Five, Six … Grab Your Crucifix is the third novel in the five-novel boxed set of Rebekka Franck, crusading journalist series. Not that Rebekka wanted to be seen as a crusading journalist, but she had been through two experiences of solving serial killer mysteries. The first novel was about revenge for childhood crimes when one of the children returned as an adult to exact vengeance. The second novel was a peripheral victim whose loved one had suffered botched medical experiments and he wanted to make them pay. This novel also involves multiple killings but in the setting or a cult. Was it a religious cult? Ostensibly, but the practices of religious leaders from this cult veer far from the path of normality. The cult emphasizes pain, torture and associated weird sex. Not that cult leaders had to suffer, except in their early initiation, but the greater mass of followers suffered constantly … and they liked it.
The reader will discover stories of the backgrounds of principal cult figures and what motivated them to join the cult as well as why they could not leave. Some tried. The reader can focus on cult characters because we already have a solid idea of characters Rebekka, daughter Julie, possible romantic interest and photographer Sune, and the amazingly resilient Dad who spends most of his time cooking. cleaning, taking care of Rebekka’s daughter Julie and Sune’s son Tobias and generally deploring Rebekka’s life choices.
Life in the cult and the horrible tales presented by cult characters are scary and could carry the novel by themselves but there is more. Cult figures, leaders and long-term residents are dying horrible deaths. At some completely unpredictable time the leader, supreme leader “Priest,” fell on the ground retching, screaming, and bleeding until calm returned with his death. Other cult members, just prior to dying, claim to have seen a girl with the glowing green eyes. But those in the know realized that could not be. She had died years ago. The leaders knew that to be true because they had killed her. Two new mystery elements have been introduced. Who or what is killing the cult members? And has this become a novel of the occult and fantasy?
Rebekka would like to know how this might affect her. She and her family were on vacation living in a cabin bordering the outer perimeter of the camp where the cult followers lived. Was there a danger of some sort of infection? Rebekka has lots of things to think about and in this novel, she concentrates on her family and not a print deadline.
There is a surprise ending that once again surprised me. It would not be a spoiler to say that there are multiple guilty parties in this novel. Readers might even disagree as to how many guilty parties there were. Even Rebekka will feel guilty as this story winds down. Why? Reading this story will make many readers want to go to the next one. Like me. Off to the next story which begins Seven … This novel is another four Amazon star comfort read.