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Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel: 1 Hardcover – 3 December 2019
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A fast-paced, intricate, and atmospheric mystery that introduces a plucky, engaging detective. - Kirkus ReviewFlush with red herrings, Wiccan symbols, and disaffected teens, this book will appeal to fans of criminal investigations led by empowered women. - Publishers Weekly What seems an open-and-shut case becomes much more, with Blanchard carefully peeling away layers of history and deception before pulling off a shocking twist. Lockhart is a relatable new heroine on the police-procedural scene, and one who will appeal to readers of Tana French. - Booklist A powerful and unexpected denouement. I look forward to reading more in the series. - bestselling author Ann Cleeves [A] tense, nail-biter of a thriller! - J.D. Barker, International Bestselling Author of The Fourth Monkey "Alice Blanchard seems to be able to write just about anything she wants [and] shows off a veteran storyteller at the peak of her powers." - New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of Two If By Sea and The Deep End of the Ocean "A tantalizing mystery with just the right amount of unsettling horror woven in." Neal Griffin, LA Times best-selling author of the Newberg series "Layered with old wounds, new secrets, and tension that starts on the first page and never lets up." --Kristen Lepionka, Shamus Award-winning author of the Roxane Wearymystery series "Moody and atmospheric [...] the kind of tale that lingers long after you've raced through its twists and turns to the utterly gripping finale. - Owen Laukkanen, award-winning author of the Stevens & Windermere novels "Trace of Evil is riveting--atmospheric and dark, exploring modern day witchcraft and covens, with enough twists and turns to keep the most astute reader guessing until the end. Blanchard is a master storyteller with a brilliant understanding of family--about the love that both binds us and tears us apart. Get ready for a great read!" - Tricia Fields, author of the Josie Gray Mysteries "[A] complex and tense drama." - Trudy Nan Boyce, author of the Detective Sarah Alt series [A] haunting, dark, and thrilling tale that will leave you breathless. - L.T. Vargus, bestselling author of Bad Blood and Dead End Girl
Everything feels as if set to explode. [Trace of Evil] holds the reader at the edge of his seat, flipping the pages to untangle the knot, and uncover the secrets." - Mike Omer, bestselling author of the Zoe Bentley mystery series "[U]tterly compelling. You won't want to put it down." - Olivia Kiernan, author of The Killer in Me and Too Close to Breathe
Blanchard delivers a masterclass in guessing who is the most evil--and why." Rea Frey, author of Not Her Daughter [A] compelling mystery that will hold readers spellbound. - Margaret Mizushima, author of the critically acclaimed Timber Creek K-9 mysteries "[Trace of Evil] delivers a gut-punch of a twist readers won't see coming. This book is not to be missed!" --Sara Driscoll, author of the FBI K-9s series "[A]n absolute must-read that will [...] leave you breathless." - Carol Wyer, author of the Detective Natalie Ward series Trace of Evil is lyrical, dark, and twisted. I read late into the night and the final twist blew me away. - Ellison Cooper, author of Caged
- Publisher : Minotaur (3 December 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250205719
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250205711
- Dimensions : 16.05 x 3.23 x 24.31 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 664,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I’m removing one star because it needs more editing. For example, multiple times it referred to “peddling” a bicycle. Unless you’re trying to sell the bike, the correct word is pedal. A “renovated” Camaro should have been “restored”. When I’m paying this much for a Kindle book, I expect professional editing.
Natalie is a strong female protagonist who is definitely someone you can root for. Her character felt real with clear goals and believable motivations. The secondary characters were well-rounded and enhanced the story. The stakes were high throughout the novel and kept me fully invested in the story. The story is fast-paced and kept me turning the pages. The world-building enhanced the setting and gave me a clear sense of place. There were plenty of red herrings and action. Themes include death, grief, family relationships, teen rebellion, drugs, secrets, Wicca, homelessness, friendship and much more.
I deducted one and a half stars since there are a few things that did not ring true to criminal investigations such as Natalie discussing the case with people that she shouldn’t have, the official cause of death was stated prior to the autopsy, and the questions during a polygraph should have been limited to a yes or no answer, not a narrative response. Additionally, there were a few instances of telling rather than showing and some repetitiveness of information. Nevertheless, I was quickly drawn into the story and stayed engaged throughout the book.
Overall, the plot was complex, absorbing and well-paced. The ending had a twist that was a shocker. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series which will be published in December.