The Thirteenth Sacrifice (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Thirteenth Sacrifice by Debbie Viguie 
Witch Hunt  #1

Samantha Ryan is plagued by nightmarish memories of magic and fear...of strange chants and blood spilled. Because Samantha Ryan grew up in a coven that was seduced by power and greed. 

With a cross around her neck and detective's shield in her pocket, Samantha has tried to put her horrific childhood behind her. But as the last in a long line of ruthless witches, she should know that such talismans are no match for the power of a coven that's gone bad. And when young women start dying, only Samantha knows what the archaic symbol carved into their flesh means: The witches have returned to Salem. Now Samantha is going undercover-- into a town obsessed with black magic, into her past, and into the dark, newly awakened heart of evil.

As a child, Samantha grew up in a coven of witches consumed by the black side of power, A coven who regularly spilled blood. Now, years later, she is the only survivor, and she struggles day to day to keep the horror in her past. Now a devout christian and a detective firmly on the side of good, she devotes her time to helping others. However, her latest case hits a little too close to home as woman are dying with ritual symbols carved into them, meaning the witches have returned. She'll have to go undercover and infiltrate the coven as she is the only one who stands a chance at stopping them. But that mean she'll have to use her power again despite her vow, and that may just break her.

Whenever I think of witches, I always picture a mixture of both good and evil, just as there are both types of normal people. I just figure that it doesn't take a supernatural power to be evil, so why wouldn't there be some good ones as well? The author does seem to brush on this as she separates the witches out from the more benevolent wiccans who believe in not harming others. The witches in The Thirteenth Sacrifice are nothing short of pure evil, with Samantha being the only possible exception, and even she struggles to stay on the side of good. The greed for power is so all consuming to them that they commit unspeakable acts, and definitely ratcheted up the creepy factor in this book.

Samantha is such a tortured soul and really quite broken. Her horrific past haunts her, threatening to consume her, but no matter how much she fights it, she cannot ever really escape it. My heart really went out to her when she was forced back into the world of power and witchcraft as it nearly crushed her, especially since it goes against everything that she believes since she converted to Christianity over a decade ago. She knew that once she opened that door, it could never be shut again. To be honest, I'm surprised she made it as long as she did without boiling over on her own. Even so, Samantha is a character you can really get behind due to her determination to not let the seductiveness of magic consume her. In fact, as she learns to control her powers as well as an acceptance of herself, she will truly become a force to be reckoned with. 

While I was utterly repulsed and quite terrified of some of the things that happened in The Thirteenth Sacrifice, that did not keep me from being completely engrossed in the story. I was covered with chills as I watched things unfurl and the threat of Samantha's discovery just about killed my nerves, but that only made me enjoy it all the more. I'd recommend The Thirteenth Sacrifice to anyone one who enjoys an on the edge of your seat thriller with a major creepy factor that will utterly haunt you. The next installment as well as other Debbie Viguie novels will be definitely be going on my watch list.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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