5 out of 5
Book by Diane M. Johnson
This occult crime thriller with twists of dark magic and the supernatural is a feast for horror fans.
Death metal guitarist Alec Lowell is shot on stage by a satanic fan. He should have died, but his astonishing recovery stirs uncertainty about his atheist beliefs. When Alec returns to his hometown to make amends with prior girlfriend Belinda and son Jake, he uncovers dark secrets about his religious and abusive father. Secrets that involve Alec and his prophesied role in a local satanic cult. Soon, for the safety of his family and friends, Alec must choose whose side he is on. Faith in God? Or faith in something darker?
Perfect Prophet is a well-paced supernatural thriller with tropes adopted from occult detective fiction. Characters are clearly defined, yet remain mysteries, flawed, and damaged. What is truly frightening about this story is not the concept of the supernatural or dark magic, but people’s devout and obsessive beliefs, the lengths they will go to prove those beliefs, and how they allow it to dictate their actions. Every character is suspicious and can’t be trusted, which weaves a continuous thread of terror, tension, and suspense in this story.
The novel contains some highly graphic scenes involving human sacrifice and animal abuse and slaughter, which may upset and trouble some readers, but ultimately work in conveying the fixation the cult members have to their ideology. Throughout this novel, there is a sense that no character will truly escape the brainwashed fanatics that have infiltrated Alec’s small hometown. It evokes feelings of terror and stress.
Overall, Perfect Prophet is a well-crafted story that questions moral convictions about good and evil. If you enjoy reading about sinister rituals, black magic, and sadistic murders, put Perfect Prophet on your TBR list.