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Rituals [Mass Market Paperback]

Ed Gorman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 25 2002
In a small New England town, several women have been targeted by a secret society of witch hunters. Inspired by generations of superstition, these witch hunters are convinced that witches are evil-and must be destroyed. But who is the real source of evil? The girls born with unique talents for healing as well as harm? Or the "normal" humans who murder them?

"Ed Gorman writes like a dream even when he's recounting nightmares. His fiction grips, entertains, and resonates in memory long after you close his books." (Dean Koontz)

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The inhumanity of the Salem witch trials is the focal point of this dark, absorbing thriller about a small sect of modern-day witches residing in the quiet town of Hastings Corner, Mass. Laura Morgan and Abby Stewart, best friends from high school, share a genetic secret that they eventually pass on to their daughters, Greer and Jenna: all four are witches, members of a select and endangered subset of the human race who possess relatively harmless gifts of healing and mind control. For generations, a group of locals have taken it upon themselves to eradicate the sect. So when Jenna and Laura turn up dead, Abby knows their deaths weren't accidents, and she realizes that she and Greer may be next. Their battle against the cruel townsfolk rapidly spirals toward an anticlimactic finale at a psychiatric hospital, where a coven of witches is imprisoned. Along the way, Gorman (Daughter of Darkness; Vendetta), a prolific mystery writer, describes fog and other mystical elements with a poet's touch, while references to HBO sex comedies and Homer Simpson lend a contemporary vibe to what is essentially an updated account of a sordid slab of American history. (Feb. 5)Forecast: A blurb from Dean Koontz will do more to boost sales than the book's cover illustration, which depicts a woman running through a cemetery with others carrying torches and chasing her. Still, this paranormal adventure may have troubles finding its niche, since Gorman's primary readership comes from his more traditional mysteries.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Good start, Bad middle and end. May 31 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author got off to a nice start, creating some mystery and a potential war between good and evil witches. This we find out is in fact NOT the story line. Instead it is (Spoilers ahead) about evil powerless humans versus mostly powerless good witches.
Then the characters ALL start acting incredibly stupid. At no point am I convinced that ANYONE, good, bad, or simply nuetral has enough brains to pull off any of the lies they supposedly are telling. They ALL do the stupidest possible things. The good guys take no weapons, magic, or even some muscle to confront the bad guys. The bad guys, like the old Batman tv show, try to trap and/or hold their opponents for riduclously long amounts of time instead of killing them out right.
The characters all fail Bad-guys 101.
The good-guys know they have allies in the rest of the world but make zero attempt to contact them.
Buy this book ONLY if when your daughter is kidnapped because she was a witch you would NOT go to the police and say:
"My Daughter was kidnapped by a group of fanatic Christians because someone found out she went to a wicca meeting. I demand that you rescue her before they burn her for religous reasons."
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting paranormal thriller Feb. 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the dawn of time, the human race was split into two sub-species. One is the Normals while the other is the minority Witches, who have extra sensory powers involving telekinesis, telepathy, healing, and mind control. The Witches did whatever was necessary to hide their powers from the Normals, but as evidenced by the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials and other purging events, they were not always successful.

The refugees who escaped the Salem witch trials moved to the remote and conservative town of Hastings Corner. Following them were the witch hunters, who also settle there in order to kill witches when one surfaces. This mission passed down from father to son and in the present their target is Greer Caine, the daughter of a woman they killed. Dr. Abby Stewart, who lost her own child to the witch hunters, and Greer's father vow to keep the child safe no matter how many come after her.

Ed Gorman has written an exciting paranormal thriller that illustrates the effects of blind prejudice on a group of people with uncommon characteristics. The Witches must hide, not because they are evil and want to harm the rest of the humanity, but because history has shown man kills when he fails to understand. Rituals is Mr. Gorman at his spectacular best.

