Book of Shadows - Review

 Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff

Homicide detective Adam Garrett is already a rising star in the Boston police department when he and his cynical partner, Carl Landauer, catch a horrifying case that could make their careers: the ritualistic murder of a wealthy college girl that appears to have Satanic elements.
The partners make a quick arrest when all evidence points to another student, a troubled musician in a Goth band who was either dating or stalking the murdered girl. But Garrett's case is turned upside down when beautiful, mysterious Tanith Cabarrus, a practicing witch from nearby Salem, walks into the homicide bureau and insists that the real perpetrator is still at large. Tanith claims to have had psychic visions that the killer has ritually sacrificed other teenagers in his attempts to summon a powerful, ancient demon.

This book was meh. It started out like an episode of CSI, opening at a garbage dump crime-scene. The detectives found the body of a young girl, missing a head w/ ritualistic carvings on her body. *shudder* I love me some CSI, don’t get me wrong, but I would rather watch it on TV than read it because my imagination is way more active and detailed than what they can show on network television. The setting is Boston, MA with some side-trips to Salem, MA (can we say predictable?) from mid-September to Halloween night. Detective Garrett isn’t the most likable guy and his partner is pretty crass. The story is a typical we’ve-got-the-wrong-guy variety. Garrett doubts that the girl’s boyfriend killed her and thinks they have locked up the wrong guy, even though the evidence can suggest strongly that he did it. Through the entire book you know the kid didn’t do it. I never even suspected him of the crime, which doesn’t do much for the suspense factor.

I have to be honest, a lot of things about this book made me uncomfortable. There were random sex scenes thrown in that I didn’t feel did anything for the story. You get to read about Detective Garrett ravaging his girlfriend twice and the “witch” once. At least when he’s with the witch the story moves forward. The girlfriend scenes were just unnecessary. Another thing I will be painfully and embarrassingly honest about – I have read a lot of love scenes in various genres over the years, and I am not prude about reading them. These were just superfluous and not very well-written scenes. Also, throughout the book you get to read about Detective Garrett’s- let’s call them desires and impulses – every time a woman enters the room and how his body is affected. Really? I really didn’t need to know that. It did nothing for the plot.

However, I was even more uncomfortable with the satanic elements and demon-summoning story-line. It’s not that I haven’t read paranormal fantasy books before (hey- I like me some vampires) but there was no balance in this book. It was solely focused on the evil side and witchcraft. The witches in the book aren’t even bad necessarily, but a greater good was completely absent from the story line. You would think that if you are talking about Satan and evil that God and love would be mentioned somewhere… Well apparently not in this book.

Overall- not happy with this book. It gets a 1/5 and I would not recommend it.
Currently Reading: (and am so far much happier with this book) A Dog’s Purpose


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