Review of “Immolation Finale”, by Stephen A. Grilliot

immolation

Dean Whitney picked the wrong guy to attempt to swindle. There being no honor among thieves, he picked the one who personified that phrase completely.

For Corbo is not a man who takes such treatment lightly. In fact, there were probably those who whispered that Corbo wasn’t a man at all.

Dirk Geist becomes one of those people very quickly. A paranormal investigator, he is first contacted by Jane Whitney, Dean’s sister, to investigate his disappearance and murder. She waves a very large check under his nose, which he turns down. Dirk feels that the cops have it all under control–until the police (under the personage of his friend, Officer Susan Mangona) ask him to get involved also.

This comes at the same time that Dirk’s past lover, Sabrina, returns to her native New Orleans at the behest of her dying mother. The two meet briefly, and strangely, which brings Dirk further into a case he’d rather not pursue. For her name is inexplicably intertwined with the characters he is pursuing.

However, when a presence makes itself known – in Dirk’s house, his thoughts, and even his dreams, he feels compelled to take action. Then, when Susan falls ill under mysterious circumstances, he wastes no time jumping fully into the investigation. With the invaluable help of Detective Maxwell Simms and others, Dirk learns quickly about the shady world of voodoo, and what can happen if you cross the wrong people.

Not only do they uncover the source of Susan’s illness, they discover a more serious and devious plan, cooked up by Corbo and Sauda, a voodoo priestess who is much more than she appears.

As a hurricane threatens New Orleans once again, Dirk and Simms have to find a way to stop this insidious threat before it becomes a reality.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mr. Grilliot has written a book that is magnificent in its scope, intelligent in its research of the ways of voodoo, and brilliant in its narrative. It’s almost impossible not to feel the drums echoing in the ears, pounding with the heartbeat, drawing the reader in to a dark, frightening world.

The author is a master of the written word. For example, the prologue takes place around 1790, while the book itself starts in the present day. But not only is the timing different, the very narrative changes styles from one era to the other. It is not harshly noticeable at all–but there is a definite change. There were so many instances where the writing was exquisite that I couldn’t possibly cite them all. However, I do want to drop in a few lines so that the reader can see what I mean.

Here Susan is looking into an office that had been torn apart:  “The books had fallen from their places and were scattered on the floor like a swamp covered in lily pads of knowledge.” This was just one of the many visuals that really brought the story to life.

There is so much in this book–horror, love, jealousy, murder, friendships lost and renewed. This is one book that I am very glad I had the privilege to read.

 

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