Mother of Demons is the latest release from Maynard Sims, the pseudonym for long time writing partners Mick Sims and Len Maynard. It’s also the latest Department 18 Novel, the fifth in a series of supernatural horror novels focusing on a clandestine British government organization tasked with protecting the country from threats of the mystical variety. The authors put out consistently high quality novels that read fast and fun, and this story is no exception.
The novel starts out with Erik Strasser and his followers, members of a fast growing coven. Strasser is the high priest and is forced to intervene when Alice, one of his followers, gets intoxicated and decide to try and fly from a high hotel balcony. This establishes the relationship between the two and how Strasser desires to protect Alice. Alice is the niece of Vi Bulmer, an associate of Department 18, and her plight is what brings the organization into the case.
Alice’s family manages to wrest her away from Strasser and his coven only to see her escape from the treatment center they sent her to. As two workers are killed when she escapes, Harry Bailey involves the Department as the deaths seem to be the result of supernatural origin. Along with Vi and her assistant Jason, Harry and Department 18 work with the local law enforcement to uncover the truth of Strasser and his relationship to Alice. The characters are solid and have strong backstories, especially if the reader has experience with the previous novels in the series.
The plot develops in an interesting way that keeps the pages turning fast. What seems to start off as a conspiracy involving a secret society quickly becomes both more than that and less than that. Less in a good way, as a tighter story that focuses on characters and their relationships. The plot becomes something of a revenge-horror story infused with a heavy dose of the supernatural at things build to a solid climax. Mother of Demons is a solid and enjoyable book from beginning to end.