Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel

Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel

by Alice Blanchard

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Overview

An IndieNext Pick!

"Gripping...Blanchard keeps the tension high." - Associated Press

From Alice Blanchard, the author of the New York Times Notable mystery novel Darkness Peering comes Trace of Evil, first in an evocative new series about a small New York town, its deeply held secrets, and the woman determined to uncover them, no matter what the cost.

There’s something wicked in Burning Lake…

Natalie Lockhart is a rookie detective in Burning Lake, New York, an isolated town known for its dark past. Tasked with uncovering the whereabouts of nine missing transients who have disappeared over the years, Natalie wrestles with the town’s troubled history – and the scars left by her sister’s unsolved murder years ago.

Then Daisy Buckner, a beloved schoolteacher, is found dead on her kitchen floor, and a suspect immediately comes to mind. But it’s not that simple. The suspect is in a coma, collapsed only hours after the teacher’s death, and it turns out Daisy had secrets of her own. Natalie knows there is more to the case, but as the investigation deepens, even she cannot predict the far-reaching consequences – for the victim, for the missing of Burning Lake, and for herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250205711
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Series: Natalie Lockhart , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 85,556
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

ALICE BLANCHARD is the award-winning author of several novels. She has received a PEN Award, a New Letters Literary Award, a Centrum Artists-in-Residence Fellowship, and a Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Her debut novel, Darkness Peering, was a New York Times' Notable Book and a Barnes & Noble Best Mystery book. Her work has been published in 17 countries.

