The speaker, a Generation Xer with jet-black hair, stood in front of a large stylized sun painting. he took in the Alessandro di Cagliostro Freemason Lodge in Rome. The room was silent.
Shadow Ritual was an interesting mesh of WWII conspiracy and modern day crime drama. I felt it was more a historical novel than "an electrifying thriller." It was entertaining but don't expect it to be a heart racing read,
This is the second French novel I have read that brings WWII into the modern day. While I have read a number of books set during WWII, few have dealt with the history of it in modern day. And when they do it is usually as the story of a survivor. I wonder if it is a European thing to focus on the conspiracies that are all but glossed over in American novels.
Shadow Ritual focuses on the Nazi's (or Hitler's) obsession with the perfect Aryan race and the fraternal organization of Freemasons. I know little to nothing about Freemasons. I can't recall an American novel that has included them in the plot. So this plot thread was rather foreign to me. There is also some references to the Knights Templar which I have a little more knowledge of.
The story is actually quite complex and I'm not sure if all the threads and characters are fleshed out enough. That may be why I didn't find it to be as exciting as a thriller should be. Also it also frayed too close to crime fiction for me. The lead characters are professional investigators - Marcus, the Freemason, is a police detective and Jade is former military now working in diplomatic security. I liked these two characters and there interactions were great. The fringe group players were less defined and hard to figure out what everyone's relationship was. I found myself getting characters mixed up on occasion.
If you enjoy historical novels and a bit of modern day mystery, then Shadow Ritual should be put on your reading list.
Buy Shadow Ritual at Amazon
available formats: ebook and print (270 pages)
published: March 2015 by Le French Book
genres: international crime, history
read: February 2015
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