Memnoch the Devil (1995) is the fifth novel in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series, following The Tale of the Body Thief. Some of the themes of this novel and in large part the title are re-borrowed from the 19th Century gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer by Irish author Charles Maturin. In this story, Lestat is approached by the Devil and offered a job at his side.
Plot Summary Edit
After stalking and killing Roger, a ruthless but enthrallingly passionate mobster, Lestat is approached by Roger's ghost. Roger's ghost asks him to take care of his daughter Dora, a devout and popular television evangelist, whom he wants to spare from embarrassment. At the same time, Lestat has become increasingly paranoid that he's being stalked by a powerful force.
Eventually, Lestat meets the Devil, who calls himself Memnoch. He takes Lestat on a whirlwind tour of Heaven, Hell and retells of the entirety of history from the his own point of view in an effort to convince Lestat to join him as God's adversary. In his journey, Memnoch claims he is not evil, but merely working for God by ushering lost souls into Heaven. Lestat is left in confusion, unable to decide whether or not to cast his lot with the Devil.
After the tour, Lestat believes himself to have had a major revelation. Among other things, he believes that he has seen Christ's crucifixion who offers Lestat his blood to drink. After using Veronica's veil to remove the blood from his face, Christ hands the newly emblazoned veil to Lestat for his safekeeping. Later, Lestat makes his decision and refuses to help serve Memnoch as a prince in Hell, calling Memnoch and God as both being mad. In an attempt to retrieve the veil from Lestat, Memnoch instead snatches Lestat's left eye during the struggle and Lestat is forced to leave it behind when he manages to escape Hell and return to Earth. He tells his story to Armand, David Talbot and Dora, who have joined him in New York. Dora and Armand are deeply moved upon seeing the veil. Dora takes it and reveals it to the world, triggering a religious movement. Armand goes into the sun and immolates himself in order to convince people that a miracle has occurred.
At the end of the novel, Lestat and David go to New Orleans. There, Maharet returns Lestat's eye to him, along with a note from Memnoch that reveals Memnoch may have been manipulating Lestat to serve his own agenda. Lestat then loses control of himself and Maharet is forced to chain him in the basement of the St. Elizabeth's convent, which is owned by the vampires, so that he will not hurt himself or others.