Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Friday, 24 January 2014

Book Review: The Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff

Bought this book way back in March 12 on a whim after coming across the author who had written a piece on the 'Murderati' web site in regard to the casting of a rather diminutive actor to play the role of an extremely large peripatetic loner from the world of crime fiction .... the trolls were giving her a hard time over her comments and for some reason I bought this book and it's been sitting there since then, but better late than never......

I thought I had never read any occult and then suddenly I remembered finding Dennis Wheatley in the 70's and devouring almost all of his novels, how could I have forgotten, particularly since I had a clear out a couple of weeks ago and there were at least a dozen of his books donated away to make space  .... memory

Anyway to the book at hand:  Erin Carmody, a Bostonian socialite teen and student is found dumped in one of Bostons rubbish infill sites.  Well, we find out later that it is she, as when the body is discovered it has no head or hands....

Detectives Adam Garrett and Carl Landauer are assigned the case and quickly find themselves dealing with what appears to be a murder linked to the Occult; something neither of them have any belief in or understanding off.

On chasing down what little leads they have they soon arrest Carmody's boyfriend, another college student and band member who appears to have gone off the deep end psychologically speaking and also has an unhealthy interest in the occult.  The detectives believe they have the right guy for the murder but someone called Tanith Cabarrus, an occult shop owner from Salem turns up at the police station and gives details of the mutilation that had not been, as far as they knew, to the press or anyone outside the investigation, then she informed them that the boy they had arrested for the murder was not guilty and that it was in fact a ritual killing, that one other had already taken place and that more would occur before Samhain or Halloween to you and me.

There is no record or reports of a previous murder of this type in the system and clearly the detectives are more than a little sceptical of this walk-in witness......

This is a complicated thriller, mainly for the characters, doubtful and disbelieving detectives with one having his whole belief system challenged the other totally dismissive of an occult connection and with an arrest in his pocket and all the evidence pointing to a conviction.  The Assistant DA, the girlfriend of the doubting Thomas detective not wanting anything to get in the way of securing that conviction, a conviction that will turn her and the arresting detectives into superstars,  and his confusion and turmoil as he is assailed with information from Tanith Cabarrus that he just can't bring himself to believe is true.

It turns into a bit of a rollercoaster and a race, with Garrett putting his life and career on the line. His partner in a coma and three more lives at stake,  can he put his prejudices aside and can he stave of the suspension long enough to get the job done..........

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 49
Page length: 321