Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Fifth Petal: A Novel by Brunonia Barry

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

“Do you think, inside, every one of us is a killer?”

This is the question that haunts the people of Salem, Massachusetts, in Brunonia Barry’s spellbinding, masterful new thriller, THE FIFTH PETAL (January 24, 2017; Crown), a tale of otherworldly powers, ancient myths, and a gruesome triple homicide. Ten years after her New York Times bestselling debut novel THE LACE READER became an international sensation, Barry revisits contemporary Salem, where the dark history of the paranormal continues to reverberate in the lives of the Whitney family and their neighbors. With its release, THE LACE READER became an overnight success, winning numerous awards and rave reviews from the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, New York, People, and being named an Amazon Best Book of the Month. Barry, born and raised in Salem, now returns with a complex brew of suspense, seduction, and murder in her highly anticipated novel THE FIFTH PETAL.

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, “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. Now Rafferty must uncover who, or what, is killing the descendants of Salem’s accused witches, while keeping the town’s paranoia—all too similar to the hysteria that lead to the infamous witch trials—at bay.

As Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter of Salem’s past, he finds unexpected help from Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the Goddess victims, who has recently returned to town. Discovered at the scene of the crime when she was five years old, Callie survived the mysterious massacre with only scratches on her arms and a perfect stigmata of a five-petal rose in the palm of her bloodied hand. Now 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 Rafferty nor Callie believes the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and honorary aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But clearing Rose’s name 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 Rafferty and Callie can’t discover what happened that night, will evil rise again?

Grounded in Salem’s true, dark history, Brunonia Barry paints a complex, eerie portrait of a modern New England town living in the past. With magical realism that will appeal to readers of Erin Morgenstern and gothic suspense echoing Deborah Harkness, THE FIFTH PETAL brings the world of Salem to life with Barry’s signature rich and twisting prose. Suspenseful, sinister, and masterfully composed, THE FIFTH PETAL is a haunting novel that will grip audiences long after the final page.

my thoughts:

A murder mystery set in Salem - what more could I ask for?  The second book in the series, The Fifth Petal, brings back all the familiar feels that The Lace Reader first introduced us to and I absolutely LOVED it. 

In 1989, three women were murdered (The Goddess Murders) on Halloween night.  Callie was just a child when she was found nearby and Rose lost her mind.  Fast forward to present day and another murder has been committed on Halloween night.  The local chief of police must uncover whodunit.  He connects the murders via one big thread:  they were all descendants of the witches of Salem (the ones who were hung in 1692).  Ah, the history.  Yes, I love reading all about the Salem Witch Trials and this book most definitely provides the rich details, along with some folklore and the paranormal thrown in for good measure.  It is truly a mystical read.  Did I mention the banshee history - yes, there is or isn't a banshee who may or may not be responsible?  Say what?! With so many twists and turns, this story makes for one captivating read that keeps you guessing which character is the culprit.  Oh, and the characters were just terrific - fully fleshed out, familiar, relatable, and a bit mysterious.  The writing was top notch.  Weaving the past with the present made for the perfect storytelling device.  Jam packed with history, slow reveals, and twists and turns, The Fifth Petal was most definitely a fun and engaging read.  I just loved how Barry brought Salem to life with her vivid descriptions and historical details.  I felt like I was right there alongside Callie and Rafferty.  Such a great book!

I would definitely recommend The Fifth Petal to fans of Barry and fans of great women's fiction - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Fifth Petal
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

I'm so excited that Barry has written another book set in Salem and that it's a good one! I LOVED The Lace Reader and can't wait to get my hands on this one! Thanks for brightening my day. :)

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Lark, you will LOVE this book then. I'm so glad this news brightened your day :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I can't believe I still haven't read The Lace Reader. I really need to pick up both of these books asap!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Heather, definitely check both books out - they are terrific! Thanks for having me on the tour :)

Dot said...

Really like the sound of these books Nadia, shall add them to my list!