Rites of Azathoth by Frank Cavallo #mf #review

F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.

To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.

The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14rachelle-tag

I’ll be up front and confess that my Lovecraftian Mythos comes from reading Hellboy comics, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story. It was darker and more descriptively gory than I’d anticipated but that didn’t scare me away. The mystery, supernatural elements, and horror were chilling. It seemed the author had a good handle on law enforcement procedure. There was intrigue with the plot within plots. The villain, Luther Vayne, was both scary and nasty. The author has a talent for setting a scene. I didn’t get lost in the action and could easily visualize what was going on.

There were a couple of things I had problems with. The dialogue was sometimes clunky and… can there be too much dialogue? I thought there was in a few places where there was too much talking and it slowed the pace to a crawl. There were a few spelling/grammar errors that pulled me out of the story.  And Diana. I’m on the fence when comes to what I think of her. I find her reprehensible. As an anit-hero, she was great as long as I removed the expectation of finding something to help me empathize with her. She really had no likeable qualities. I was surprised she could keep a friend. It was like she was the lesser evil sent on a quest to stop the bigger evil.

All in all, I enjoyed the book (even with my reservations about Diana). Horror fans and Lovecraft fans will enjoy the in depth descriptive grittiness of this story. I think it will also appeal to those who enjoy a twisted mystery thriller and an in-depth police procedural.

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