by Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne
Release date: March 25, 2015
at Le French Book
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
First in a nine-book series
250,000 copies of Shadow Ritual sold
The series has sold 2 million copies
Translated into seventeen languages.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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
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.
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.)
3 print copies for US residents
5 digital copies for US or other residents
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.”
“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.