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Ritual

Novel by Graham Masterton (Scotland) 1988.

Charlie McLean is a restaurant critic on a working holiday with his fifteen-year old son Martin, with whom he is trying to bond. In the small town of Allen's Corners, he comes across an exclusive dining society known as Le Reposoir. After trying hard and failing to gain entrance, he discovers his son has volunteered to join and been accepted. Charlie investigates and discovers that Le Reposoir is actually a haven for Celestines, religious freaks who amputate and then eat their own limbs until death in order to be saved. Charlie and a local newspaper reporter ignore the fact that their attempts to save Martin are blocked by the police, and take the law into their own hands.

When Graham Masterton turns it on, he is the best genre author in this world; and when he turns it on for the entire length of a novel (and a longer novel, for him), it is not easy to put it down. It's an enticing mixture of horror, thriller, the mainstream, and what has become known as dark fantasy as well; 359 pages of pure, unadulterated horror enjoyment. Normally this is where I'd say that you won't find too many better novels, except of course that Graham Masterton being who he is, topped it himself with The Hymn and The House that Jack Built. It's probably bad taste to say a book about cannibalism is an acquired taste, but I love it!

Published as Feast in the USA.


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