Shadow Ritual by Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne — France Book Tours

Shadow_RitualShadow Ritual

by Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne

Release date: March 25, 2015
at Le French Book

270 pages

ISBN: 978-1939474308

Website | Goodreads | LibraryThing

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SYNOPSIS

Ritual murders. Ancient enemies. A powerful secret. 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.

PRAISE FOR SHADOW RITUAL

“Phenomenal. I highly recommend this novel!”
– Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling coauthor of the Pendergast series of novels

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First in a nine-book series

250,000 copies of Shadow Ritual sold

The series has sold 2 million copies

Translated into seventeen languages.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Shadow Ritual GiacomettiRavenne2012_credit_Melania_Avanza

Jacques Ravenne is a literary scholar
who has also written a biography of the Marquis de Sade
and edited his letters.
He loves to explore the hidden side of major historical events.

Éric Giacometti was an investigative reporter
for a major French newspaper.
He has covered a number of high-profile scandals
and has done exhaustive research in the area of freemasonry.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Anne Trager loves France so much she has lived there for 27 years and just can’t seem to leave. What keeps her there is a uniquely French mix of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, ‘I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction, mysteries and detective novels.
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Buy the book | on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | upcoming on Apple + Kobo

***

You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway every day
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
(Just follow the directions on the entry form.)

8 winners:
3 print copies for US residents
5 digital copies for US or other residents

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My review:

I joined the book tour for Shadow Ritual because the promo material mentioned Rome and I’ve started keeping a list of books set in Rome to read before traveling there in the fall. I was hoping for a more sophisticated, literary, a more… well, a more European version of The Da Vinci Code.

I whipped through Shadow Ritual, a thriller translated from the French, but it was too much of a straight thriller for my liking, with very minimal character development and a lot of info-dumping. The sexual attraction and instant love/hate relationship between the two main characters – Marcas, a French homicide detective, and Jade, security chief at the French embassy in Rome where the first murder (many more to follow) takes place seemed a little unlikely, as did most of the plot. You are going to need to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride here to enjoy this often violent story.

Seeing that Shadow Ritual is the first of a nine-book series, maybe the characters will get more three-dimensional as they go along.

There is a lot of information about Freemasonry in Shadow Ritual, so if the international society of Freemasons strikes you as mysterious or if the idea of an evil, global conspiracy dating from before the Nazis intrigues you, then Shadow Ritual might appeal to you. Also, if you read and enjoyed The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown or his 2009 book The Lost Symbol, which was also about Freemasonry, or at least about its more mysterious aspects.

So Shadow Ritual was not my cup of tea, unfortunately, but it may be yours! This blog is only one stop on the book tour, so check out some of the others, and read on here for an excerpt from the early pages of Shadow Ritual before the story’s time frame jumps from the 1940s to 2005:

It was finally time. It was April 25, and they were scheduled to leave on April 29.

Le Guermand polished the tips of his shiny boots. He wanted to be impeccable for this final meal with his comrades. He stepped out of his small room, left the bunker, and took the long underground tunnel to the exit, emerging aboveground. He headed toward a large military building. The two soldiers on guard saluted him, and he hurried to the conference room.

Le Guermand walked through the door and looked around. Something was off. His companions were standing straight as fence posts and staring at a dark-haired man in a chair at the back of the room. The man’s SS jacket was unbuttoned. Tears were rolling down his cheeks.

It was one of his comrades, a transmission specialist. Le Guermand stepped closer and stiffened when he saw two patches of dried blood where his ears had been. The man was groaning and mouthing a plea for help.

“Gentlemen.” Martin Bormann’s voice echoed in the room. “What you see here is a traitor. He was packing his bags to join Heinrich Himmler. The BBC announced this morning that our loyal Heinrich has offered the Allied troops unconditional capitulation. Our Führer was enraged and gave orders to execute anyone planning to join this betrayal, starting with his companion Eva Braun’s own brother-in-law, Herr Fegelein.”

The man was still groaning.

Bormann approached the prisoner calmly and touched his shoulder. He smiled and went on. “Our friend wanted out of his assignment. We cut off his ears and tongue so he couldn’t converse with his master about our glorious Führer’s decisions.”

The party hierarch ran his fingers through the prisoner’s hair, a distant look in his eyes. “You see, a German, and an SS at that, cannot turn on his own people and go unpunished. Learn that lesson. Never betray. Guards, take this piece of trash outside and shoot him.”

Two guards seized the man’s arms and dragged him out.

With the man gone, some of the tension in the room lifted. Everyone knew Bormann hated Himmler and was waiting for the occasion to discredit him as commander of the SS. Now it was done.

“Time is flying, men. Marshal Zhukov’s first army is approaching, and his troops are already at the Tiergarten.

You will leave sooner than planned. Heil Hitler.” The officers straightened and shot out their arms in response. “Heil Hitler.”