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Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
KrisAnderson_TAR 10 days ago
Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard has Natalie Lockhart along with her sister, Grace and niece, Ellie remembering her sister, Willow who was murdered twenty years ago. Though Willow’s killer is serving time, Natalie has her doubts that the right man is in prison. Natalie followed in her father’s footsteps becoming an officer with Burning Lake Police Department. She uses the wisdom she learned from him to help her solve cases. Natalie is now the newest detective on the force handling the cold case of the Missing Nine. For twenty five years transients have gone missing in the area and not one detective in all that time has been able to solve the crimes. Natalie takes Brand Buckner home one evening after he has had too much to drink, to find his pregnant wife, Daisy dead in the kitchen. As Natalie works the case, she uncovers startling information. Natalie finds clues regarding the Missing Nine along the way and her doubts about Willow’s killer may be justified. The results of Natalie’s investigation will change her life and others forever. Trace of Evil is the first book in a new series starring Natalie Lockhart. Trace of Evil has multiple storylines making it a complex novel. I was unable to get into Trace of Evil despite my best attempts. The descriptions were detailed which led to dry reading plus the dialogue was off putting. I soon found myself skimming through the book (this is not a good sign). I easily kept up with what was happening, and I kept reading to see if I had picked out the correct guilty party. I do want to let you know that there is foul language and detailed violence. I also thought Trace of Evil was a little long with 370 pages. Trace of Evil has all the aspects for a good mystery, but it did not quite come together. With the right writing, Trace of Evil could be the beginning of a good mystery series. The beauty of books is that we each view them differently. I suggest you obtain a sample of Trace of Evil to see if it appeals to you.
Anonymous 12 days ago
Interesting crime thriller, starring a female detective, Natalie Lockhart, in a small, New York state town. Good mystery, lots of twists and turns, well-developed characters and a satisfying ending. I look forward to reading more novels featuring Det. Lockhart. ***I received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review of this book.***
ojoausana 18 days ago
i have a LOT of thoughts on this book. Firstly the ppl smoking "spice", "k2" etc. threw me off since (and I live in a state with legal weed so idk might be different else where but I don't know of ANYONE who still does that or even wants to, nc yea that's what will happen. speaking of which did I miss what happened to him? I think I did.... so, ngl the whole "she had an abortion and didn't EVEN TELL HIM" bs was annoying. like I felt like the book kept trying to say daisy was bad bc she had an abortion without asking her boyfriend first....even when it clearly pointed out "daddy" was ummmm a bit abusive. HOWEVER I was super into when you-know-who spilled the beans and didn't at all, not even once try to blame the "suicide attempt" on the abortion (like abusey abuse did) which was ngl a huge tipping point on the 5star thing for me. I really did enjoy this book even if I didn't agree with everything and the MC did annoy me a bit at times, im happy I got to read this book! :)
Monica-x 3 months ago
Burning Lake, N.Y., a small town filled with witch craft, wicca, paganism, even satanic rituals, Willow Lockhart was found brutally murdered at an old farm. Leaving behind her parents and sisters, Grace and Natalie, with heartbreak and questions. Natalie Lockhart grew up knowing she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and work for BLPD. Now she's a rookie detective and remembering all of her dad's advice, she's determined to solve the cold cases of The Missing Nine. After finding some new clues, she hopes to get answers before the Missing Nine becomes the Missing Ten. Then on the night of Willow's 20th deathiversary, Natalie finds Daisy Buckner, Grace's best friend and wife of Natalie's coworker, murdered on the Buckner's kitchen floor. Who would kill this beloved school teacher? After a couple leads, Detective Natalie Lockhart starts to think this could be a lot darker than your typical murder. I love a book that keeps me hooked. Even with lots of detail like this one, I never got bored. A book about detective work needs that detail and this one had it. I felt like I was right there with Natalie looking for the clues for the Missing Nine, finding Daisy murdered on her kitchen floor. And realizing the people she knew for so long, may not be who she thought they were. There were several times I said, "I know who killed Daisy Buckner." Sure it may have switched from time to time, but I really thought I knew. Boy, was I wrong! The suspense leading up to the end was perfect. Alice Blanchard had me on the edge of my seat up to the final chapter. I loved this book! Go get your copy of Trace of Evil, today!
Kelsey Bickmore 3 months ago
This was a really interesting detective novel! It had me guessing whodunit the whole way through and I really enjoyed the journey. Natalie is the newest detective on the squad and as such, is given the cold cases of the missing nine. That part was interesting enough with the symbols and possible serial killer leads but then there is the added mystery of who killed Daisy and why. Plus, you add in what the Burning Lake area is known for, witches and covens and witchcraft and it really made for an engrossing story. I have read other detective/mystery novels and they did not always have likeable main characters. Luckily Natalie was very likeable and she tended to make good decisions too. That really helped with the story. I would definitely recommend this book and I hope that the author will write more novels with Natalie.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Natalie Lockhart a detective in the small town of Burning Lake, NY, a town known for the burning of three innocent women convicted of witchcraft which happened in 1712. Natalie's younger sister was brutally murder at the age of 18, the suspect was convicted although he maintained his innocence. This thriller develops around Nine Cold cases witch Natalie is working on and the latest murder in Burning Lake of a teacher named Daisy Buckner, who is the best friend of Natalie's sister Grace. As the investigation unfolds the detective realizes that this case is also related to the "Missing Nine". As Natalie hunts for Daisy’s killer, her search leads to a string of strange clues―about the Missing Nine, about Daisy’s secret life, and reviving fresh doubts about her sister’s murder. This book is an amazing thriller, the writing is compelling and the characters so well-developed, especially Natalie. I enjoyed the mystery and the atmosphere in this book, I'd recommend this to anyone who likes creepy mysteries or police procedurals, can´t wait to read the second book of this series.
