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The Fifth Petal

(I received this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Random House, LLC

Rating: Five Paws

Could a witch hunt happen again in Salem? When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, 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?

The Fifth Petal was fantastic. Brunonia Berry weaves a tale of mystery, murder, and a bit of magic while holding on to the historic value of the story. Being from New England, I am very familiar with Salem, Ma. As I read the description of real places, I was able to visualize in my mind’s eye exactly where they were at any given time. Although not all of the roads and shops were factual, many were and I was able to picture them perfectly.

The author incorporated the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 perfectly with modern day Salem and at the same time gave a nod to the climate of the world today. Each character was perfectly developed and intermingled with the others on many different levels. This book was a thriller, yes, but also had a hint of magic and mayhem which made it all the more exciting to read.

The plot twists and turns, giving glimpses into past and present but maintaining a rhythm within the story that keeps you turning the pages. The author shows great attention to detail, fact and fiction, that makes you want to get the next page that much faster. By the end of the book, all of my theories were proven wrong, and I did not know who the culprit was. There is nothing better for me than getting to the end of a book and being surprised. It doesn’t happen all that often, and I must say that I was shocked.

I cannot say enough about this book. It is a long one, but worth every second. If you have the opportunity, pick up this book and read it. I know I for one cannot wait to get my paws on other works by Brunonia Berry.

~ M

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