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Death Rituals

One of the most promising and unique voices in horror, author Josh Hancock delivers another chilling and completely captivating tale of suspense and terror.

Death Rituals is the latest novel by author Josh Hancock, who has previously penned The Girls of October and The Devil and My Daughter. The novel centers around a young woman named Cherie Alvarez and the events that transpire following the night of her pregnant mother’s murder.

I’ve got to say that right from the first page I was intrigued.

The method of storytelling employed in Death Rituals places the reader squarely into the events of the novel, allowing varied forms of ephemera (i.e. news transcripts and trade journal articles etc.) to tell a tale of perseverance, courage, revenge and survival.

I never fell out of the book, found my mind drifting off the page or got lost in places that did not advance the plot. The book moves briskly and purposefully, always keeping its eye on the center of the storm, while twisting together events in a seamless and sometimes very bloody cyclone.

Speaking of cyclones, they’re pretty scary right? Well Josh Hancock’s third novel IS pretty scary! Equal parts visceral, suspenseful and sinister, Hancock bread crumbs small grains of fear throughout the novel that, when followed to the end, will leave the readers shaking! I know I was.

I wasn’t just shaking with fear, I was shaking with uncertainty.

The very end of Death Rituals may polarize some readers and leave them feeling much like I did — torn. On one hand, the very end works, ending the book on a cold “this isn’t over” kind of note. On the other hand, the very end of Death Rituals could be seen as cheap, a disservice to the main character of the book or, at the very least, unnecessary.

Ultimately, Death Rituals is an extremely intelligent and satisfying read that demands its readers think and think hard. Every drop of blood shed in Death Rituals possesses a question that, like the book, will be hard to put away. 

Josh Hancock’s new novel, populated with crafted characters, will-timed moments of tension and terror, and chin-scratching moral/philosophical quandaries, is the perfect book for that reader of horror looking to be challenged.

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