"The superlative Barry creates a vividly eerie, time-bending landscape that stretches back and forth between the Salem witch trials, the Goddess Murders, and the present-day mystery ..... This spooky, multilayered medley of mysteries is sure to be a bestseller." Booklist Starred Review
"The Fifth Petal is a literary thriller that beautifully straddles the line between sensational and sublime, illuminating history and hysteria in a fictional context that never fails to resonate as being very much of this world. Barry melds mysticism, myth, and religion in this ambitious, multigenerational saga in near-epic proportions, resulting in a veritable witches' brew. In a publishing environment that values expediency, the author -who spent five years writing this book-proves that good storytelling, like perspective, often benefits from the passage of time. Prepare to fall under her spell." The Strand Magazine, John B. Valeri
“Murder is always a dark and strangely titillating subject, but when combined with madness and magic, it weaves an even more seductive spell. This is especially so when in the hands of best-selling author Brunonia Barry. Barry's tale isn't just an intriguing and evocative story, but also a strong social commentary. Magic is not a malicious force of evil, but a natural earthy feminine power. . . . Women who wield any kind of power, supernatural or otherwise, are misunderstood or feared. Women who don't possess it are resigned to lives beyond their control. The Fifth Petal is an imaginative and haunting book that appeals to the emotions, the senses and the intellect." The Book Beat, Jeanette Bouchie
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?