Killing Rites
by M. L. N. Hanover
(Pocket, $7.99, PG-13)  ISBN 978-1-4391-7634-4
****
She fled the scene of her gravest and most necessary transgression, but trouble has a way of finding Jayne Heller oftentimes presenting itself in the ruse of help.  Killing Rites, the fourth of the Black Sun's Daughter finally takes readers into the depths of the heroine herself: the demon that she has recently realized is housed in her body, the namesake of the series that until now has been a bit of a puzzle.

On the run with Ex, the ex-priest who has been one of her compatriots for the last year, Jayne has been searching for a means to rid herself of the rider—demon—possessing her.  When they finally track down the ring of exorcist buddies of Ex's, Jayne willingly throws herself on the fire, but realizes almost immediately that there was something worse going on than the fact that she's possessed.  For one thing, her demon has done nothing but help her.  For another, any attempts to exorcise the Black Sun's Daughter have opened Jayne to the presence of another rider.  Which should be impossible, and as such, makes her plea to cease sound like propaganda for the demon.

Escaping into a snowy New Mexico night with nothing more than the ritual gown she wears, Jayne takes off on her own for only the second time in her life — but this time, her life is actually at stake.  Willing to come to terms with the Black Sun's Daughter, if only temporarily, the two finally acknowledge one another and work together to prove Jayne's—and the demon's—innocence and sanity.

A fantastic and driven addition to a series that has been fast-moving from book one, Killing Rites is by far the best of the series thus far.  Deeper than the previous three though not as dark as Vicious Grace, it is the first time the author presents facets to characters who have, to this point, often just filled a role.  Certain to keep readers on the edges of their seats as well as have them dying for the next installment, Killing Rites is a must-read ESPECIALLY for people who have considering giving up the series.

--Sarrah Knight


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