“This is much better and indeed much more intelligent than Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code'."

Ever since Dan Brown wrote that novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ there have been a load of other books dumped on the market that in some ways are tapping into the popularity of that one particular tale, although I don’t know why, by the time I had finished it I completely blocked it from my mind. Therefore with so many conspiracy thrillers on the market currently how do you find a good one? The simple answer is with luck. This particular novel we have here was published about two years after Dan Brown’s book, and it has to be admitted that this is much better, and indeed much more intelligent.

The story starts in the Second World War. As Germany is losing and the Allies are getting ever closer, so some select members of a special elite esoteric group are given their instructions. Amongst this group is a Frenchman, SS Officer François Le Guermand. Before leaving the area and secreting himself away in safety he has to help bury some crates. What those crates contain are documents as Le Guermand comes to realise, but what they are at the time he does not know.

The story then proceeds to the present day (or rather 2005, when this was first published in France). Antoine Marcas, a French police officer is on a break giving a lecture in Rome upon Freemasonry and its history to his fellow Freemasons, and meeting friends. However at a function at the French Embassy he is called in by a friend to look at a murder that has taken place. At the same time he finds himself stepping on the toes of Jade Zewinski, the head of security at the embassy, and the friend of the murder victim.

Zewinski has reasons to hate the Freemasons but due to political needs both she and Marcas are going to have to work together to find out why her friend was killed, and what can be behind it, as a similar murder takes place in Israel. As they soon start to realise whatever is happening has something to do with a shadowy secret society that are after something and the Freemasons are standing in the way.

Rather than being too over the top or outlandish this book shows a more balanced Freemasonry, not a secret society bound on world domination, as some would think. And their adversaries here are based on a group and belief that some Nazis held. Apparently inspired by a real incident from the War when Russian soldiers captured documents that the Germans were trying to bury this book is more intelligent than most. This shows how people after secret so called esoteric knowledge can become so warped in their belief that they start taking conspiracies too literally. As this shows, not all what you read about is true, and some ancient mystical knowledge that has supposedly been lost and then found, may never have existed in the first place. Intelligently written and well worth reading it is good to see that something that has been translated into numerous languages and been popular in other countries has now been translated for the English speaking world. ” — 5-star Netgalley review

Shadow Ritual