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?
The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry is an enchanting read. Immediately, I was drawn ino the fictional world surrounding Salem’s dark past. The characters are quite interesting. One has visions. A local sheriff, John Rafferty, wants to find out if the murders are related to black arts or just vengeance. That’s where the new person, Callie Cahill, comes in handy. Her visions help. At first she struggles with the content of them, but soon manages. Then, there’s the lace reader who helps her husband, John Rafferty. An elderly lady being accused of the crimes is not sitting well with any of them. They need proof and they need to find the real killer before it’s too late. But digging into the past and present will be more dangerous than they think. Brunonia Barry has created a spellbinding read. I was hooked. The plot itself was enough to drag me further into the tale. The characters kept me guessing as to what lies ahead. Action, adventure, and history coming alive on every page. I loved how the writer took a dark moment in history and wove it into a stunning piece. Overall, I highly recommend The Fifth Petal to readers worldwide.