A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist gets caught in a whirlwind of darkness, deceit, and ancient secrets in Jeffries’s series kicker in the Ages of Malice series. Unable to come to terms with his personal grief, Emery Merrick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is about to take his own life when he is hired by the billionaire tycoon Thaddeus Drake to write his biography. As Emery sets out to work on his new project, he discovers Thaddeus heads an ancient, secret society which is determined to sacrifice the Earth to a bloodthirsty God in order to fulfill a prophecy. Otherworldly and tinged with melancholy, Jeffries’s captivating tale unfolds via Emery’s immersive first-person narrative that frequently alternates with an omniscient third-person voice to reveal the backstories of Cain and his two trusted allies. Beautifully drawn characters imbue the intricate plot with authenticity and heart. Emery as the main protagonist shines. Jeffries skillfully portrays his inner turmoil, and in doing so, he weaves in an intriguing interrogation of loneliness, trauma, forgiveness, regret, pride, legacy, belief system, power dynamics and how the truth depends on a person’s perspective, into the affecting narrative. The character dynamics between Thaddeus, Longinus, and Igneus is engaging, and the cliff-hanger ending beautifully sets up a captivating hook for further installments. A winner.