoyant housewife to the charismatic pastor of a mega-church, from lavish Southern mansions to desperate urban wasteland, Derek’s investigation turns into a race for survival that hinges on one thing alone: finding, and stopping, the most powerful psychic the world has ever seen.
When I heard that the next Layton Green book didn’t feature Dominic Grey, the character from the three previous thrillers, I was a bit apprehensive but also hopeful. On the one hand I did like all the Dominic Grey series books well enough to wish the author to continue (but with some changes concerning the female characters- see my links to appropriate reviews, below, to know the details). On the other hand that first series seemed to be going from good to worse, at least in my very humble opinion, so I thought it was the right idea to change the scenery and the hero a bit.
In The Metaxy Project Dominic Grey was replaced by Derek Gabriel Miller, a young attorney-at- law from seedier parts of Atlanta, working as a litigation expert for a big company. After the death of his older mentor and a close friend, Dr. Sam Carter, Derek got mixed up in a very fishy, paranormal business. I have to admit Miller worked for me far better than Dominic. First of all I could tell immediately that the author drew his knowledge about law practice and working for a big law firm from his own experience, not just research; as a result Mr. Miller sounded very believable and he was able to make the whole novel far better.
During his long, painful quest to find the truth and clear his name Derek was involved with two women: one he loved (Gemma) and one who was secretly in love with him (Cameron). Both of them were a huge improvement over the sidekicks and occasional lovers of Dominic Grey although still they both fell into that sad category of a damsel in distress (and I think it is easy to guess who was their white knight in a shining armour). It was my only disappointment – I do hoped that at least one of the females would be able to defend herself at the very least (and perhaps also poor, befuddled Derek who, at some point, was in dire straits). No such luck. Ok, I grant it – Gemma did help him in the end but it was rather sudden, without the proper build-up. And I would love to get into the head of Eunice Brown, an African-American girl with unique abilities.
As usually the philosophical and paranormal theories, surprisingly complex for a thriller, were the part I enjoyed the best – that hasn’t changed from the previous series. Mr. Layton Green has a knack of spinning original stories using the paranormal, the occult, and questions of faith, belief, and the human capacity for good and evil. They aren’t quick or easy reads, as they’re mysteries with depth. More often than not, as far as I know, they are also based on different facts (like the Remote Viewing project which was led and financed by the Soviets and the Americans) – that’s why I suppose their impact is far greater than any purely fictional theory. I really loved the meaning of the title (it’s Greek!) and how it merged into the narration.
Finally the cover – I am not a fan. I find it too generic to be enticing or even mildly interesting.
I don’t regret buying this one – it didn’t disappoint me and I am pleased to say Layton Green gets better and better as a writer of paranormal thrillers with a philosophical bent. He is certainly one of those author I will keep my eye on.
Other books by Layton Green I’ve read and reviewed here: