The Fifth Petal

Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of THE LACE READER with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, 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?

First came The Lace Reader now Brunonia Barry has followed it up with The Fifth Petal. You don’t necessarily have to read The Lace Reader to completely appreciate this one but you’d get a fuller understanding of the context of the story if you did.

 Modern day Salem gets visited as the police are trying to solve a murder and of course the town’s witchy history comes into play as Barry sucks you with her descriptive writing. The paranormal themes and vivid characters made this into a great novel that brings to life one of the more interesting aspects of American history.

 Callie is a strong female character with fantastic memory recall and on a personal note I loved her being a music therapists since my daughters who are on the autism spectrum have used this therapy which we have found very healing. Barry either has a personal connection to this type of therapy or did tons of research because it was obvious she did a fantastic job in accuracy. That feeling of hard work on the part of the author to maintain a sense of accuracy didn’t stop at the therapy as so much history had to be used to create this story. The other characters in this story received just as much attention in development and creating characters you can become invested in as Callie which made for a great story overall.

 One of the other things I really liked when it came to the characters was if you ever read some of Ms. Barry’s other books you might recognize some names in this one as she pulled from previous writings. In some ways it felt like attending a family reunion in the inviting Salem atmosphere.

 Her settings and plot were vivid so you can feel like you’re there walking alongside her characters becoming a part of their stories. It’s a brilliantly suspenseful tale that brings to life the past and weaves it seamlessly with future events. Her writing makes you respect what and who has come before because of the impact it can have on people and places today.

 If you’re into novels that cross genres you should check this out as it has history, fantasy, mystery and more!

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