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About The Book

This “disorienting, creepy, paranoia-inducing reimagining of the devil-made-me-do-it tale” (Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World) follows the harrowing downfall of a tortured graduate student arrested for murder.

Grayson Hale, the most infamous murderer in Scotland, is better known by a different name: the Devil’s Advocate. The twenty-five-year-old American grad student rose to instant notoriety when he confessed to the slaughter of his classmate Liam Stewart, claiming the Devil made him do it.

When Hale is found hanged in his prison cell, officers uncover a handwritten manuscript that promises to answer the question that’s haunted the nation for years: was Hale a lunatic, or had he been telling the truth all along?

The first-person narrative reveals an acerbic young atheist, newly enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to carry on the legacy of his recently deceased father. In need of cash, he takes a job ghostwriting a mysterious book for a dark stranger—but he has misgivings when the project begins to reawaken his satanophobia, a rare condition that causes him to live in terror that the Devil is after him. As he struggles to disentangle fact from fear, Grayson’s world is turned upside-down after events force him to confront his growing suspicion that he’s working for the one he has feared all this time—and that the book is only the beginning of their partnership.

“A modern-day Gothic tale with claws” (Jennifer Fawcett, author of Beneath the Stairs), A History of Fear marries dread-inducing atmosphere with heart-palpitating storytelling.

About The Author

Photograph by Chelsea Valentine

Luke Dumas is the author of the novel A History of Fear. His nonfiction has appeared in Literary Hub, Hobart, Last Exit, Panorama: The Journal of Travel, Place, and Nature, and more. He received his master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh and is a graduate of the University of Chicago. 

About The Readers

Why We Love It

“I was alone in an unfamiliar hotel when I first read A History of Fear on submission. Bad choice. I couldn’t sleep at night, afraid that fiends—bird-like terrors—were stalking me from outside my window. Shadows turned into horrifying shapes; light was not enough to scare them away. Luke Dumas’s haunting literary suspense-horror gets under your skin. Is the devil a figment of our imagination? Or is the devil real? Well, you’ll have to find out yourself, but make sure to read this novel somewhere warm, open, and sunny. That’s the only way you’ll feel safe.”

—Loan L., Editor, on A History of Fear

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (December 6, 2022)
  • Runtime: 11 hours and 39 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797148496

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Raves and Reviews

"Outcast American Grayson Hale follows in his father's footsteps to Scotland, where he allegedly kills in the name of Satan. An ensemble of narrators lends credibility to the illusion that this is a true story, along with the introduction and comments throughout by Toni Frutin — but it is fiction. The first-person story is masterfully delivered by Graham Halstead as Hale recounts his life as a confused young man. He is ignored by unloving parents and a fear of the devil, who sends horrible creatures to attack him, creatures only he can see. After his arrest for murder, he becomes infamous by insisting the devil forced him to kill. The narrators effectively instill an undertone of horror and helplessness, making listeners pity Hale. Are his visions real-or the product of a deranged mind? They keep us guessing."

– Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine

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