Thursday, 25 January 2001

J.D. Robb: Ceremony in Death (1997)

Edition: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998
Review number: 727

In this Eve Dallas novel, her investigation in the New York of the future involves her in the murky world of Satanic ritual murder. Most of the interest in the crime part of the novel lies in the confusion between one group and another, particularly between completely legitimate Wiccans and black groups masquerading as Wiccans. Without witness evidence, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between pretence and reality, particularly for an outsider like Dallas. And when witnesses contradict each other, and get killed, it's hard for the police to know who is doing what.

While Ceremony in Death has some very unpleasant scenes, it is well written, neither seeming patronising to someone who knows a fair amount about the occult nor difficult to follow for someone who barely has heard of Wicca. The mystery is not difficult to solve; it's more interesting to work out how to prove anything. One of the best novels in an enjoyable series.

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