Book Review: ‘Trace Of Evil’ Is A Good Start To A New Series

Author Alice Blanchard is back with a new series featuring Detective Natalie Lockhart. Set in a small New York town Burning Lake, which is now known for being a Salem, Massachusetts. Many years ago three women were killed for being alleged witches. The town tried to overlook it for a long time and now embraces it and gets a lot of tourism. Some of the locals in town still try to practice witchcraft (and this has been going on for years).

For Natalie today is the anniversary of her sister Willow’s murder almost 20 years ago. The man that murdered her is in prison (he was her boyfriend and claims he is innocent). Natalie is the rookie on the force and has been given a cold case looking at nine random murders over the years that have never been solved. And on this same day a shocking murder has taken place. Daisy the pregnant wife of fellow detective Brandon has been murdered. And Natalie is on the case and Brandon is with her and is drunk from a night of partying.

At the house Brandon goes crazy and goes after a student he thinks is responsible. He ends up in a coma and Brandon suspended. Natalie starts investigating along with the rest of the force. She follows the leads and clues and discovers that this murder, the murder of her sister and the nine dead people could be somehow connected. The more she digs, it leads to a lot of people she knows including her own family.

Natalie soon figures out everything and she ends up solving the murder case, the nine people murdered case and what really happened to her sister Willow. It’s not pretty and it’s a shock to her when she learns the shocking truth. Is it magic or was it murder?

A great start to this series. The character of Natalie is well-written and a strong female character. The magical elements of the story work well here as well. The story starts off strong and builds to a shocking ending you don’t see coming. Look forward to more adventures in Burning Lake from Alice Blanchard.

The book is in stores now from Minotaur.

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