“Dumas twists the time-worn trope of “the devil made me do it” to terrifying new heights with this strange literary horror debut.”
Grayson Hale, aka the Devil’s Advocate, is Scotland’s most infamous murderer. Claiming “the Devil made me do it” the young American grad student gained notoriety when he killed his classmate, Liam Stewart. After Hale is discovered dead in his prison cell, authorities find a handwritten manifesto that dares to answer the question: was Hale a lunatic, or did he actually tell the truth about the murder?
Hale doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. A sardonic atheist, new to the University of Edinburgh, Hale was broke until he took up a ghostwriting job for a mysterious stranger. The first-person account recalls how working on the project awakens Hale’s satanophobia, a psychological condition in which he believes the Devil is after him. Struggling to separate fact from fear, Hale must face the fact that who he’s working for could be the one he should have feared all along, and the book is merely the beginning of their partnership.
Why we’re excited about this book:
Luke Dumas calls San Diego, California home, and received his master’s in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Dumas’ work has appeared in such publications as Last Exit, Hobart, and the queer anthology The Whole Alphabet: The Light and the Dark. Dumas twists the time-worn trope of “the devil made me do it” to terrifying new heights with this strange literary horror debut. Clay McLeod Chapman (Whisper Down the Lane, Ghost Eaters) says: “A History of Fear presents itself as a disquieting cache of nightmares, a nested doll narrative that reads like a found-footage Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg. Readers, beware: this novel is not safe and will have you questioning what’s real for many sleepless nights to come.”, Megan Collins (The Family Plot) says: “A History of Fear succeeds on so many levels—as a haunting tale of the supernatural, a harrowing story of suspense, and a stark warning about the power of our inner demons. I consumed this book breathlessly, and every time I think of its jaw-dropping ending, I feel a chill all over again.”, and Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist) says: “A delicious walk along the razor’s edge between the imagined and the supernatural, A History of Fear is candy for readers who like their thrills real and their horror a worrying whisper in their head.”
Releasing from Atria Books 6 December 2022, A History of Fear by Luke Dumas is available for pre-order now.