The Fifth Petal

The Fifth Petal

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 unco...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Fifth Petal
Author:Brunonia Barry
Rating:
ISBN:1101905603
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:432 pages

The Fifth Petal Reviews

  • Jessica
    Feb 07, 2017

    When the last sentence of a novel gives you the chills... good lord.. what a read! Fans of the Lace Reader will enjoy a return to Towner and Rafferty's story. However, Towner is more of a secondary character in this one as Rafferty takes the lead in solving the recent murder in Salem that has ties to an unsolved case many years ago.

    My Reactions:

    -I need to plan a Salem trip. Barry's descriptions of the town, its revitalizations, and the atmosphere have elevated it on my vacation dream list.

    -M

    When the last sentence of a novel gives you the chills... good lord.. what a read! Fans of the Lace Reader will enjoy a return to Towner and Rafferty's story. However, Towner is more of a secondary character in this one as Rafferty takes the lead in solving the recent murder in Salem that has ties to an unsolved case many years ago.

    My Reactions:

    -I need to plan a Salem trip. Barry's descriptions of the town, its revitalizations, and the atmosphere have elevated it on my vacation dream list.

    -Music therapy bowls and note tones causing effects on the body frequency? Fascinating! Adding this to a future Google search. I love how Barry melds traditional medicine with holistic alternatives. Initially, I was skeptical and worried she'd take it too far; but overall, I think it was tastefully handled.

    -Banshee lore is interesting, spooky, and deeply tragic. May the poor souls of the destitute women rest in peace.

    -I was completely hooked, entertained, and absorbed in the story. My laundry pile, carry out container, and hungry animals can attest to that. (No fears, all animal babies were fed with extra "hammies" added in restitution).

    -Read The Lace Reader before this book. You could wing it and get by as a stand alone. I promise you that it will be more impactful is you start from the beginning and know the history.

    What's It About:

    In 1989 Salem was rocked by "The Goddess Murders". A triple homicide in which the victims were promiscuous descendants of the original Salem witches. Two survivors of the murders were forever changed. Respected historian, Rose Whelan, has become a shell of a woman. Babbling, incoherent, talking to the oak trees, and essentially homeless. Callie Cahill was five when it happened. The daughter of one of the victims, she was shoved to safety under a bush and marked with a five petal symbol in her palm.

    Present Day: A juvenile delinquent dies suspiciously on Halloween night. The town calls for Rose Whelan's arrest as the murderer. Rafferty cannot condemn an innocent to prison regardless of the evidence and hearsay. Callie returns to Salem with the intent of helping Rose and discovering the truth of what happened that night. Did a banshee kill those women as Rose insists? Or was there a more sinister human force at work? As Rafferty and Callie get closer to discovering the truth, the lies, the cover ups, and the implications this has on Salem's finest, they realize they might be in over their heads.

    Highly recommend! And the ending will leave you wondering what will happen next!

  • Diane S ☔
    Jan 03, 2017

    3.5 I read her novel

    so long ago, I remember little. This book is too difficult to summarize the plot, but the blurb for this book does a fairly good job. The setting and the subject holds a big attraction for me, Salem, Massachusetts, the witch trials and modern day Salem. I also love the character Rafferty, the police officer, and his wife Towner, who has a tragic past of her own.

    Modern day Salem, the past always present, so intriguing. This book is not without its flaws, ther

    3.5 I read her novel

    so long ago, I remember little. This book is too difficult to summarize the plot, but the blurb for this book does a fairly good job. The setting and the subject holds a big attraction for me, Salem, Massachusetts, the witch trials and modern day Salem. I also love the character Rafferty, the police officer, and his wife Towner, who has a tragic past of her own.

    Modern day Salem, the past always present, so intriguing. This book is not without its flaws, there is really too much going on at times, but it makes for a fast paced novel and I avidly kept turning the pages. Also fascinating was the character Callie, music therapy and the treating of pain with singing bowls. Again fascinating, had never heard of this but definitely want to learn more. The location of the hanging tree, and other reality based facts are included in the author's afterword. I was surprised at how much was actually true.

    Good storyline, interesting setting and characters, family secrets but will admit my rating was influenced by my interest. Look forward to her next though and hope its not too long a wait.

    ARC from publisher.

  • Marjorie
    Sep 17, 2016

    This book has some of the same characters as in “The Lace Reader” though you don’t necessarily need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. There are some mention of things that happened in the first book. Apparently, more of what has happened between the first and second books will be contained in the author’s next release “Bone Lace”. Although I did read “The Lace Reader”, I don’t remember it all that well so I didn’t quite remember what they were talking about in the mentions of pr

    This book has some of the same characters as in “The Lace Reader” though you don’t necessarily need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. There are some mention of things that happened in the first book. Apparently, more of what has happened between the first and second books will be contained in the author’s next release “Bone Lace”. Although I did read “The Lace Reader”, I don’t remember it all that well so I didn’t quite remember what they were talking about in the mentions of previous happenings but it didn’t take away from the present book.

