Friday, May 1, 2015
Shadow Ritual (Antoine Marcas #2) by Eric Giacometti, Jacques Ravenne
Publisher: Le French Book
Translator: Anne Trager
Series: Antoine Marcas series, Book 2
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
After giving a presentation at a lodge in Rome, Antoine Marcas accepted his friend's invitation to attend an elite-rich, celebrity-filled party at the Farnese Palace. With the gala in full swing, a murder took place upstairs in a manner few would recognize. Thousands of miles away in a high-tech lab, a similar murder occurred and the contents of the man's research stolen. Antoine Marcas was drawn into the mix by sheer luck of being present at the gala and being a detective in his native country, France.
Back on his home turf, Antoine was assigned to figure out who was behind the killings alongside Special Agent Jade Zewinski, a battle-hardened agent determined to avenge one of the deaths. Leads, more murders and ancient clues buried in long-forgotten manuscripts sent both of them on a hunt that collided paths with an underground society hell-bent on bringing about racial purity. What they discovered put them directly in the line of fire.
Another good find from NetGalley, this book piqued my interest from its synopsis. I'm a sucker for symbols, mysteries and adventure. This book had all of that and more. There were quite a few twists and turns that I didn't expect and some that I knew were coming from having read other similar stories in the past. However, this book did a good job of stepping down other avenues while retelling familiar tales. It was refreshing to have another element added to the usual mystery or suspense type novel. There was a definite French and international flavor to the novel, due in large part to the authors, as well as many layers and conspiracies which played upon myths or legends within several regions of France.
Much of the story followed Antoine Marcas, a French detective and Freemason, who found himself saddled with a partner who didn't like his fraternal order much. Jade Zewinski had experienced a lot in her young life and it all began with some bitter dealings with Freemason. This particular conflict gave way to some good dialogue as well as opened doors for further information to be put into the novel without weighing the conversation or reader down. Other characters filled the ranks on both sides of the chase, each one a little more disturbed/sane than the next. I liked the fact that the book had both a male and a female character that could not only take the lead but seemed strong, resilient even without the other present. In truth there were a couple of characters on the "bad" side that made me feel the same way. With their deep-rooted likes or dislikes, many of the characters seemed as real as you or I.
There were plenty of action scenes within the novel. While much of the book took place in modern or present day places and time, a few important scenes occurred in the past to set the stage for the book as a whole. With so much information to impart to the reader, the authors did a great job of sliding it into conversation or within manuscripts that the characters read on their own. The combination of the usual thoughts and feelings about one secret society versus another also added a new dimension to the novel. I really liked how they took what has become standard in regards to Freemason theology and put a new twist on their myths and legends. Though I could guess where the story led a few times, I was pleasantly surprised more often than not by the events that took place in the book.
Overall, this book wasn't a run-of-the-mill type of mystery novel that centered around symbols and myths. The authors took information that had been used many times before and displayed it in such a way that made it seem fresh and new. I did enjoy the fast-paced excitement of the chase as well as the slow unearthing of information as a few characters dug through ancient archives. While the book does lean toward French audiences, anyone can enjoy the hunt and the terror the authors put into the pages. If you're a lover of ancient myths and secret societies or simply enjoy a good mystery surrounded by the past, this book should be on your TBR pile!
Shadow Ritual (Antoine Marcas #2) by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne is currently available at many online retailers. It can be purchased in hardcover, paperback or Kindle (digital) formats. The link below will take you to the book's Amazon page.
Shadow Ritual (Antoine Marcas #2) by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne