Brunonia Barry is the best-selling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places. She grew up fascinated by Salem and with some of the accused witches in her family tree. After traveling the world, she returned to her roots in Salem. The Fifth Petal is her newest novel.
On Halloween night, a teenage boy dies suspiciously, in the presence of Rose Whelan, the eccentric person-of-interest in triple homicide decades ago. Chief of police John Rafferty isn’t from Salem, so he accepts nothing at face value. He thinks Rose had nothing to do with the boy’s death, and starts to question everything he’s heard about The Goddess Murders, the three women, all descended from accused Salem witches, who died so many years before.
While talk against Rose surfaces in the town, Rafferty must put aside his own issues to search for the truth behind The Goddess Murders. Because town gossip claims evil was raised the night of the murders. And with the truth no closer to the light than before, Rafferty starts to wonder if that evil will rise again.
The Fifth Petal had me hooked from the very first page. There’s an air of creepiness woven throughout the novel, and the historical roots of Salem—both good and evil—are explored in depth. The city lives and breathes on the pages, and I came to love the characters, especially the deeply troubled Rose. The Fifth Petal makes me want to visit Salem, which I’ve never had the desire for before. If you like creepy and a little bit scary mixed with your mystery, you’ll definitely love this book!
(Galley provided by Crown Publishing.)