Format Read: Paperback ARC
Source: From PR firm for an honest review
Release Date: March 25, 2015
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Blurb from goodreads:
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.
I like conspiracy theory books and thought this one fit the bill and the blurb caught my eye.
"Shadow Ritual" starts with a backstory from WWII. I found the back story a bit lackluster. I am not a huge fan of a back story starting the very beginning of the story unless it is a huge hook. In this case, I found it a bit hard to follow. The story as a whole is interesting but it jumps around and it took me the first 50 pages to figure out who the actual main characters were and what the story might be about. About the time I realized the identity of the main characters, an explanation of the murder ritual was given and the story takes off. However, it took the first third of the book before I was really hooked into the story.
The story jumps from our main characters of Inspector Marcas and Jade, who are investigating the ritual murders and trying to solve the mystery that dates back to the fall of the Third Reich, to the people trying to cover up the murders and the people who did the murders. I always have the same problem when a book does this. I find myself caring more about what is going on with one character than I do the rest. I find myself skimming through these sections to get back to the character I prefer, then I miss things and have to figure out what the hell happened. This is not the fault of the author or the story, it’s just me. I did this for the first third of the book and then something happened. I got sucked in by a couple of the other characters (both “bad guys”). Helen is, for lack of a better word, an assassin and we learn her back story. All of a sudden, I was hooked by her story and she became interesting. Yes, she is still an assassin but I guess I understood her a little better and that made her “badass” in my eyes. The other character was Bashir. He was the other killer and I really liked reading his parts. I'm not sure why but he just clicked with me. I guess bad guys just make things more interesting.
The two main characters Inspector Marcas and Inspector Jade Zewinski are interesting. Jade is totally kick ass! Usually with books in this category, the female character is a sidekick and wimpy. Jade is former special forces and there is nothing wimpy about her. Marcas is not only a cop but also a Freemason. He understands the big picture of what is going on and why they need to solve these murders but also has a loyalty to the Freemasons and their secrets. .
I actually really liked this story. It started off slow but it is full of conspiracy, intrigue, murder (lots of murder) and adventure and two pretty awesome female characters. It took me a bit to get connected with more than just one of the characters, but the authors found a way to hook me with some interesting bad guys. Once this happened, I could not put the book down and I enjoyed the story as a whole.