    As said, I don’t really remember much about the first book and I feel that a few months from now, I won’t remember much of this book either. I enjoyed the overall ambiance of the setting in Salem, Mass and all the background information about the Salem witch trials, although I’ve read most of that before. Also interesting was to learn about present day Salem and the effects the past has had on it. As for the two witch stories contained in this book, the first surrounded the murder of three young woman known as the “Goddesses” in 1989 and the present-day murder of a teenage boy. Rose Whelan, a respected expert on the Salem witch trials, was the prime suspect in both murders. She claimed that a banshee was to blame.

    I did like each of the characters in this book and I enjoyed reading the story. However, it was very drawn out and a lot of the book seemed to be just fill in. I had trouble keeping my attention on the book and it never really hooked me. But I did enjoy the basic story and I’m sure anyone who enjoyed “The Lace Reader” will welcome this newest addition.

    This book was given to me by the publisher through LibraryThing in return for an honest review.

  • Vikki
    Feb 19, 2017

    "God will give you blood to drink. "—SARAH GOOD, 1692

    Callie was 5 years old when her mother along with her two friends were killed on Halloween when performing a blessing at Proctor's Ledge, the real site of the hanging of the Salem Witches. Named the Goddesses, the woman were the descendants of the original Salem witch hanging victims and had a reputation of bewitching men in Salem. Rose, a historian and mother-figure of the group, hid Callie during the murders and gave Callie a rose rosary, th

    "God will give you blood to drink. "—SARAH GOOD, 1692

    Callie was 5 years old when her mother along with her two friends were killed on Halloween when performing a blessing at Proctor's Ledge, the real site of the hanging of the Salem Witches. Named the Goddesses, the woman were the descendants of the original Salem witch hanging victims and had a reputation of bewitching men in Salem. Rose, a historian and mother-figure of the group, hid Callie during the murders and gave Callie a rose rosary, the imprint of which is scarred on Callie's hand due to Callie squeezing it so hard when hiding. Callie went to an orphanage and Rose lost her mind and went to a mental institution. The murders went unsolved for 25 years and became part of Salem's spooky history until a boy mysteriously dies after Rose curses him. Callie who was unaware that Rose was still alive until she saw the news report, comes back to Salem to care for Rose and see if she can get some answers about her past. Callie begins to have visions of her past and tries to help Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty, solve the murders but sometimes leaves more questions than answers. There were suppose to be five people there, a descendant for each of the five accused witches that hanged, so who was the fifth person? Rose keeps ranting that a banshee was released that night 25 years ago and killed the 3 women and the boy she cursed. Were they killed by an evil spirit or something more human in nature?

    This book is a very slow read. It seems like a lot of people that did not read the first book in the series, The Lace Reader, had the same issue and did not finish it. The plot did not require you to read the first book but the problem may be that you were not invested as much in the characters than you would be if you did. This book went into a lot of mythology and ancient history and New Age medicine so if you are not into any of these or have no previous knowledge of them, I would avoid this book. I was attracted to this book by the Salem witch trial theme to the book but I feel that the author did a good job fleshing out the story with the mythology, history, and the back stories of the characters. What kept me going through the story that the gradual unraveling of the mystery of the murders and what actually lead up to the murders and how all the backstories and the history is connected. I felt it was worth the read and now want to read The Lace Reader.

    I gave this 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.

  • Susan Johnson
    Oct 29, 2016

    I wish I could have liked this book more than I did. It's the second book in the series but the first came out over seven years ago. My memory is sketchy and I can barely remember what I read last month let alone seven years ago so I think the author could have given us a better rehash of the first one so things would have clearer. On top of that, the plot is quite convoluted so I was lost quite a few times.

    In the 1980's three young women were found brutally murdered. They were called the Godd

    I wish I could have liked this book more than I did. It's the second book in the series but the first came out over seven years ago. My memory is sketchy and I can barely remember what I read last month let alone seven years ago so I think the author could have given us a better rehash of the first one so things would have clearer. On top of that, the plot is quite convoluted so I was lost quite a few times.

    In the 1980's three young women were found brutally murdered. They were called the Goddesses and were involved in some type of sexual arrangement. One of their daughters was found crying in a thorn bush the next day with a rosary in her hands and the image burned into her palm. These girls were all related to five women hung as witches in Salem in the 1600's. There is also an older woman, Rose, who acted as the Goddesses caretaker, who has turned into a homeless woman who talks to trees. A murder of a young boy believed to have been killed by Rose brings Callie, the young girl, back to town. She has not been there since she was removed by the nuns after her mother's murder.

