A Portion of Malice

Ages of Malice, Book I

Fiction - Religious Theme
377 Pages
Reviewed on 11/07/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lloyd Jeffries enjoys dark comedies, philosophy, clever turns of phrase, religious studies and thought experiments involving the esoteric and legendary. A decorated veteran of numerous conflicts, he served in the U.S. military and has practiced Emergency, Trauma and Wilderness medicine for more than twenty years. He hides out in Florida with his family and Buck the Wonder Dog.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

"Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Emery Merrick presses a pistol to his temple. Then there's a knock at the door." Welcome to Emery's cabalistic world where immortals reign and biblical mythology is rewritten. Billionaire Thaddeus Drake's secret society works to fulfill biblical prophecy and sacrifice the Earth to a bloodthirsty god. Longinus, ostensibly and historically, is a Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus on the cross but is far more deadly and immortal here. In A Portion of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries, nothing and no one is what or who they seem.

Similarities to the horror in many of Stephen King's novels and the spiritual/religious undertones of the plot lines in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons are clear. But readers familiar with Dante's Inferno, and his journey through the nine circles of Hell, will also recognize the poetic justice and a strong emotional "feel" as they travel with Emery Merrick through this fantastic world where nothing is as it seems. Biblical history forms a baseline from which Lloyd Jeffries redefines and simultaneously shocks the reader with a 'who is really who and why is he doing' ... but, I thought... wait a minute—what the—sense of wonderfully enticing imbalance and surprise. Notwithstanding the apparent comparisons to King, Brown, and yes, even Dante, Lloyd Jeffries' A Portion of Malice is a must-read, not only for the overall storyline but also perhaps because of the fascinating characters and imaginative "rewrite" of biblical mythology and history masterfully written. Currently the first book, it appears there will be a sequel to A Portion of Malice and that calls for a rousing Hallelujah!

Rabia Tanveer

A Portion of Malice is the first novel in the Ages of Malice series by Lloyd Jeffries. The story follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Emery Merrick. The story opens with Emery at the lowest point of his life. With his child lost and his relationship ending in divorce, Emery thought there was nothing else for him to live for. Emery received a second chance at life when Thaddeus Drake came knocking on his door asking Emery to write his biography. However, the moment Thaddeus opened up, Emery realized he was out of his depth. As Thaddeus revealed his secret, Emery was thrust into a world of deceit and a plan for destruction. Thaddeus wanted to precipitate Armageddon and end the Earth as a sacrifice. What should Emery do? Stopping Thaddeus was almost impossible but imperative. Would anyone believe Emery and would he die a hero?

The perfect story of the battle between good and evil, A Portion of Malice had me biting my nails and holding my breath at times. This was a thriller with the perfect amount of action, and suspense to keep me reading. I usually don’t enjoy novels with religious themes, but Lloyd Jeffries did a fantastic job and never allowed one theme to overpower the other. Thaddeus’s real identity and aims were the first of the major surprises for me. I will not reveal more, as you have to read it to experience it. The pace was addictive. I finished this story in a single sitting and then got back to it immediately with my highlighter ready. The author was perfectly correct in saying that fans of Dan Brown would love it! I cannot recommend it enough. Fans of thrillers, action, and mysterious plots will adore this novel.

Vincent Dublado

The first book in the Ages of Malice Series by Lloyd Jeffries, A Portion of Malice is an apocalyptic thriller that opens strongly and sustains its momentum until the end. Early in the story, you get to know Emery Merrick, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who fell from grace after going on a bender of drugs and alcohol and doesn’t care much about anything. He is invited to abandon his post at the Times, his wife leaves him, and his friends disappear. Merrick is reduced to a barfly who has stories to tell but has no money. Just as he is about to press a Sig pistol to his temple, Thaddeus Drake commissions him to write his biography. Known as The Dove, Drake has been a central figure on the world stage, appearing in areas wracked by war and somehow creating peace from chaos. One thing that Merrick finds mysterious about the man is that Drake always wears gloves. On his hand, Drake bears the mark of Cain, and he has a secret that will take Merrick into a dark, sinister world.

One of the things that makes A Portion of Malice consistently intense is the way Merrick conducts his investigation as a prize-winning journalist. Lloyd Jeffries brings a detective noir feel to the novel, and Merrick’s first-person point of view allows you to move from one bizarre event to another. The storyline does a good job of showing death with a ritualistic panache which helps to sum up the degree of evil that Merrick faces. The dialogue evokes an atmosphere of suspense and horror, together with intelligence, and it allows you to follow Merrick’s process of deduction as he figures out how Drake intends to fulfill a prophecy that involves redemption. Intricate, well-paced, and psychologically perceptive, as shown by Jeffries’s weighty, descriptive sentences, the book will appeal to readers of supernatural thrillers.

Alex Ndirangu

A Portion of Malice: Ages of Malice, Book I by Lloyd Jeffries is a beautifully written supernatural thriller. Unemployed and depressed, a former reporter believes he has lost everything and that his life can only become worse. Emery can't shake the idea that his time is up, but as he slowly pulls back on the trigger, relishing the prospect of release, he is startled by a knock at the door. A giant of a man named Longinus has come to offer him a job contract that could change the course of his life. A few days later, Emery sits in the Burj Khalifa with Thaddeus Drake, a well-known billionaire, and international peacemaker. Aside from being an extraordinary professional peace broker, Drake, formerly incarnated as Cain, was cursed by God to roam the earth forever and never die. He requests that Emery write his life story honestly without skipping a single detail. But Emery has yet to learn of Drake's nefarious plans...

The narrative's pacing was fantastic. Everything happens in an easily understandable manner. Before reading this book, I had a question about God that my Sunday school teacher never answered. I've always wondered how God can be present for everyone all at once. But I'm grateful that this book gave me a lovely perspective on this issue. It is admirable that Lloyd Jeffries chose to write on a widely reviewed subject while still giving it a fresh flavor and intrigue. I appreciated the way that the author used famous real-world cities and structures. This gave A Portion of Malice a realistic touch. Lloyd Jeffries did a fantastic job of character development. I liked the way that the characters had distinct personalities that any reader would love to follow. There were some characters that I loved and others who made me angry. Jeffries is undeniably talented to elicit these emotions in a reader. I am grateful and delighted to have discovered this series, and I look forward to reading more by this author.

K.C. Finn

A Portion of Malice is a work of fiction in the supernatural subgenre and forms the first book in the Ages of Malice series. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by author Lloyd Jeffries. The book follows journalist Emery Merrick after he is hired to write a biography for an affable billionaire with a dangerous secret involving a clandestine society seeking to offer the world as a tribute to a powerful and malicious god. As the descent into the world of his subjects pushes the very limits of his sanity, Emery must fight to keep his wits about him if he has any chance of survival.

This was a thrilling rollercoaster of unpredictable twists and turns from start to finish, with an exciting pace that never lets up as Emery is dragged deeper and deeper into the dangerous world of secret cults and the end of the world. Author Lloyd Jeffries has a prose style that is unrivaled in its velocity and evocativeness, with readers being taken on an emotional journey quite unlike any other I’ve experienced in a long time. As Emery dives deeper into the twisted and deeper world, the development of the character is outstanding as the supernatural ideas he witnesses cause him to grow and change in an organic yet unpredictable way. Overall, A Portion of Malice is a book that will challenge readers in one moment before disturbing them in the next as it weaves a stunning image of a world that feels so close to our own.