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?
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
The Fifth Petal is book two of The Lace Reader series. In this portion, a few years has passed since book one. Towner has decided to stay and although the relationship with her mother is strained at best, Towner has restored her aunt's tea room, and has it serve as a halfway house for the women living at Yellow Dog. The mystery opens on Halloween night, teenage boys heckling an old mentally ill homeless woman. They claim she's a witch, and when one of the boys die. The outraged people of Salem want justice to finally be served. Will Rafferty be able to find the killer before there is a witch hunt like olden days?
Brunonia Barry once again brings us a story rich in the history of the Salem Witch Trials. There was so much suspense, this book held me at the edge of my seat. I was engrossed until the very end and was taken by surprise by the end. This was a great suspenseful novel with lots of unsuspecting twists.
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