The book: ‘Sacrifice’ by Bram Stoker Award-winning author John Everson is available on Amazon. It’s the sequel to ‘Covenant,’ which won the 2004 Bram Stoker Award for First Novel.
The story: After surviving the horrible events in ‘Covenant,’ Joe Kieran and Malachai, a malevolent demon reluctantly under Joe’s control, leave the cursed town of Terrel’s Peak. When Joe picks up a hitchhiker, his life takes another supernatural U-turn. This time it veers into the path of a serial killer on a mission to call forth the Curburide, evil spirits with the power to annihilate the world.
Opening lines: ‘Goose bumps peppered Ted’s skin. The temperature dropped every step forward. The air swam with palpable presence, as if he was walking through a liquid current of clammy spiderwebs. Ted shivered, but kept moving.’
The review: ‘Sacrifice’ is a hard-core erotic horror novel about the next chapter in the life of Joe Kieran, a newspaper reporter saddled with an invisible servant named Malachai, the demon of Terrel’s Peak.
Malachai is bound to do as Joe commands, but the demon is sly and not averse to twisting his master’s words to complicate matters.
Unsure of his future, Joe hits the open road where he encounters a teenage hitchhiker named Alex, a girl on the run from her own dark and violent past.
Meanwhile, a femme fatale named Ariana is performing ritualistic serial killings across the U.S. with the goal of unleashing the Curburide, vast demonic forces capable of creating Hell on Earth and destroying humanity.
Joe and Alex quickly develop the powerful bond of two desperate people who find each other in the darkness and realize their fates are linked.
Malachai is playing the part of the snarky but helpful adviser, but is the demon leading Joe and Alex to their destinies or their doom?
While the author Everson charts the path of Joe and Alex, he simultaneously follows Ariana’s cross-country killing spree. The technique effectively ratchets up the suspense for the inevitable showdown between good and evil.
Like other Everson novels, ‘Sacrifice’ is pumped with scenes of sadistic sex and graphic violence, including a gruesome foursome of wanton cruelty.
In contrast, Everson infuses a genuine tenderness into the potentially problematic relationship between Joe and Alex. It fills the story with a surprising measure of heart, more than enough to make ‘Sacrifice’ a satisfying sequel to ‘Covenant.’