The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, investigates a 25-year-old triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed one Halloween night. Aided by Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims who has returned to town, Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter in Salem’s past.
Callie, who has always been gifted with premonitions, begins to struggle with visions she doesn’t quite understand and an attraction to a man who has unknown connections to her mother’s murder. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and sometime-aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force.
Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?
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Wow. The best part of this book, by far, are the characters. They take a great story and elevate it by leaps and bounds. Though I'd probably know more backstory on some of them if I read the "previous" book (and I probably will), I was fully invested. I love Callie. What a champ.
When I was in middle school and early high school, I was fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials. I read several books about them just for fun and was so entranced when, on a trip to Boston, my family made a day's stop in Salem, the place where it all happened. This younger nerd in me needed this book. It felt like it was written just for the me of 7 years ago. The mystery, supernatural elements, and suspense of this book were very impressive. The pacing really sped up in the middle of the book and drove me on to the next page every second while I was reading.
The writing here is very impressive and instantly intriguing. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to read this book, especially because it was a spooky and thrilling read at times too.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. Check out the rest of the tour here!