Title: The Thirteenth Sacrifice
Author: Debbie Viguié
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller
Series: A Witch Hunt Novel (Book 1)
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 045123636X (Penguin/Signet)
ISBN-13: 978-0451236364 (Penguin/Signet)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
When young women start dying, Boston cop Samantha Ryan is the perfect person to investigate, for only she knows what the archaic symbol carved into their flesh means. The last in a long line of ruthless witches, she grew up in a coven seduced by power and greed. And now she’s sure that bad witches have returned to Salem. Reluctantly, Samantha goes undercover-into a town obsessed with black magic, into her terrifying past, and into the dark, newly awakened heart of evil.
Quick & Dirty: An exciting paranormal thrill ride.
Opening Sentence: Everywhere she looked there were shadows.
In beautiful Boston there is something sinister in the works, and its trail leads to scenic Salem, Massachusetts, legendary home of the witch trials back in the times of the Puritans. When the bodies of young women turn up with strange markings, the determination is ritual killings with a root in black magic. And one of Boston’s finest is the only one equipped to deal with this particular brand of evil.
Detective Samantha Ryan was once involved in a ritual so deadly, it left her the only survivor, at age 12. Since being orphaned, she has turned her sight to the Christian religion, and has never wanted to look back. But, when several innocent woman are ritualistically murdered in her city, she is forced to go back to the place that was once her home, and back to that way of life, if only to stop things before they get even worse.
When she reaches her old town, she meets Anthony Charles, owner of a museum dedicated to the occult, specifically Sam’s old coven, responsible for the death of his mother and unborn baby brother. With a vow to take revenge upon the coven’s last living member, he has been researching everything having to do with witchcraft, patiently waiting for the witch he wants to return to her home.
When Anthony first realizes that Sam is that very witch, he bursts into her hotel room, poised to commit murder. But Sam convinces him otherwise, she was only 12 at the time after all. Armed with this knowledge, and the knowledge that Sam is actually here to stop all the violence, Anthony becomes Sam’s partner in crime, and also the man who wants to be so much more.
When Sam finally gets in with the coven bent on replacing her old one, she discovers their true path, the reanimation of Abigail Temple, the high priestess and one time leader of Sam’s coven, who wishes to make yet another attempt at the magic that once killed her and everyone else, the raising of a demon, bent on destruction.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the psycho murderer virus. It seems the new coven’s high priestess decided to create some added chaos by having this strange magical virus created, one that makes anyone who previously tended towards distrust of witches or anything paranormal to become downright murderous towards those who are accused of practicing anything weird. Most of them being innocent Goth types, or harmless Wiccans.
But alas, Abigail fails to raise her demon, as her magic is no better than the last time, and it again takes out her whole coven, leaving only Sam as survivor. And as an added bonus, when news of all this reaches back to her old comrades, no one, not even her partner wishes to work with Sam anymore. So in the end, she is once again forced to leave her home, and every one she knows and loves behind, and move, this time across the country, to a new place and try to regain her chance at living a normal life. Truly heartbreaking, if you ask me.
Kudos to Ms. Viguié for setting us up for an exciting ride. I really enjoyed it; read it all in one shot. Not that hard, really, when you are in the car for eight hours on your way to vacation. The setting is just right, no place better than Salem for witches, even if it is a bit cliché. The pace is just fast enough, the evil plenty scary, and the emotional turmoil heartfelt. Can’t wait to see what Sam goes through out on the west coast.
Curses to Angela and DFT for making me read things that have the potential to give me nightmares. Branding this book as merely paranormal would be a grave injustice. This, ladies and gents, is a true thriller, complete with mass hysteria, brutal murder, and one scary badass witch raised from the dead. So, for those of you who are into that kind of thing, right on…read this book, and come back and tell me what you thought. For those of you with weaker constitutions, and bad hearts…well, you just might want to plan on sleeping with the lights on.
She didn’t need to understand its language, or figure out how to send it back to where it came from. All she had to do was kill it.
She yanked her athame free from her waistband and brandished it in front of her. The creature snarled, eyeing the blade warily. As she struggled to her knees, it tracked her movements carefully. Hatred and cunning burned in its soulless eyes. She forced herself to try to stand. Her right foot slid out from under her, though, and she crashed to the floor again.
It leaped for her and she slashed with the athame. As the blade made contact with its hide, the creature howled and jumped back. She seized the moment to gain her feet. With a surge of strength she didn’t know she had, she jumped onto the bathroom counter.
She crouched there for a moment, dizzy, as blood continued to flow down her shirt and paint the water pink. The beast coiled all its muscles, readying itself to spring. Samantha brought her hands close together and a ball of energy formed between them, electricity sparking from her fingertips. If there were any chinks in the porcelain of the bathtub, if any part of the metal was touching the water, then she would have no hope of reviving Anthony. His body would fry too.
She shrieked a prayer heavenward even as she threw her hands down, hurling the crackling sphere of energy into the water.
There was an inhuman scream and the creature convulsed uncontrollably as the electric current running through the water entered its body. Finally it collapsed in a smoking heap, the smell of burned hair filling the room.
Samantha turned and looked at the bathtub. She judged the distance and then jumped, crashing down n the tub near Anthony’s body. Pain ripped through her and she struggled to remove the stopper. Finally it came free and the water began to drain.
Straddling his chest, she began CPR, praying that she wasn’t too late. She felt a couple of his ribs break under her hands, but she kept going. After thirty chest compressions she hauled Anthony’s head out of the water. Slipping and sliding, she managed to twist in such a way that she could give him rescue breaths.
“Don’t you die on me,” she pleaded in the midst of her sobs.
She did more chest compressions and more breaths. Still there was nothing. No pulse, no sign of life. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
Anthony Charles was dead.
The Witch Hunt Series:
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Signet provided me with a copy of the The Thirteenth Sacrifice. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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