The Scribe of Salem by Kathie Costos
In The Scribe of Salem: Ministers of the Mystery, the first book in the Ministers of the Mystery series, Kathie Costos takes readers on a wild fictional journey that has one foot in reality. Filled with suspense, historical intrigue, magic and scripture, get ready for an edge-of-your-seat novel that’ll leave you wanting more.
Most people who have the slightest interest in the occult, hard-to-believe historical occurrences, or early settlers of North America will be familiar with the Salem Witch Trials. While specifics may not be easy to recall, it’s difficult to forget how so many people were brutally tortured and executed due to hearsay and gossip.
In The Scribe of Salem, we are introduced to Chris Papadopoulos, who has seen his fair share of life’s horrors. Having traveled across the world as a newspaper reporter, he covered quite a bit, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then, his life fell apart …
We first find Chris in the bar of The Bishop Hotel in Salem, which has become somewhat of a place of comfort since moving back to Salem. There, he hears the name Mandy, an enigmatic woman who had supposedly saved the life of his friend, a veteran soldier, Bill, and some others in the bar from teetering into darkness.
It is here, as he is invited to the Puritan Lawn Cemetery, where Chris’s life will take another terrible turn … You’ll have to read to find out!
From early in the novel, readers will realize that Kathie Costos’s writing has an atmospheric quality to it. The sinister feeling that forms in the pit of your stomach as soon as Bill calls his companions “Brothers” or quotes scriptures to make a point is intensified as the story continues. The feeling soon turns to dread as this whirlwind, dark tale mixes witchcraft, history and Christianity together and offers it up to readers on a silver platter.
There’s almost a cultish quality to the book, especially in the way that Biblical scriptures are sprinkled throughout the dialogue. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of looking up the various verses and finding the deeper meaning in what was being said by the characters. Having verse juxtaposed with talk of witchcraft gave the novel a slightly unsettling edge.
Kathie Costos did some excellent research into the Salem Witch Trials, which will help spark readers’ memories on the tragic events that had occurred during the Puritanical days of the USA. What’s more, her writing draws readers into the story so vigorously that even someone who has never been to Salem can get a sense of the area and its rich history.
Readers will also appreciate the tragic characters that Kathie Costos crafted. Each character has a backstory, a darkness that surrounds them. They try to get rid of that lingering shadow, yes, but it’s always there. This, paired with the author’s atmospheric writing, turns The Scribe of Salem into an almost modern-gothic novel that is in the same vein as Edgar Allan Poe’s works.
Kathie Costos was able to craft a wonderful, realistic — albeit terrifying — story that is both memorable and unputdownable. The Scribe of Salem will leave readers wanting more as soon as you close the book. Fortunately, two more titles are planned in the series, which means lovers of the dark and macabre can rest easily … More is on the way, rejoice!
Kathie Costos has been an advocate and educator for 4 decades focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of her husband. In the 80’s, the only reports were centered on veterans and trauma. She didn’t read anything about what she survived and never thought she had it. Even after surviving over ten events, she didn’t realize what she had, was the reason she understood others so well. That awakening came when she was talking to her daughter about what the pandemic was doing. She used what happened to her when her ex-husband tried to kill her and stalked her. Her daughter said, “You never told me you had PTSD.” Kathie had to ask some psychologists she knew and they agreed it very well could have been. Now she says, “Fighting PTSD is in my DNA.”
In her last three books, The Lost Son, Alive Again and Stranger Angels, Kathie shows how lives can be changed and miracles happen when survivors learn how to hope again.
Publish Date: November 27, 2022
Author: Kathie Costos
Page Count: 271 pages