The Black Mass by J.D. Fortier

four stars

blackThe Black Mass recounts the unfortunate mishaps that befall a young Canadian woman, Jenna Paxton. Tragedy, enigmatic encounters, and paranormal activity seem to follow Jenna wherever she goes. Luckily, she has her best friend, Andrea, to help her when times get particularly tough. One might think that having one husband mysteriously drop dead would be enough heartache to last a lifetime; Jenna has had two. First, her husband, Gary, dies suddenly of a heart attack, and shortly thereafter, her new husband, Brandon, disappears altogether. Suspicious circumstances, including but certainly not limited to a black mass hovering over the bodies, surround the two men’s deaths, which leaves Jenna shaken, confused, and ready to flee the country. She leaves for France, thinking that a new home will provide her with some shelter from her recent tragedies. Alas, she finds herself even more deeply embroiled in mystery when a strange, red-eyed man follows her around Paris. With the help of her closest friend and a French detective named Louis, she will try to follow the clues to lead her to the ultimate truth about the black mass.

If you’re at all interested in the supernatural, a dash of French culture, or getting to the bottom of a deep conspiracy, then The Black Mass may be the right book for you. At the root of the story, there is an element of the unknown with the mysterious red-eyed man who follows Jenna and threatens Andrea and the looming black fog that shows up at the most inopportune times, but the paranormal aspect is not so overwhelming as to turn off someone who prefers more realistic thrillers. The Black Mass is a quick read: one that’s worth picking up and not putting back down until you’re entirely finished.

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