Harriet Klausner
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars another winner from Gorman..... Jan. 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is just another great book from Ed Gorman, a different
witch thriller and fast ride, well worth the time. Gorman
still has the goods and takes the time to get it right.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good start, Bad middle and end. May 31 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author got off to a nice start, creating some mystery and a potential war between good and evil witches. This we find out is in fact NOT the story line. Instead it is (Spoilers ahead) about evil powerless humans versus mostly powerless good witches.
Then the characters ALL start acting incredibly stupid. At no point am I convinced that ANYONE, good, bad, or simply nuetral has enough brains to pull off any of the lies they supposedly are telling. They ALL do the stupidest possible things. The good guys take no weapons, magic, or even some muscle to confront the bad guys. The bad guys, like the old Batman tv show, try to trap and/or hold their opponents for riduclously long amounts of time instead of killing them out right.
The characters all fail Bad-guys 101.
The good-guys know they have allies in the rest of the world but make zero attempt to contact them.
Buy this book ONLY if when your daughter is kidnapped because she was a witch you would NOT go to the police and say:
"My Daughter was kidnapped by a group of fanatic Christians because someone found out she went to a wicca meeting. I demand that you rescue her before they burn her for religous reasons."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid work from the master May 26 2005
By Craig Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Salem Witch Trials: a sad piece of American history. But it couldn't happen again, right? That is the idea posed by Ed Gorman's novel Rituals. In it, witches are merely regular people (women, of course, men can only be "carriers") who are born with special "secret" powers that bloom after puberty (shades of Carrie) and fizzle out during adulthood only to partially resurrect themselves during old age. Direct descendants of the persecutors of Salem are hunting down the witches' descendants in an attempt to completely destroy them.

Our focus, however, is on a small cache of characters in Hastings Corner. Laura and Abby were best friends who had the power to heal. Separated by their marriages, they managed to stay close. Now Laura is dead, as is Abby's daughter. They both had the power; is there a pattern?

Though probably best known for his rough-and-tumble mystery and western characters, Gorman shows off his sensitive side in Rituals. Most of the proceedings are seen from the points of view of the female characters, and even Cam is painted as a really nice guy, someone who was an insensitive jerk and messed up once but is now very understanding. I never doubted the truth of these people, though I take their behaviors into question now and then.

The plot itself depends on a flimsy act of restraint, that is repeatedly reinforced, but that could easily be overcome with a simple lie, solving most if not all of the characters' problems. Also, the ending, unfortunately, takes much too long to actually happen, even though some parts feel rushed, as if some cutting was done and some tightening attempted, but was just not fully successful. Nevertheless, Rituals is immensely readable, especially at the beginning, when I didn't want to put it down.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting paranormal thriller Feb. 11 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the dawn of time, the human race was split into two sub-species. One is the Normals while the other is the minority Witches, who have extra sensory powers involving telekinesis, telepathy, healing, and mind control. The Witches did whatever was necessary to hide their powers from the Normals, but as evidenced by the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials and other purging events, they were not always successful.

The refugees who escaped the Salem witch trials moved to the remote and conservative town of Hastings Corner. Following them were the witch hunters, who also settle there in order to kill witches when one surfaces. This mission passed down from father to son and in the present their target is Greer Caine, the daughter of a woman they killed. Dr. Abby Stewart, who lost her own child to the witch hunters, and Greer's father vow to keep the child safe no matter how many come after her.

Ed Gorman has written an exciting paranormal thriller that illustrates the effects of blind prejudice on a group of people with uncommon characteristics. The Witches must hide, not because they are evil and want to harm the rest of the humanity, but because history has shown man kills when he fails to understand. Rituals is Mr. Gorman at his spectacular best.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another winner from Gorman..... Jan. 20 2004
By J. Bilby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is just another great book from Ed Gorman, a different
witch thriller and fast ride, well worth the time. Gorman
still has the goods and takes the time to get it right.
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak Sauce for Ed Gorman March 30 2008
By Firevoice - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many of Gorman's strengths are on display -- vibrant characterization, fluid dialogue, and the ability to write high-stakes, bravura scenes that rend the reader's heart. However, the main premise is implausible and the plot structure is needlessly byzantine. Also this work contains a lot of writerly vamping -- as if Mr. Gorman's contract called for 200 more pages than this story would intrinsically support, so he filled it up with needless viewpoint shifts to unimportant minor characters. If you haven't read the Sam McCain books -- go read one of those first.
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