    Enough mystery? No, indeed. Rose is talking to trees to discover the correct tree the witches in the 1600's were hung from. Why this matters is beyond me. There is also a feud between two long standing rich families. There are several modern day witches who keep their fingers in the pot. There is a home for abused women who have assorted problems. I begin to wonder just how many separate plot story lines I can keep track of at one time.

    Finally I breath a sigh of relief. The book is over. I really don't care about any of them by this time. I think editing 75 pages and reducing the number of plots would have helped this book immensely. It's too bad because the parts about Salem in the 1600's were quite interesting but brief. I was really disappointed in this.

  • Lauryn Spencer
    Nov 10, 2016

    I actually can't believe I managed to finish this. It was so painfully boring and I was in a never ending struggle to pay attention. I could have cared less about the plot and the characters and the entire time I just kept thinking about how I wanted it to be over already.

    I mean, you know it's bad when you let out a sigh of

    when you finish. It was just too long, too dull. The writing was decent, and even the parts about Salem in the 1600's were interesting—but other than that? This was j

    I actually can't believe I managed to finish this. It was so painfully boring and I was in a never ending struggle to pay attention. I could have cared less about the plot and the characters and the entire time I just kept thinking about how I wanted it to be over already.

    I mean, you know it's bad when you let out a sigh of

    when you finish. It was just too long, too dull. The writing was decent, and even the parts about Salem in the 1600's were interesting—but other than that? This was just a black hole of a book and felt like a waste of time.

  • Bj
    Jan 14, 2017

    4.5 "A Destiny Intertwined w/ Witches, Trees & A Killer" Stars!

    The Fifth Petal is a thoroughly enjoyable jaunt back to one of the most turbulent times in our nation's history: the Salem Witch Trials, as well as, an interesting fictional account of the influence that the horrific events of those times still has on our modern society hundreds of years later. The central theme of this novel is a cold-case, a triple homicide that occurred on the night of Halloween in 1989 and which is tied both

    4.5 "A Destiny Intertwined w/ Witches, Trees & A Killer" Stars!

    The Fifth Petal is a thoroughly enjoyable jaunt back to one of the most turbulent times in our nation's history: the Salem Witch Trials, as well as, an interesting fictional account of the influence that the horrific events of those times still has on our modern society hundreds of years later. The central theme of this novel is a cold-case, a triple homicide that occurred on the night of Halloween in 1989 and which is tied both to the past (the Salem Witch Trials) and the present day (2014-2015). Set primarily in Salem Massachusetts, The Fifth Petal, also gives us a realistic view of this quaint town, and the tourists it still allures to this North Shore community in search of a piece of history. My reading of this novel was especially timely given that I read most of it on a recent trip to the North Shore of Boston adding an extra spine chillingly effect to this haunting and symbol rich tale.

    Also for those of you who are wondering whether this book can be read as a stand-alone, it absolutely can. In fact, I haven't read the first book in the Lace Readers Series and had no trouble following the storyline. If you did read The Lace Reader, however, the hero (Sheriff John Rafferty) and the heroine (Towner Whitney) of that book play a central role in this book (although they are not the hero and heroine of this book).

    As I primarily review romance novels, I also think its worth noting that while this book is mostly a mystery/thriller, there is a romantic spin that is sure to appeal to readers of romantic suspense titles. Therefore don't let the classification of this book discourage you from giving it a try if you like at least an element of romance in your reads.

    John Rafferty has been asked to reopen a 25-year old triple homicide case with ties to the Salem Witch Trials after another homicide occurs on a Halloween night. The chief suspect of this new murder is none other than a woman named Rose Whelan who survived "The Goddess Murders" that fated night in 1989. Since then, Rose's life has taken a serious turn for the worse. Once a highly respected historian--whose major accomplishment was establishing the true location of where the hanging of the Salem witches actually occurred--Rose is now homeless and lives on the generosity of others (including Towner who frequently provides her shelter and meals). Many believe that her involvement in The Goddess Murders has rendered her mentally unstable. The fact that she claims she turns into a banshee who can kill clearly doesn't help convince the residents of Salem that she wasn't the one who committed the murders back in 1989 and thereby by extension in 2014.