melissa_x0 3 months ago
Natalie is a rookie detective in her little town of Burning Lake known for its "witchy" background. It is not uncommon for teenagers to form covens and use spells to try to influence the world around them, sometimes with black magic. While Natalie is working a cold case of the Missing Nine girls, transients or runaways who disappeared over the years, her partner's wife is murdered. The rest of the book is an interesting interweaving of the cold case and the current one which forces Natalie to revisit a lot of things in her past. Blanchard's writing style made me feel as if I were inside Natalie's head and heart. I was essentially solving the case with her and using the very subtle hints dropped throughout the book to help guess how it might end. I really hope this is a series because I grew very fond of Natalie and the town.
Pokeybooboo 3 months ago
Trace of Evil is the first book in Alice Blanchard's Natalie Lockhart series. This is the first work by Ms. Blanchard that I've read. After this book, it certainly will not be the last. I was hooked! Natalie Lockhart is a rookie detective in a historic little New York town with a "witchy" past. Natalie followed her beloved father Joey's profession; he taught her all he knew, often leaving puzzles for her to solve. Willow, Natalie's oldest sister, was killed years ago, and it has colored her life in all the time since, as does an incident which occurred in Natalie's childhood when she was assaulted by a hooded figure. As a rookie detective, part of Natalie's job is to take a look at cold cases - in this case "the Missing Nine", transients who have disappeared. While investigating the Nine, Natalie comes across the murdered Daisy Buckner, a popular teacher and best friend of Natalie's sister Grace. The main suspect is in a coma. Did student Riley kill Daisy, or is this murder even more sinister than it appears? This is one of those rare mystery-thrillers that leave you just gasping in the end, with genuine "I never saw THAT coming!" thoughts racing through your mind. This story actually revolves around three crimes: Daisy's murder, the Missing Nine and doubts about Willow's murder. There is also some creepy teenage angst dealing with kids playing with witchcraft that lends spooky atmosphere to the book. I really don't want to get more descriptive about the mysteries, as I want other readers to be just as surprised and shocked as I was. This is definitely a chilling book you will not want to miss! I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
AnneGiglio 4 months ago
Thank You Minotaur Books for sending me this advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review! I absolute loved this book! I can't wait for the next book to come out and hope to get it in my hands as soon as the arc is ready! Alice Blanchard gets you invested in all characters. I felt Natalie was a well rounded officer who was faced with some tough decisions. I feel that in he next book we may see a little love triangle with Luke. PLEASE! A beloved teacher is found dead in a small town in the Adirondacks. Natalie is the officer in charge of the investigation. She was also appointed 9 cold case murders as well. It's shocking the things you find when you start looking around in a small town. With witchcraft, high school drama and everyone having something to hide.
Denice_L 4 months ago
As a new detective returns to her hometown to follow in her father's footsteps, the tension and unique storyline in Trace of Evil keeps readers enthralled by the inevitable crimes, new and old, that set the tone for this outstanding book. Alice Blanchard gives us the new-to-the-job but not to town detective, setting her right into the middle of her hometown's history of unsolved violent crimes. With her own sister's unsolved death giving her extra determination to find the killer who has haunted her hometown for so long, the twists and turns thrown in this story will keep you guessing. This is truly one of the best new series I've read for awhile.
seasaltdaydreams 4 months ago
Trace of Evil pleasantly surprised me. What I expected was a police procedural, but turned out to be a dark twisted web about the darkness that plagues small towns. Set in the quiet town of Burning Lake, New York, Trace of Evil follows Natalie, a young female detective, haunted by the murder of her sister Willow when she was a child. When Daisy, the wife of a fellow police officer is found murdered in her home, Natalie is assigned the case. As she begins to investigate the murder, she starts to draw similarities to her sister’s murder and begins to suspect the two might be linked. I was fascinated by the town of Burning Lake. Once the sight of witch trials and murders, teenagers in the town dabble in Wicca rituals. Much of the novel deals with the consequences of witchcraft. Where Wicca rituals in a small town would typically be seen as occult and generally be discouraged, Burning Lake seems to more or less embrace them, and that made it all the more interesting. Trace of Evil was an incredibly quick read. I read it over the span of two evenings, and I had a very hard time convincing myself to put it down. I held my breath through the last fifty pages as everything was revealed and all the loose ends were tied together. The ending thoroughly shook me, and I have a feeling it will stay with me for a long time to come. I thoroughly recommend Trace of Evil to other thriller fans! Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the review copy!
LlamaJen 4 months ago
