The Prayer of the Mantis

The Prayer of the Mantis is a Southern Gothic thriller written by S. Graves. She is represented by Madelyn Burt of Stonesong Press LLC.

Catching a killer is no easy feat, especially when it’s your own father. The Prayer of the Mantis is told from the perspective of Jack Fawn who is eighteen the summer he begins the search for his runaway mother. Initially, Jack did not want to find her but after learning that his free-spirited Uncle Dallas is already looking, they team up together. The hunt for Laurel’s whereabouts takes a terrifying turn when Jack and Dallas receive a letter warning them that Jack’s father, Silas Fawn, might be a murderer. 

Silas, an entomologist by trade, is considered to be the most hated man in Louisiana after closing the family’s long-running peach orchard. The small town of Haven, who relied on the Fawn Orchard for financial stability, is thrown into chaos because of this. It becomes clear that after decades of ether exposure in his work with bugs, Silas has become unhinged, vengeful, and dangerous. Jack discovers that his father is harboring a God complex. 

It doesn’t take Jack and Dallas long to realize that this may have something to do with his mother’s disappearance and the mysterious death of others in Haven. Dallas, fearing for his life, skips town and leaves Jack alone to protect his five-year-old brother Riven. Jack and Riven find themselves trapped in a house full of bugs with a cruel father who believes he is a god. Jack is worn thinner and thinner until he must abandon everything (including a budding romance) in order to pursue the truth of his complicated family tree. In the end, Jack loses what he was trying to protect all along.