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The Fifth Petal: A Novel by Brunonia Barry
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The Fifth Petal: A Novel

by Brunonia Barry

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Early Reviewer Edition - It was hard to come to terms with the extremes in personalities of the characters. They ranged from just awful to generous and kind. There was little in-between. Salem history is a favorite of mine, so I should have loved this one. That was not the case. It dragged on, often with little reason. ( )
  signrock | May 23, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book. The writing was just poetic enough, the history developed enough, and the characters interesting enough to create a believable and interesting world. I would definitely pick up another Brunonia Barry book to keep me company in the quiet hours of the evening. ( )
  MayaArb | May 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was the first book I have read by Brunonia Barry. I'm a huge fan of mystery/suspenseful writing, so this caught my eye when I found it on LibraryThing as one of their Early Reviewers batch. First off, I LOVE the beautiful cover! I'm one of "those readers" who tend to first pick up a book based on whether or not the cover catches my eye. Barry previously wrote [book:The Lace Reader|1951125], which I have not read, but will next on my reading list. From what I've gathered from her previous book, The Lace Reader, Barry uses some of the same characters such as Police Chief John Rafferty and Lace Reader Towner Whitney in The Fifth Petal.

The Fifth Petal starts with the death of a teenage boy on Halloween. His death is under suspicious circumstances and Police Chief John Rafferty starts to wonder if the death of the teenager and the deaths of three women on Halloween night in 1989 who deemed themselves as The Goddesses are connected.

Upon learning that her Aunt Rose is a suspect in the murder of the teenage boy, Callie Cahill comes back to Salem. Callie was there that Halloween night in 1989 when her mother and the 3 other Goddesses were murdered. She works with Rafferty to try and clear Rose's name.

I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  lkevelyn | May 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While this book starts a little slow, last night I just couldn't put it down. I was up way too late to finish this page turner. I love the historical information about the Salem Witches. Additionally, the figurative language describing the city of Salem, the residents, the strange customs and the craziness of Halloween was addictive. This was a great read and I highly recommend it. ( )
  amazzuca26 | May 12, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Brunonia Barry has set another book in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, featuring a lot of the same cast of characters from her previous work, The Lace Reader.
In 1989, three young women known around town as The Goddesses were murdered in a horrific fashion. The only witnesses were a traumatized 5-year-old, Callie, the daughter of one of the slain, and a local historian and quasi-landlord of the ladies, Rose Whelan. Following the murders, Rose descended into a catatonic state and was never the same again, roaming town, sleeping outdoors and muttering about banshees and hearing the voices of the trees. Most people blame Rose for the murders, but nothing was ever proven.
In 2015, Rose has another deadly encounter which alerts Callie to Rose's situation and calls her to Salem. Callie is a music therapist and a healer with possibly a bit of the supernatural around her. As she and police chief Rafferty reopen the investigation into the murders they become entangled with more than they bargained for.

I wish I had read the previous book more recently than I had when I picked this up. There was quite a bit more about Rafferty and Towner's relationship that ended up being resolved here and I found I couldn't remember details that were probably important and would lend more enjoyment to the story.

Besides that, though, this was a great book. The characters were heartfelt and realistic. The supernatural elements were just mild enough to be believable and not send this more in a fantasy genre direction. True historical information about the Salem area and interesting theories surrounding the mythology of the Banshee were well-woven into the fictional tale. I very much recommend The Fifth Petal.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review from LibraryThing Early Reviewers* ( )
  EmScape | May 10, 2017 |
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It will have blood, they say: blood will have blood.
Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak ...
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
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For Gary
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Isn't it a little late for praying?
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