Book Review: Divine Evil
By Shabna Cader Ceylon Today Features
As the title suggests, this pick isn’t a peachy one, and if you’re someone who is squeamish about gory details, give it a miss.
Divine Evil was one of my early reads when I had just been introduced to Nora Roberts, the author and her novels. Reviews were top notch and the cover looked pretty intriguing (I’m a sucker for good covers) and I remember setting myself up, all comfy and cozy to dig into its pages.
If you’ve an avid or someone with an amateur interest in ancient ritualistic (religious, if I may say so) cults, this one’s for you. There’s ritualistic performances written down to minute detail, sacrificial and otherwise, and an overall sense of serving a higher, yet sinister purpose. All this is however under the dark shadows of the night, and enveloped in the centre of the woods, away from human movement and light, in the unknown.
Clare Kimball has some recollection of viewing a ritualistic gathering, but she pushes it away further into her mind as invading dreams that plagued her during her childhood. As a successful sculptor, she is much revered and escaped the small town of Emmitsboro, in order to find herself….only to come back a decade later, searching for answers within herself and accepting her father’s apparent suicide.
Cameron Rafferty has his own reasons for returning to the small town. His experience on the field in the washed up and battered streets of D.C. have left a few scars unhealed and in his search for some quiet, comes to realise there’s more to the little quiet town he once again calls home than it seems.
As Clare and Cam get reacquainted, forming a strong bond as each day passes; they both slowly come to realise there’s something dangerous lurking in the shadows of the wilderness. Clare’s past, and memories are forced to churn back up with a vengeance, and even though all she’d like to do is shut them down, she must learn to accept and face them head on.
There’s a great deal of attention to detail in this one, I feel, more so than in most other novels by Roberts. No other book of hers captures the sinister and vile murders as much as this one in my opinion, and the ritualistic paragraphs and sections of the book are not only difficult to read, but also very intriguing.
My advice would be to take it slow and not rush into the pages and chapters. Get to know each character. There’s a lot to take in. Some characters might feel less important and vital than the others, but….try and remember, this is based in a small town after all, and each individual therefore has a part to play.
Evil can linger anywhere, and in anyone, even those you trust most. What Clare and Cam come to realise eventually is that nothing is truly what it seems, and that sometimes the past catches up to you so fast and in the most unexpected ways; the most or best you can do is be willing to face it head on with courage, bravery and strength.