The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry, is a mystery with wisps of magic and witchcraft and a healthy dose of Salem history. While the story focuses in large part on the murder of three girls in the year 1989, and a police detectives quest to finally uncover the truth, it is also a story of the people who were affected by the murders and the ways that the past bleeds into the future.
The characters in this book brought interesting things into the story that helped keep my interest. For example, Callie, who is one of the main characters, is a sound healer and uses singing bowls to treat people. I found this fascinating and felt that the author did a wonderful job describing this. I have no idea how accurate it is to true sound healers but it made for an interesting addition to the story.
Though I truly enjoyed this book there were a couple of faults. The beginning of the story is a bit slow and it took a little while for the story to really grab me. It took me a couple days to make it through part one and only a few hours to finish parts two and three. There were times when I felt like there was too much going on, too many storylines in one section, but it was easy to overlook that.
If you have an interest in witchcraft and the occult, then this would be a good read for you. If you like mystery with only a small bit of romance thrown in this will be a good choice. In addition, it is not necessary to have read the first novel by the author, The Lace Reader, to enjoy this one.
My overall rating for this book is 4 out of 5 stars. One star removed for the slow beginning.