An explosion shook the room.

François Le Guermand turned to leave with the other men. But Bormann grabbed his arm and gave him a harsh look. “You know your instructions. It is vital for the Reich that you follow them to the letter.”

The room shuddered with another explosion, and the spasm spread through Bormann’s hand. Le Guermand looked him straight in the eye.

“I will leave Berlin by the underground network and go to a point in the western suburbs that is still safe. I will lead a convoy of five trucks to Beelitz, nineteen miles from the capital. There, I will bury the crates we transported. But I must keep one briefcase.”

“And then?”

“Then I will join our ninth army, which will fly me to the Swiss border. I will figure out how to cross the border and get to an apartment in Berne, where I will wait for further instructions.”

Bormann’s face relaxed a little.

Le Guermand cleared his throat and asked, “Sir, what’s in the crates?”

“That is not for you to know. Just obey. Do not be undisciplined like your compatriot Frenchmen.”

Bormann gave a weak smile, pursed his lips, and turned and walked away.

An Appetizing Mish-Mash: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl #weekendcooking @BethFishReads

cover imageDelicious! is a first novel by the long-time food writer and former editor of Gourmet Magazine, Ruth Reichl, and it’s a pleasant read. It makes a good book club choice because the themes are clear and there is a little something for everyone – a young woman’s journey into adulthood; a library scavenger hunt; budding romances; a race against time; a blend of contemporary New York life with small town life in World War II connected by old letters; and food! Enough talk about food and cooking to satisfy foodie readers.

Billie avoids her family by moving from California to New York, where her extraordinary palate and ability to discern various spices and ingredients lands her a job with the respected foodie magazine Delicious! (with an exclamation point).  When she gradually begins to uncover a trove of letters dating back to World War II written to a former magazine staffer (James Beard) Billie thinks they might be her own ticket to food writing fame.

Ruth Reichl is the author of several highly acclaimed memoirs about cooking, food writing, and being a restaurant critic, so she must have known she was going out on a limb by publishing a novel for the first time at age 60+. In fact, critical reviews kept me from reading this until it was a February book club choice, so I’m glad I finally gave it a chance. The parallels drawn between Billie’s life and the life of the young writer of the letters, Lulu, are a little obvious, but the multiple story lines and themes, as well as the twin quests that the two young women embark on in their different times, make it a good choice for a book club discussion, especially one with food!

Click here to read what our library book club thought of the book.

Delicious!
Reichl, Ruth
Whelan, Julia, narr.
Random House
May 2014

Disclosure: I received an advance reading copy (ARC) of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program a long time ago! I ended up reading parts of the published book (not the ARC) and listening to parts of it on audio. Narrator Julia Whelan does a great job with all of the voices, including the male ones.

Weekend Cooking buttonThis post is part of Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click here for more Weekend Cooking posts from bloggers around the world.

Let’s Talk Mustard #weekendcooking @bethfishreads

It’s National Pi Day (3/14/15) today, but since we can’t have pie, we’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early with a corned beef dinner. Instead of cabbage – boring – and potatoes –too many carbs – we’re having mustard-glazed Brussels sprouts on the side. We bought some mustard made with Irish stout that we should crack open for this occasion. (The stout, we realized too late, means this mustard – unlike most – is not gluten-free.)photo of unopened jarWhen you cut back on carbs, you may start looking for variety in your mustard. (Because you can’t have ketchup or relish.) I found this tasty Chili Stone-Ground Mustard at a local farm store a couple of years ago and have bought it regularly ever since.photo of jarThis type of mustard? photo of squeeze bottleI guess we are mustard snobs now. We only keep this on hand for guests who like their mustard yellow, not brown.

We’ve never tried making our own mustard, but if I want to try it someday, I’ll turn to one of my favorite food gurus, Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table. Find links to recipes for Beer and Caraway Mustard, Herbed Honey Mustard, Roman Mustard, Dried Cranberry Mustard, and Hard Cider Mustard here:

The Splendid Table: How to Make Homemade Mustard

You need a good food processor to grind the mustard seeds to make your own mustard.

Speaking of condiments, I attended a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon the other day and sat next to a woman who asked the server for ketchup to have with her corned beef, boiled cabbage, and boiled potato dinner. Ugh! But she wasn’t the only one, as the ketchup was having to be passed from table to table. I didn’t bother to ask the server for mustard, because I am now an official mustard snob and just knew the only mustard would be the yellow squeeze-bottle kind.

And speaking of Pi Day, it looks as though the American Pie Council has decided if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and has cast aside its own National Pie Day on January 23, which no one could ever remember, for Pi Day on March 14, which is nice and easy to remember – if you remember your math, at least.

Happy Weekend Cooking and Happy Pi Day!

Weekend Cooking buttonThis post is part of Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click here for more Weekend Cooking posts from bloggers around the world.

 

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