The Fifth Petal: Book summary and reviews of The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

The Fifth Petal

A Novel

by Brunonia Barry

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry X
The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Jan 2017
    448 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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About this book

Book Summary

Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.

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, 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?


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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Barry fans will welcome the return of beloved characters and the introduction of new ones into a contemporary Salem appropriately fraught with remnants and reminders of its dark and twisted history. This spooky, multilayered medley of mysteries is sure to be a bestseller." - Booklist (starred review)

"Banshees, lost memories, and secret pasts each play a significant role in this novel; enthusiasts of the author's earlier work and readers interested in the history of witchcraft and the occult will enjoy this return visit to Salem." - Library Journal

"Dark and suspenseful, Barry's well-constructed tale is filled with traps and red herrings as the truth is slowly revealed and Salem is forced to confront its sordid past." - Publishers Weekly

"In contemporary Salem, a murder has taken place, with roots that reach back to the seventeenth-century witch trials. Filled with twists and turns, as well as ancient tradition and modern mystery, Barry's story has deft pacing, a marvelous sense of place, and a quirky cast of characters. The Fifth Petal is another haunting tale by the author of The Lace Reader where past and present collide." - Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy

"Brunonia Barry's Salem is alive with rich history, and with a unique and colorful cast of characters: witches and healers, lace readers, the well-to-do and the down-and-out." - Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People and The Night Sister

"As in The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry weaves together ancient myths, modern mysteries and the power and wisdom of a cabal of fearless women who've been touched by the invisible world." - Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic's Daughter

"In contemporary Salem, a murder has taken place, with roots that reach back to the seventeenth-century witch trials. Filled with twists and turns, as well as ancient tradition and modern mystery, Barry's story has deft pacing, a marvelous sense of place, and a quirky cast of characters. The Fifth Petal is another haunting tale by the author of The Lace Reader where past and present collide." - Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy
 
"Brunonia Barry has done it again. If you liked The Lace Reader, you're going to love her new novel, The Fifth Petal. A real page-turner about murder and prejudice and love and what's possible and what isn't. Enjoy." - B.A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger and The Muralist

"There are many writers who write wonderful books… then there are those rare writers who make magic. Brunonia Barry proves once again she is a sorcerer. Transported to Salem, I was lost in a Gothic tale that only the author of The Lace Reader could have conjured." - M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Language of Stones

"Written with pens dipped in magic and chills, The Fifth Petal uncovers hidden corners where myth, malevolence, and fervor converge in Salem, Massachusetts. Tendrils from the past and present wrap the complicated characters - and the reader's attention - until the stunning final sentence. Brunonia Barry weaves miracles." - Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of The Murderer's Daughters

The information about The Fifth Petal shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Hi

Good
Awesome book get it!

Cora M. (San Francisco, CA)

Witches, Murder, Intrigue
A lovely tale following the characters and town form the Lace Reader. Barry weaves an intriguing tale based on historical witch trials and modern cold case murders. Another psychological mystery book worth reading.

Judy B. (Santa Fe, NM)

Witches, Witches, Witches
I loved this book about witches and I usually do not! It involved so much early American history which made it so interesting. Actually, it is about a murder that took place in 1989 of three women, thought to be "Goddesses" or witches, all related to the five women who were killed as "witches" in early Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The story takes place in Salem and involves three women, one who has a young daughter at the time of the murders in 1989. Fast forward to present day. The young daughter has grown up and comes back to Salem to find out about the murders. The Sheriff in present day Salem has never believed that the woman who people said committed the murders, and is still living in Salem, was the person who actually did commit the murders. This is the story about how the Sheriff and the daughter find the murderer(s?). It is suspenseful and an intriguing story whose roots go back into history and is well worth the some 400 pages of the novel!

Lisa R. (Salem, OR)

Wonderful story teller
Ms. Barry has written a particularly interesting story! I wish I had read the first book The Lace Reader, first, but you can read this as a stand alone. I am definitely going to dig up the first book, as I know I have it. I didn't really figure out where the book was going exactly because there were several misleading but believable story paths to follow. With the background of the Salem Witch Trials, I think anyone interested in mystery with some Wicca thrown in will enjoy this. A few little snippets that were left as loose threads, at least for me. Maybe the next book?

jenica

the fifth petal
It had so much meaning, so much drama. it's just was so amazing!!!!!!

Gary R. (Bolingbrook, IL)

Real good read
Salem,witches,a murder mystery, I'll admit I didn't know what to expect from this book,having not read the lace reader,and was pleasantly surprised. Kept my interest and was fun to read.The town of Salem,the characters,the mystery of the murders of the past and the present had me. Now excuse me while I head to the library to track down a copy of the Lace Reader

...19 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Brunonia Barry Author Biography

Photo by Martha Everson

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.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Brunonia studied literature and creative writing at Green Mountain College in Vermont and at the University of New Hampshire, spending a year in Dublin where she studied James Joyce's Ulysses. After college, she worked in public relations for several theatrical productions in Chicago, including ...

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