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Dark Rites by Heather Graham
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Love this author and love this series. This book kept me going from the beginning all the way to the end.

Thank you netgalley and MIRA books for this advanced readers copy. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
Dark Rites is book 22 of Heather Graham''s Krewe of Hunters series about a special until of F.B.I. agents with paranormal abilities. It comes between Dying Breath and Wicked Deeds, all of which feature historian and author Victoria 'Vickie' Preston and Krewe member Griffin Pryce. This one brings back Devin Lyle and Craig 'Rocky' Rockwell from books 13, The Hexed, and the novella 'When Irish Eyes Are Haunting' from 1001 Dark Nights.

The prologue is effective: Alex Maple, the young history professor whose website was so helpful in Dying Breath, awakens in a strange room. We follow his thoughts as he tries to remember what happened to him and figures out where he is. The discovery he made just before the last few paragraphs would have had me screaming my throat raw.

Unfortunately for the kidnapper(s), Alex was soon supposed to meet Vickie to share exciting news of a discovery he'd made. Poor villain(s) - what were the odds that their victim not only planned to dine with a friend who dates an FBI agent, but isn't the sort to stand a friend up?

Meanwhile, Griffin and others have been trying to catch the person responsible for conking people (Alex was an early victim -- see the end of Dying Breath. Griffin catches a guy in the act before the guy makes certain he'll never be caught. (The attacker will be named in chapter 2.)

The police would love to believe the man was acting alone, but Griffin doesn't think so. Who's correct?
Also, Alex isn't the only missing person.

CHAPTER NOTES (name dropping, in order of appearance, will be at the end of each chapter's notes, so check for your favorite authors, composers, songs, fictional characters, etc.):

Prologue:

a.. The 'Crowley' in 'Crowley-esque cult' probably refers to Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947), an occultist once known as the 'wickedest man in the world'. You might wish to look him up.

b. Mention: 'The Big Bang Theory' TV show

Chapter 1:

a. Look here for background on a Puritan creep named Ezekiel Martin and Missy Prior, the beauty he wanted who didn't want him. In a few more pages, there will be more information about what happened circa 1665. (I'm rather surprised that his village's name 'Jehovah,' wasn't considered taking the name of the Lord in vain.)

b. Mention: 'The Walking Dead' (TV show)

Chapter 2:

a. Look here for what will become a bit of a running gag in this volume.

b. Alex meets the cultists and decides to become a vegetarian..

Mention: Sam Adams beer,

Chapter 3:

a. Vickie has one of her psychic dreams.

b. Devin talks about her Aunt Mina, the ghost.

Chapter 4:

a. We get the names of four of 23 missing young persons.

b. See Phantom Evil for that first Krewe of Hunters case.

c. The press has dubbed the attacker 'the Satanist Smasher'.

d. Mention: Fleetwood Mac

Chapter 5:

a. Vickie's parents are in England, which explains why they aren't cautioning her as in book 21.

b. Vickie has another psychic dream.

c. Mention: Oscar Wilde,

Chapter 6: Mentions: Lizzie Borden (quotes the rhyme, but not that the tune was 'Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay'), the Fall River cult murders / Satanic Cult Murders of the 1970s, Karen Marsden, Carl Drew, Robin Murphy, Pokanoket tribe, Wampanoag tribe, Fall River Historical Society, Oak Grove Cemetery, Battleship Cove, and H. P. Lovecraft

Chapter 7:

a. The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is described.

b. There's more discussion about Ezekiel Martin.

c. Sid Smith mentions a murder in Fall River when it used to be called Troy, back in 1804.

d. Vickie has another psychic dream.

e. Mentions: Jenna Duffy and Sam Hall (Krewe of Hunters), Jack the Ripper, Herman Mudgett (alias H. H. Holmes), the Chicago Exposition (World's Fair), Ted Bundy, Elizabeth Montgomery [the TV movie was 'The Legend of Lizzie Borden', 1975 -- I watched it. Not bad.], 'You Can't Chop Your Poppa Up in Massachusetts' (a song still being sung, Dunkin' Donuts,

Chapter 8:

a. We learn about a Borden ancestor of Lizzie's who tried to commit murder.

b. Alex is reading Ezekiel Martin's handwritten books about Satan worship.

c. We learn more about Ezekiel Martin and how he died.

Chapter 9 Mentions: 'A Boy Named Sue,' 'Adia,' 'Along Comes Mary,' 'Peggy Sue,' 'Eleanor Rigby,' the Beatles, 'Gloria,' and 'Laura Branigan'

Chapter 10 Mentions: Ashcroft, John Millar, William Robertson (1783), The World We Make by Ernst James, Daniel Defoe, and Dante Alighieri

Chapter 11:

a. We get the name of the four towns destroyed to make the Quabbin Reservoir.

b. We meet Isaac Sherman, who believes his Brenda Noonan was murdered, not a bear victim.

c. It's psychic dream time for Vickie.

d. Mentions: PBS [Public Broadcasting Service] video 'Under Quabbin', Candlewood Lake, Connecticut,

Chapter 12:

a. Dr. Graves talks about water and bodies found in it.

b. Mention: 'Legal Medicine,'

Chapter 13:

a. There's more background on Ezekiel Martin.

b. Mentions: Bigfoot and Swift River Valley

Chapter 15: Jackson Crow calls Griffin.

