THE FIFTH PETAL by Brunonia Barry

5 Stars!

“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?

Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international best selling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was the first American author to win the International Women’s Fiction Festival’s Baccante Award and was a past recipient of Ragdale Artists’ Colony’s Strnad Fellowship as well as the winner of New England Book Festival’s award for Best Fiction and Amazon’s Best of the Month. Her reviews and articles on writing have appeared in The London Times and The Washington Post. Brunonia co-chairs the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers’ Committee. She lives in Salem with her husband Gary Ward and their dog, Angel. Her new novel, The Fifth Petal will be released in January 2017.

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This is my first book by this author.  I had heard of The Lace Reader but never had the chance to read it and had not even heard of The Map of True Places. Now I HAVE to read both of them!

I wouldn't really call these a series (they could be called that) I would just say that they are 3 separate books using the same setting and characters. By reading The Fifth Petal first I didn't feel like I missed out on anything, I got to know all the characters real well. If anything reading this one just really made me want to go back and read the others, I was so intrigued.

The Salem Witch Trials is one of my favorite subjects to read about! So the fact that this book was about the descendants of those hanged was a huge plus. The other huge plus was that this book was so well written! This was definitely a page turner, that's for sure.

The character development was excellent! I loved Rose, Callie and also Towner and would love to read more about her in The Lace Reader, and even Ann who had a strange personality. I also liked Paul whom we weren't sure if he was a good guy or bad guy and we don't find out till the end. I really wanted him to be good, but would have loved him either way.

Fantastic ending. I certainly did not have it all figured out. There were parts that I guessed and were right about but had no clue to the whole mystery. It was expertly woven.

Besides the main theme of the book, Callie was a sound therapist, she used tones to calm, sooth, and even heal. I found this fascinating!
"That's a G note," Callie said. She looked at the archbishop. It's associated with the throat chakra; the tones are thought to have a soothing effect on the corresponding energy center of the body. So, if you had bronchitis, for example, I might use the G note, and also an F to treat the heart chakra, which rules the lungs."
And the part about Banshees was also fascinating to me! I know, weird things fascinate me!
"According to Church history, banshees originated as paid mourners." Archbishop McCauley explained. "A leftover from the Pagan religions. The more mourners a family could afford, the higher their stature. When the early priests went to Ireland, they banned the practice. The mourners were mostly women; they wore their hair long and uncovered, which was forbidden at the time. And the keening was otherworldly. The banshee myth originally comes from those women. The priests outlawed keening, making beggars of the mourners."
This is definitely the kind of book I love to read! I think if you have any interest at all in The Salem Witch Trials or if have read The Lace Reader - you should read this book. You won't be disappointed!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours. Thank you! 

Order your copy from Amazon - HERE

I have one copy of this book to giveaway!  Woohoo!
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  1. I love reading about the Salem Witch Trials too. I didn't know that this book was about the witch trials, but I have seen a lot of good reviews of it lately!

  2. The first book I read about the witch trials was The Crucible in high school. I also didn't know this book was out the trials, and it sounds very intriguing. I really enjoyed The Lace Reader from this author!

  3. I haven't read books about the trials before, but I've read simialr stories about witches and enjoyed them very much.

  4. The Salem Witch trials sound fascinating. This book would be very interesting.

  5. This sounds like a fabulous read! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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