Loved this book!!! I loved The Breathtaker, so I was looking forward to reading this. The girls in Burning Lake definitely have too much free time on their hands. What is with the witch obsession and joining covens?? It seems like every girl who grew up there joined a coven, some even seeking out black magic. Loved Detective Natalie Lockhart. I was not expecting the ending!! Definitely a shock. So many twists and turns. Not sure how Natalie survived learning the truth about Willow and Daisy's death and the identity of the psychopath from the woods all in such a short time period. It's hard to believe everything was kept a secret for so long. All the answers Natalie was searching for over the years were hiding in plain sight. I'm hoping their will be a romance in Luke and Natalie's future. Definitely recommend the book and I can't wait to read the next one in the series. Look forward to reading more books by the author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Persephonereads 4 months ago
5 out of 5 stars I would first like to thank NetGalley and St. Martins press for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really have had a great year of reading and "Trace of Evil" has kept the streak going. Natalie Lockhart is a cop in the sleepy town of Burning Lake in upstate New York. Burning Lake is a tourist town that tends to make most of it's money from the history of killing witches. There are magic shops everywhere and graveyard tours for those interested, Heck, the police cars even used to have a witch riding a broom painted on them. The town is always full of teenagers in covens and it also tends to attract satanists as well. While people often want to leave their small towns behind Natalie has no desire to ever leave. She loves the town and the people that live there. She even became a cop so she could follow in her Father's footsteps to protect the people of the town. We first meet Natalie, her sister Grace and her niece Ellie as they gathered to pay their respects to Willow, their older sister who was murdered as a teen by her boyfriend. That night as Natalie give a ride home to one of her coworkers they find his newly pregnant wife Daisy dead on the kitchen floor. Even though Natalie is covering a cold case of "The Missing Nine" (nine people who have vanished over the years) she is assigned the case of Daisy's murder along with a childhood friend/boss. As they begin to put the clues together they find that they did not know their friends as well as they thought because everyone in Burning Lake has a secret. This is very well written with characters. Natalie is a very strong, smart lead and the people in Burning Lake are all interesting. I really hope this becomes a series because I would love to find out what happens to Natalie and the town after the events of this novel. If you love creepy mysteries I think you would really enjoy this book.
ambam1987 4 months ago
What I like best about this mystery is that it starts right out with one and then it turns into many mysteries. There is a depth to this story that makes it compelling! I'm not familiar with this author or her other books. However, I'm glad I was selected as a raffle winner from Bookish First! A woman writer creating a masterful piece, interweaving topics I've not heard a lot of women delve into, is always a welcome. I'll be recommending this to my book club, and adult library patrons. It's gripping and intriguing not to mention keeping the mystery up with a fascinating ending. I don't want to give the plot away but you'll enjoy it! The writing style is fantastic too! Can't wait to read other novels by Alice Blanchard.
Alfoster 4 months ago
This was a great thriller that combined many elements to make it a roller-coaster ride! Natalie is a rookie detective who is working on cold cases of missing women when a friend of her sister is discovered murdered in her own kitchen. Daisy was a teacher at the local high school so there are plenty of suspects, even her husband, and little evidence to be found. But Natalie is headstrong and even as she and her sister Grace are grieving their own sisters death years ago, she is determined to find the killer. There's a little witchcraft, crazy rumors circulating, and a mystery in her own past that haunts her as well. I did not see that end coming for sure and it took my breath away! Can't wait for the next installment of this series as Natalie is a force that cannot be stopped. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
gypsygrandmatv 4 months ago
Wow...it's hard to categorize this book! Natalie is a rookie detective in the police department of Burning Lake NY, a small town in the Adirondacks. She's tasked with working on a series of cold cases, 8 transients have been killed in the area going back many years. Then a beloved teacher, who is her sister's best friend, is murdered and she's the lead in the new case. Complicating matters is the fact that the murdered woman's husband is also a member of the Burning Lake PD. She also is having to deal with a group of teenage witches...The town of Burning Lake is an important character in this book. It's history is full of superstition and witches. Black magic, spells and hexes. And hovering in the background is the murder of Natalie's oldest sister Willow years ago. There's alot going on but the author does a great job bringing everything together in the end and giving us not one but two shocking conclusions. If you enjoy good crime fiction, well developed characters, a strong sense of place and an ending that will blow you away this is the book for you. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
AOMullan44 4 months ago