    But Rose wasn't the only survivor of The Goddess Murders. Callie Cahill then just a small child and the daughter of one of the victims of these murders also survived. Surviving this ordeal but marked with a mysterious five petal rose imprinted on her palm from the rosary she clutched that night, many believe she is marked by an evil omen. As a result it is no surprise that she was unable to find someone to adopt her after her mother died and instead lives her childhood years in an orphanage. As an adult, however, she returns to Salem stunned to find out that Rose (who was like a second mom to her as a child--before The Goddess Murders) is still alive--having been told by the nuns at the orphanage that she died that night. Finally having been given back a family member Rose is determined to help prove Rose's innocence and help her reclaim her sanity. In furtherance of her her first goal, Rose enlists the help of Sheriff Rafferty to help her solve The Goddess Murders so that Rose can finally be free of the accusations and stigma that have plagued her the past 25 years.

    What follows is a whirlwind of clues and slow reveal of a decades old mystery with ties firmly entrenched to the Salem Witch Trials, including that each person involved in the murders that fated night of Halloween in 1989 was a descendant of one of the witches that was hanged. Discovering just how those ties match up is part of the clever way that this mystery is unraveled. But there are many other entertaining and intriguing aspects of this novel, including a prominent man in Salem who is the son of one of the most influential families who seems to take an interest in Callie. But why is he interested and what are his true intentions? In the end, is he truly interested in Callie's best interests or does he have some other ulterior motive? Last but definitely not least, watch for some serious symbolism tied to trees in this unique read.

    All in all, I really enjoyed every aspect of this one-of-a-kind read. From the difficult to solve mystery, to the witch and magic ties and symbolism, to the unraveling of complicated relationships and complex motivating desires, this book had me firmly entrenched to my seat until the last page had been turned!

    Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

  • CL
    Dec 18, 2016

    A little bit of madness, a little bit of witchcraft, a little bit of mystery. Callie Cahill witnessed her mother and friends murdered and could not remember any of it. She has lived in another town most of her life raised by the nuns under another name. She returns to town after another murder and thinks she begins to remember what happened. Rose Whelan is accused of Callie's mother's and friends murder when another murder happens of which she is also accused. Most of the residents of Salem beli

    A little bit of madness, a little bit of witchcraft, a little bit of mystery. Callie Cahill witnessed her mother and friends murdered and could not remember any of it. She has lived in another town most of her life raised by the nuns under another name. She returns to town after another murder and thinks she begins to remember what happened. Rose Whelan is accused of Callie's mother's and friends murder when another murder happens of which she is also accused. Most of the residents of Salem believe she killed Callie's mother and friends but Callie knows Rose was protecting her. Now she is up against a force she is not sure of and will need to prove who killed her mother and her friends. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.

  • Candace (Literary Dust)
    Jan 14, 2017

    DNF... Life is too short... Review on my blog

  • Bam
    Feb 18, 2017

    My rating falls somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. The story kept getting better and better as it unfolded.

    Brunonia Barry returns to Salem, MA in book two of her Lace Reader series. Chief of Police, John Rafferty, has two murder mysteries to solve--one a cold case that happened in 1989, before he came to town, which involved three young women who called themselves the Goddesses, and another that happened on this Halloween night and involved the death of a young boy. The common factor? A banshee

    My rating falls somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. The story kept getting better and better as it unfolded.

    Brunonia Barry returns to Salem, MA in book two of her Lace Reader series. Chief of Police, John Rafferty, has two murder mysteries to solve--one a cold case that happened in 1989, before he came to town, which involved three young women who called themselves the Goddesses, and another that happened on this Halloween night and involved the death of a young boy. The common factor? A banshee and a woman named Rose--are they one and the same?

    Callie Cahill, Rose's 'niece,' returns to Salem after she learns that Rose has been hospitalized and may be implicated in the murder. Callie was just five years old and a witness of sorts when her mother, one of the Goddesses, was brutally murdered back in 1989.

    Callie is an interesting character who still suffers from nightmares and flashes of violent memories. She has been trained as a music therapist but also works with sound therapy to help patients who are in pain, sometimes using music recordings, sometimes using a singing crystal bowl which sets up a sound vibration, soothing to various chakras. That is a very interesting part of the story, something I knew nothing about.

    For one woman with cancer, Callie has her relax while she plays a recording of Yo Yo Ma performing Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, which Yo Yo Ma had said is 'all about flow.' (There's a great recording on youtube of Yo Yo Ma performing six cello suites by Bach at the Royal Albert Hall that is superb to listen to while reading. In the recording, Yo Yo Ma himself says the music can be helpful when going through hard times 'to feel part of a greater whole.'

    )

    She also learns about the solfeggio scale used by the ancients--and experiences the medieval Hymn to John the Baptist in Latin, composed in the solfeggio scale--a healing service. "It was one of the simplest and deepest meditation experiences she'd come into contact with--and definitely healing." Solfeggio recordings can also be found on youtube for those interested:

    The mysteries come to a very satisfying conclusion with some dogged police work and a little help from magic. I am enjoying this series and look forward to book three.

    Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read an arc of this book.