I enjoyed the history (real and fictional) and the cult. The climax was nicely scary. Yes, I fell for a red herring. Ah, well, it's more fun when the killer isn't easy to guess. I think each of the three Vickie-Griffin Krewe entries is an improvement over the previous one.

Cat lovers: we're out of luck, unless you count a mountain lion seen in a dream.

Dog lovers: we get a cameo from an adorable yellow Labrador retriever puppy named Wolfen II. ( )
  JalenV | Dec 12, 2017 |
I love the Krewe of Hunters series. I have read all of them and the next two on pre-order. This story has Vickie Preston & FBI Special Agent Griffin Pryce back. Strangers are being beaten by unknown attackers who leave a note behind that warns that Satan is returning. One of Vickie's friends was a victim then he suddenly disappears. Vickie knows he wouldn't leave town without telling her so she immediately thinks he is in trouble. Griffin helps her search for her friend which leads them to discover that many other people are missing. They enlist some more FBI agents and local Boston cops eventually ending up in Massachusetts looking for a cult. There are twists and turns along the way as well as the growing romance between Griffin & Vickie. When I finish one of this series, I start hoping the next book will be out soon. ( )
  DunnFunKat | Aug 4, 2017 |
What's It About?
A series of bizarre assaults is mystifying Boston police: an unknown attacker is viciously beating random strangers and leaving a note quoting an old warning about witchcraft. History professor Alex Maple was one of the victims, and now he's gone missing. Vickie Preston is certain that someone has taken her friend for malicious purposes. She's having blood-drenched visions that seem to be staining her waking life, and the escalating attacks suggest that a dangerous cult is at work behind the scenes—a cult so powerful that its members would rather die than be apprehended.

Vickie is grateful to have Special Agent Griffin Pryce and the FBI's elite Krewe of Hunters on her side. She and Griffin are finding their way in an increasingly passionate relationship, and Griffin is desperately trying to keep her safe and the two of them sane amid the disturbing investigation. The search for Alex will take them deep into the wilderness of Massachusetts on the trail of a serial killer, and it will take everything they have to survive the ancient evil that awakens and threatens not just the man they're striving to save but their very souls.

What Did I Think?
I liked the book but they are beginning to be all be very much alike. The characters in this one didn't work very well together. They were all agents of this special unit but one of them seemed to constantly question the actions and decisions of the others, which became a bit tiring. I love this series but this one just fell slightly short for me. The story line was still good enough for the 3.5 stars. ( )
  Carol420 | Aug 3, 2017 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of two men from Massachusetts.

My uncle George Law.
An amazing in-law I would have been proud to have as a blood relative,
as close and giving and supportive as any family could be.
Kind, generous, wonderful. A true hero in his strength and kindness.

And my dear friend Dennis Cummins.
Musician, bandmate, Lizzie Borden house protector,
Biography Channel Andrew to my Abby and Chynna Skye's Lizzie,
amazing friend who quietly made every occasion together one that made me smile.

I loved them both and it is true --
the world is a poorer place now that they are gone.
First words
Alex Maple wasn't sure, as he first became aware of himself, if he was alive or dead. (prologue)
Griffin Pryce leaped over the fence that connected the houses and yards along the Hyde Park neighborhood. (chapter 1)
Quotations
[Evil 17th century Ezekiel Martin's rhyme being used by later Satanists]

Hell's afire and Satan rules, the witches they are real. The time has come, the rites to read, the flesh, 'twas born to heal. Yes, Satan is coming. (chapter one and elsewhere)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 077831992X, Mass Market Paperback)

The witches, they are real… 

A series of bizarre assaults is mystifying Boston police: an unknown attacker is viciously beating random strangers and leaving a note quoting an old warning about witchcraft. History professor Alex Maple was one of the victims, and now he's gone missing. Vickie Preston is certain that someone has taken her friend for malicious purposes. She's having blood-drenched visions that seem to be staining her waking life, and the escalating attacks suggest that a dangerous cult is at work behind the scenes—a cult so powerful that its members would rather die than be apprehended. 

Vickie is grateful to have Special Agent Griffin Pryce and the FBI's elite Krewe of Hunters on her side. Vickie and Griffin are finding their way in an increasingly passionate relationship, and he's keeping her safe and sane amid the disturbing investigation. The search for Alex will take them deep into the wilderness of Massachusetts on the trail of a serial killer, where an ancient evil is waking.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 27 Dec 2016 22:24:18 -0500)

A series of bizarre assaults is mystifying Boston police: an unknown attacker is viciously beating random strangers and leaving a note quoting an old warning about witchcraft. History professor Alex Maple was one of the victims, and now he's gone missing. Vickie Preston is certain that someone has taken her friend for malicious purposes. She's having blood-drenched visions that seem to be staining her waking life, and the escalating attacks suggest that a dangerous cult is at work behind the scenes--a cult so powerful that its members would rather die than be apprehended. Vickie is grateful to have Special Agent Griffin Pryce and the FBI's elite Krewe of Hunters on her side. She and Griffin are finding their way in an increasingly passionate relationship, and Griffin is desperately trying to keep her safe and the two of them sane amid the disturbing investigation. The search for Alex will take them deep into the wilderness of Massachusetts on the trail of a serial killer, and it will take everything they have to survive the ancient evil that awakens and threatens not just the man they're striving to save but their very souls.… (more)

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