Sacrilege by Barbara Avon is the story of two people in deep need of something, but will they be able to figure out what it is before they destroy themselves?
Author: Barbara Avon
Release: October 2020
Genre: Psychological Fiction, Horror
Goodreads Link: Here
Wayward priest Cris Corelli rids himself of the sacred collar and leaves town, boarding the midnight train with no destination in mind but Satan is following him – lurking in the shadows. Corelli finds himself at an unassuming boarding house run by beautiful, yet tortured, Jules. She has her own secrets. They are the kind that echo in the mind, despite the screams that are meant to drown them.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1985, Cris and Jules are bonded by a senseless act of violence that brings the small town to its knees. They indulge in drugs and alcohol to numb the pain, and together, they teeter on the edge of darkness. What they don’t yet know, is that Satan still lurks.
I enjoyed the plot of this story. It’s a pretty classic, priest fighting their demons story but Avon certainly puts a twist on it and that twists name is Jules. In most of these types of stories, the priest is his own worst enemy, and while Cris is certainly going through some things, Jules impacts him in a way that he absolutely can’t resist. This makes his struggle story multifaceted and helps show more of him than he would have, had she not been there.
And as characters go, Cris was definitely my favorite. The use of journal entries and flashbacks did add to his character greatly. The world of this story was a bit isolated and the other characters were definitely not as important as Cris. Even Jules who impacted him so much, didn’t impact me as much as a reader. The side characters in the story could have been featured more, but in the end, they just weren’t as important as Cris. He was the one who needed to see and learn, and the others were just kind of there for the ride.
I loved the idea of the boarding house they lived in. It had duel effects for me as a reader. First, it was a place for them all to live, but then it became a perfect representation of their entrapment. The place was big, but because Cris didn’t have access to every room, he felt trapped in his own space. Especially when he first arrived, before he got to know people, that place was really his personal hell. I could feel that in the way the building was represented. On the other hand, the town around them and the outside of the building, I wanted to feel how opposite this area was. I wanted it to feel cheerful, delicate and welcoming. I think more attention could have been placed on those areas and making them feel harshly different but ultimately, that didn’t effect my feelings about the book.
The dark themes in this book are right up my alley. I love those fights with our demons, the ghosts we create in our lives and even the “real life” ghosts of the paranormal.
I’m a big fan of Avon’s books so I know her writing style pretty well and I like it. She can be highly visual but the language is never too complicated for me to understand. The dialogue is always easy to read and not clumsy. Also her descriptions are good. She doesn’t explain too much but I can also “see” the scenes and characters well.
Overall, I really enjoyed this dip into the minds of the tortured. With an easy to read writing style and themes that I’m thrilled to digest, I finished the book quick and look forward to more thrillers from Avon. Recommended!