In 1975, followers of the Cult of the Last Days are butchered in the Sonoma Desert. In the ensuing investigation and media frenzy, details emerge of the abuses suffered at the hands of the cult’s leader, the sadistic and manipulative Sister Katherine. But that’s not the whole story.
Many years later, indie filmmaker Kyle Freeman is approached by eccentric millionaire and mind, body & spirit entrepreneur Max Solomon to make a documentary about the cult, tracking its history from London to France and finally on to the US. The offer is almost too good to be true, but it quickly becomes clear that Max has not told Kyle the full story.
The details of the cult’s violence is realistic and believable, backed up by references to real-life cults. It’s all too easy to believe, in fact, that there was a real-life Cult of the Last Days living out in the Sonoma Desert and their story has just been hijacked and embellished by Adam Nevill for his own use.
But it’s not all about the cult’s violence and dehumanising tactics: the book is deeply creepy, and the supernatural events intensify as we learn more about them and are hurtled towards the action-backed and terrifying finale. Here Kyle finally comes into his own, and fittingly it’s behind the lens of a camera.
If you like horror novels which are strongly rooted in reality and don’t leave you wondering what the hell is going on, this is the book for you, as are his previous novels Banquet of the Damned and Ritual (both of which are given a nod here, a nice touch). I haven’t got to the author’s other novels yet, but believe me when I say I definitely will be doing so and watching eagerly for future work.