An eerie murder mystery thriller that keeps you enthralled to the very end! Trace of Evil is an intriguing murder mystery thriller that immediately captured my attention from the very first chapter. The haunting plot pulled me in, the investigation had me questioning everyone’s motives and the complex town mystery kept me guessing until the very end. This thriller is a fast paced read that is filled with lots of tension, twists and turns, and a shocking conclusion that makes this book impossible to put down. I always enjoy a mystery story where the lead character is a strong female detective. Trace of Evil is the first book in Alice Blanchard’s new series that takes place in the small town of Burning Lake, New York and introduces the reader to Natalie Lockhart, a rookie detective with a painful past. As the daughter of a 35 year veteran of the police department, Natalie is not new to investigations and murder. Years ago, she suffered the loss of her own sister who was violently murdered. As a new detective and the first woman assigned to the Burning Lake Criminal Investigation Unit, she is tasked with investigating the disappearance of nine transient women in a town accustomed to a strange and unnerving history. On the twentieth anniversary of her sister’s death she discovers the body of Daisy Buckner, a lifelong friend, a beloved school teacher and the wife to another police officer. As her investigation into the murder proceeds, she discovers that Daisy had secrets of her own. Although the main suspect is in a coma, Natalie begins to question the actions of some of Daisy’s students. When Natalie’s niece and her friends become involved, the investigation becomes personal. Will Natalie uncover the motive behind Daisy’s death? Will she be able to discover the mystery behind the nine missing women before someone else disappears? What other painful circumstances will Natalie uncover next as her investigation makes her question the person responsible for her sisters death and makes her suspect that the murderer is still actively killing others? As Natalie continues her investigation she reflects on her own childhood and a terrifying attack that has haunted her for years. She’s often pulled back in time as memories of her sisters, her family life and her own experiences of growing up in Burning Lake continue to distract her. As she follows new leads details about Natalie’s past, her sister’s vicious attack, and her close friendship with Luke Pittman, her Lieutenant are revealed. Can her past experiences help her with her investigations? I really enjoyed reading this thrilling mystery. I was totally pulled into the plot and committed to seeing how the investigation would proceed. The author’s descriptive writing style took me right into the story where I felt like an active participant in the investigation. I appreciated the complex history of the town, how its history influenced the actions of many of the characters. I enjoyed the descriptions and depth of the many of the characters in the story and the author’s ability to make them feel real. At times this story was eerie and dark which isn’t my favorite type of story but the author did a wonderful job of keeping the story moving so that it didn’t become overwhelming. I thought Trace of Evil was an amazingly complex, thrilling and captivating story. Thank you to Minotaur books, Alice Blanchard, BookishFirst for the opportunity to win this book for my honest, unbiased review.
Rhonda-Runner1 4 months ago
This was an edge-of-my seat page-turner book for me that I really enjoyed. Detective Natalie Lockhart is following in the footsteps of her father, the late Joseph "Joey" Lockhart. Natalie had two sisters, Grace and Willow. Willow was murdered 20 years ago and someone is serving time for it. Other women, over the years, have mysteriously disappeared and their cases remain cold. Fellow colleague, Brandon Buckner's wife Daisy, who is in her early stages of pregnancy, is murdered in her home. There are several different story lines taking place in this book which are all nicely tied together in the end. Thank you to Minotaur Books for the ARC of this fantastic book in exchange for an honest review. If you enjoy a super good detective book, I highly recommend this one.
DanieleK 4 months ago
Trace of Evil drew me in from the very first page. The story opens in a cemetery on the twentieth anniversary of Detective Natalie Lockhart’s oldest sister’s death, and it sets the stage for everything that is to come in this engrossing, twisty police procedural. Full of murder, witchcraft, secrets, and shocking revelations, it is a wonderfully satisfying read. Death is never far away from Natalie. Groomed from an early age by her father to follow in his footsteps as a policeman, she has worked her way up through the ranks and is now a rookie detective. Assigned to investigate the “Missing Nine” cold cases, she must put them aside when her sister’s best friend Daisy is found murdered. Things are complicated because of their personal relationship and since Daisy is fellow detective Brandon’s pregnant wife. Suspicion falls on one of Daisy’s students, but Brandon is also not immediately exonerated. The more Natalie investigates, the more small town secrets and connections she uncovers, all leading her to the horrifying, devastating truths. Trace of Evil is set in a small New York town that capitalizes on its witchy history. Though there is mention of commercialism, the town residents seem to take its sordid past to heart, and it is almost a certain rite of passage for teenagers to get involved with witchcraft, both light and dark magic. This provides plenty of nefarious fodder for the “evil” elements of the tale and gives the entire novel a dark, sometimes gruesome edge. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. The characters are well developed, especially Natalie, and are interesting in their variety. I quickly felt invested in their lives and the outcome of the investigation. Daisy’s murder is the original focus, but the cold cases quickly become enmeshed, making for compelling reading. I was surprised by the perpetrator’s identities and am still thinking about the characters and story more than a week after reading. Trace of Evil is thrilling from start to finish. Highly recommended. I gratefully received an ARC of this title from the publisher Minotaur Books through BookishFirst and voluntarily shared my thoughts and opinions here.
Kwpat 4 months ago
Wow! I feel like I was a police officer after following Natalie in Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard. Natalie is the youngest daughter of her deceased father who was a former chief of police. As the story opens up she is meeting her middle sister, Grace and Grace’s daughter at the cemetery to visit the grave of Willow, their older sister. They go each year on the anniversary of their sister’s death. Natalie is the newest detective of a seven member detective force. After leaving her sister and niece, Natalie meets with the other detectives. Natalie s caught up in solving her sister Grace’s best friend and fellow teacher’s Daisy’s murder and also discovering the cold case murders of several people. I felt like I was on the scene throughout the entire book. Looking forward to the next book in this series!
