Shadow Ritual by Éric Giacometti, Jacques Ravenne

Shadow Ritual by Éric Giacometti, Jacques Ravenne
Publisher: Le French Book
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (270 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

An electrifying thriller about the rise of extremism. Two slayings—one in Rome and one in Jerusalem—rekindle an ancient rivalry between modern-day secret societies for knowledge lost at the fall of the Third Reich. Detective Antoine Marcas unwillingly teams up with the strong-willed Jade Zewinski to chase Neo-Nazi assassins across Europe. They must unravel an arcane Freemason mystery, sparked by information from newly revealed KGB files. Inspired from the true story of mysterious Freemason files thought to hold a terrible secret, stolen by the SS in 1940, recovered by the Red Army in 1945 and returned half a century later.

Shadow Ritual is a fast-paced thriller about the rise of extremism and the ruthless people that would do anything to gain power. Add in interesting characters and esoteric secrets and you get a compelling read.

For me, the absolute favorite part of the novel were the two protagonists and their relationship. They were complex and intriguing and I kept wanting to know more about them. The fact that they started off their partnership on the wrong foot only added an extra dimension to their interaction. Despite the tense relationship, the attraction between them was noticeable from the very beginning. The villains, however, appeared a bit too simplistic and I wished for more complexity in their characterization.

I liked how, unlike with other similar books, with Shadow Ritual we got to know the Freemasons from an insider’s perspective. I felt that gave the story more credibility, because the investigators weren’t going on guessing and hearsay but one of them was actually initiated into the lodge’s secrets and rituals. Although, on occasion, there was perhaps a bit too much backstory and history interwoven into the current storyline.

However, the plot was intense and suspenseful and kept me riveted till the very end and now I want to read the rest of the novels in the Antoine Marcas series.

If you like thrillers à la The Da Vinci Code, Shadow Ritual is ideal for you. It’s filled with compelling characters and intense action and you won’t be able to put it down until the very satisfying resolution.

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