Rites of Azathoth, a Masterful Blend of Crime and Horror From Frank Cavallo

The Bottom Line: Mr. Cavallo’s talent at balancing the gritty world of policing with the seemingly mystical world of the occult makes for a study in contrasts that will make you want Diana on another case ASAP.

Frank Cavallo’s Rites of Azathoth throws readers into the world of FBI criminal profiler Diana Mancuso. She’s retired from fieldwork, but the department implores her to take on one more case. She agrees, but what seems like a run-of-the-mill prison escapee is actually notorious serial killer Luther Vayne.

Frank masterfully jumps from the world of FBI formality to the darkness of the occult without leaving readers with whiplash. As Diana uncovers more and more about Luther’s connections to a powerful underground cabal, she finds herself surrounded by the supposed madness in his mind. Throughout Rites of Azathoth, readers will find themselves in the midst of dark rituals and a world of horror and fear. Make no mistake, you’re reading a crime novel — but it’s clear that Cavallo is also taking readers through the deepest recesses of a serial killer’s mind, too.

Memorable scenes put Diana just inches from her goal of capturing the notorious killer, but it’s not until the climax that we see exactly what Luther was planning and whom he was working with. It’s not often a book comes together with such polish, which is made even more impressive given that Frank Cavallo is weaving tales of the occult with real-world dangers.

Though the book spans just 10 days, you’ll fly through it in much less time.

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