Odd crime scenes are popping up across town, starting with a man being eaten alive by his own dog, soon followed by a school teacher being brutally beaten by his elementary school students. The incidents don’t stop there, unfortunately, and Detective John Malloy and his partner Mohammed Rafik have a crazy case on their hands. In addition to these reports, they also have been running an investigation on a bunch of missing little girls. When Molloy and Rafik visit the parents’ houses, they notice that the parents don’t have any pictures up any more of their children, but do have a picture up of themselves with some strange looking woman. Doing a bit more research around town, they find out that the other woman in the picture is a woman that goes by the name of Delilah, and she is some kind of voodoo priestess who has the power to take away a person’s pain… but at a cost.
I’ve yet to meet a Wrath James White book I haven’t liked and that goes for this one as well. He always writes a strong story with vivid details and strong characters. In particular, the character of Delilah that he has created in Sacrifice is one-of-a-kind, and I had a hard time deciding whether I loved her or hated her. Her reasoning for doing what she does is good-natured, but the results are just so horrific that it’s hard to decide which outweighs the other. That might not make sense to you now but I guarantee that if you read this novella, you will understand my conflict. If you are familiar with White’s work, you will expect over-the-top gore, lots of violence, and hardcore sex in this novella. Well… maybe not so much in this case. There is still a little of each, but I’d say the gore and sex is majorly tamed down this time, which should allow readers that have avoided White’s work in the past due to those features a chance to give his writing a try. He is a powerful writer and one that shouldn’t be missed.
Note: Sacrifice is a semi-sequel novella to White’s novel The Resurrectionist as it pulls in some of the same characters and reflects back on some of the events that took place in the novel. In order to avoid spoilers to the novel, be sure to read it before this novella.
Contains: Adult language, Adult Situations, Gore, Sex, Graphic Violence
Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.