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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RR Review: Alexandra Sokoloff - Book of Shadows

Hardback 312 pages - Stand Alone - Paranormal Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN-10: 0-312-38471-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-38471-5
Release date: June 8, 2010
Main Characters: Adam Garrett & Tanish Cabarrus
HC copy received for reviewing
Purchase at: The Book Depository Store

The discovery in a landfill of the mutilated corpse of Erin Carmody, the 18-year-old daughter of a prominent Boston businessman, presents homicide detective Adam Garrett with a particularly sensitive case. Marks on the body suggest the killer was conducting Satanic rituals. When Adam and his partner, Carl Landauer, question the prime suspect, Jason Moncrief, a college friend of Erin's, Jason chants the name of the demon Choronzon, then assaults Carl. Despite what appears to be an open-and-shut case, Adam can't discount the claim that Jason is innocent made by Tanith Cabarrus, an attractive witch who comes to police headquarters to report that she dreamed of other murders—and who believes that supernatural forces are behind the slaughter.

Fact meets fiction in this enticingly thrilling story. This turned out such a well written story with an exquisite eye for detail, where Alexandra Sokoloff takes the reader into the crime scene and murder investigation after a body has turned up headless and handless at a city landfill. It captivated me from the first written word and didn’t let go, not even after I had read the final page and closed the book.

It showed a great background research in the paranormal plot and murder scene investigation, keeping it so close to the real deal. As I am quite familiar with the paranormal workings, the suspense factor of the major plotline on who the perpetrator was all the more thrilling that it might have been to others. However even for none-believers the built up of the storylines are fantastic and it is definitely a page turner till the end.

Adam Garrett- with his black irish eyes and hair and temper, hard-muscled, impatient, edgy;
is not a strictly go by the rule cop but likes to keep his feet firmly down-to-earth and grounded. However when a girl turns up at his desk, claiming a few weeks ago she dreamed about the murder he is currently investigating, and that they had the wrong boy in custody, he quickly finds himself needing to deal with the paranormal, and though he is just not a believer he seems to be attracted towards believing her and seeking her advice. He has to set his mind open to the – up to them for him impossible – and finds that this case would change his outlook on life as a whole new world seems to open up with a range of possible suspects.

Tanith Cabarrus - a witch who dreamed gruesome things and trying her best to get her voice heard within the police department, finally might be able to get a foot in. Mysterious and otherworldly tuned, she attracts the attention of Adam Garrett, hoping she could get through to him while doing her utmost to solve the murder case and freeing the person she knows was not involved in this murder.

Carl Landauer - chain-smoking, whisky-drinking, donut-eating, a living, breathing amalgam of every cop cliché known to man: middle-aged spread, broad sweating face, and bawdy, cynical humor - a lifer who used the caricature as a disguise. You just got to love him, he is Adam’s partner and has a smaller part to this story as the plotlines are following more Adam’s life but Land is the solid cop with humorous remarks taking the edge off the edgy in this story.

Quote upon finding certain satanic marks on the body of the murder victim:
“What the fuck is that? The Devil Lite? Satan can't count?"

For those who expect romantic suspense, there is no undying romantic love, but a fast-paced passionate and sensual fling between two human beings. Very raw and basic but complementing the overall story-arc. I admire Ms. Sokoloff for keeping it on that level, because the built up of plotlines and characters didn’t require anything more than what was given away.

Because the story-built and everything going on in between the written lines was so intense, this was not a light read. When reading a novel like this, that took hold of me and grabbed me so that it kept my mind busy outside reading hours as well, it classifies as a prime-read on my shelves, and one that most definitely will be re-read in the future.

There is a rawness in the satanic side of the paranormal way of living, making the evil in this novel very evil. Up unto the very last scene question marks on who was the villain invoking these energies was unrevealed, and the climactic ending tied all the loose ends together making it a tight fit.

This is my first book by Alexandra Sokoloff but definitely not the last!!!


Leontine said...

Loved reading your review Natascha and I'm loving the sound of the investigation, of the PNR tension (which I know first hand Sokoloff can deliver!) and the characters! You had a blast...I can tell LOL

Marissa said...

Sounds like a great read Natas!

This story has lots of elements that I love in a story, and I already read The Price of Alexandra Sokoloff and loved that story and the way she writes. Adding this one to wishlist!

Natascha said...

It will definitely be worth your while! I had such a great time spending a while within a world created by Alexandra Sokoloff! I wish I had tried something off her hand before but I am glad I still have a few to go ;-)

Liz said...

This sounds good -- well worth a look! My daughter and I are trading titles and recommendations, so I'll pass this on to her, too. Current work of paranormal romance for the two of us is "Stronger Than Sin" by best-selling author Caridad Piñeiro. Ooh, la la! Great characters, great action, great romance! And it's set in Jersey Shore, which you have to admit provides a change of pace from most urban-based romantic suspense.

We got an advance copy. I think it comes out next week.

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