OneThriftyReader 4 months ago
This book had a twist at the end that I did NOT see coming! I read a lot of mysteries and I'm hugely grateful when the author makes it difficult or impossible for me to guess the ending. This author pulled definitely pulled it off! The book starts slow, but if you hang in there it picks up speed in each chapter and has an explosive ending. The book takes place in a smallish town in upstate New York that is trying to transition from farming and forestry to tourism, using the killing of three local women for witchcraft centuries ago as the basis for the tourist industry. The main character is a young local woman who grew up with a cop dad and is now a detective herself. The book opens with the murder of a young woman who was a teacher, the wife of a cop, and the best friend of the detective's sister. As the detective investigates the murder, many strange things related to the town's obsession with witchcraft are revealed. Disclosure - I received a digital ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
sjillis 4 months ago
On the twentieth deathiversary for her sister Willow—murdered by her boyfriend—Burning Lake Detective Natalie Lockhart discovers another murder. Daisy Buckner was not only the best friend of Natalie’s surviving sister, Grace, but also the pregnant wife of fellow detective, Brandon. Because Daisy was a high school teacher, Natalie finds herself drawn into the lives of teenagers in Burning Lake, where joining a coven is a rite of adolescence. At the same time, Natalie is suddenly finding clues in the nine cold cases she’s charged with investigating. Burning Lake is such an evocative setting—an upstate New York town trying to reinvent itself as a tourist destination as it fights the types of crime indigenous to small towns with no industry. Full of suspense and shocking revelations, Trace of Evil is impossible to put down.
Jenea Whittington 4 months ago
Natalie Lockhart has been through a lot in her 30 years and is one strong woman especially given what she has been through. The murder of her sister and the circumstances surrounding her death that has never added up, and then there is her fathers death and the wanting to follow in the footsteps of her father in law enforcement. Now a new cop on the force in Burning Lake she is given the case called “the Missing Nine”. It has been passed from officer to officer with little clues to get them closer as to who taking them. To add to her already full caseload, a fellow officers pregnant wife and popular school teacher is murdered. She as well as the town are in shock but she has a job to do. The town of Burning Lake is no stranger to scandal or in this case murder because there has always been a cloud over the town because of the past it carried. The whispers of witchcraft, rituals and of course, the witch trials brings people out to check out the grounds where it all happened. Now with the case of missing people and the newest murder and now another missing person, it is clear that there is a serial killer in the town who is not done. And during the course of Natalie’s investigation, she starts to piece together the cold case, the new murder and soon realizes that maybe she right about her sister murder, and finds herself in a dangerous situation. But she is going to do what she needs to do catch the killer. The pacing of this story was a slow burn at first and it worked well with the story. There was a lot of little details that needed to be gotten to a little at a time. It was all part of the mystery and I enjoyed the slower pace. Well, that is until it got closer to the end and the pace picked up and quite suspenseful and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how everything work out. Would Natalie figure out who murdered Daisy and was she right all along about her own sister’s death? The ending revealed a shocker that I didn’t see coming and wow was is freakin’ fantastic! Trace of Evil is the first in the series and it was a really good setup too with a great cast of character. Some you love and others you question everything about and there is a hint of a little bit of romance for Natalie but it takes a backseat to cases, so we’ll have to see what happens in the future books. The story had just the right amount of suspense too and the mystery is one that pulls you in from the start and doesn’t let go. And I am curious what new case Detective Natalie Lockhart will find herself on next!
BostonBlackie 4 months ago
What a wonderful story! The characters are well-drawn, the action is fast-paced & the perpetrator is a total surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel because everything that was being done or thought of was explained fully so I didn't have to guess as to the motives of the protagonist, Natalie Lockhart, or the actions taken by the BLPD. There are a few unresolved issues left by the author (i.e., who are the rest of the Missing Nine? what is the significance of the crows? will Natalie finally get together with Luke?) but all in all, it's a marvelous tale. The 61 chapters (plus an epilogue) are very short so they propel you forward. You won't be able to put the book down until the very last word!! It will be interesting to see if Natalie & Luke appear in future tales from Alice Blanchard...
paytonpuppy 4 months ago
Detective Natalie Lockhart’s older sister, Willow, was murdered twenty years ago by her boyfriend. When her sister Grace’s friend, Daisy, is murdered, Natalie is assigned the case. Both Natalie and Daisy’s husband are detectives with the Burning Lake Police Force and he recently announced that Daisy was expecting their first child. Who would murder this well-liked teacher? Natalie has also been looking into the case of nine people who, over the years, have gone missing from their small town. The story involves witchcraft and covens and the detailed narrative of how this has affected their lives. Meanwhile, Natalie very methodically interviews witnesses and collects evidence that will lead her to a major break in both cases. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)