“Do you think, inside, every one of us is a killer?”

This is the question that haunts the people of Salem, Massachusetts, in Brunonia Barry’s new thriller, THE FIFTH PETAL (Crown). It’s a spellbinding story of supernatural powers and ancient and current myths colliding in a gruesome triple murder. Definitely not for your everyday chick-lit reader.

I was first introduced to Barry’s, THE FIFTH PETAL, the follow-up to her huge sensational debut, THE LACE READER, at BookExpo, in Chicago this past May. The publishing world was buzzing that this novel would be even more brilliant! Since I hadn’t read THE LACE READER, I was going in as a novice and wow, I was blown away!

My grandparents lived near Salem, Massachusetts, and growing up as a child  I’d often visit in the summers and learn about the rich history of the witch trials. But I’d never read any fictional account that incorporated the past prejudices and witchcraft with the historical accuracy of what occurred creating a story including such compelling, quirky characters, twists and turns. I guess you could say, Barry delivers a delicious devious dessert served on a platter of gruesome gore in THE FIFTH PETAL Yum …

A teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, and Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader, Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, “The Goddess Murders.”  In 1989, three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night and the killer or killers have never been found. Now Rafferty must uncover who, or what, is killing the descendants of Salem’s accused witches, while keeping the town’s paranoia from resurrecting to the hysteria that led to the infamous witch trials.

Brunonia Barry paints a spooky portrait of a modern New England town living in the past, grounded in Salem’s true, dark history. THE FIFTH PETAL uses magical realism to bring the world of Salem to life with suspenseful, sinister, and masterfully composed prose. You’ll be gripped by the throat at page one through the end … and after.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble


Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international best-selling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was the first American author to win the International Women’s Fiction Festival’s Baccante Award and was a past recipient of Ragdale Artists’ Colony’s Strand Fellowship as well as the winner of New England Book Festival’s award for Best Fiction and Amazon’s Best of the Month. Her reviews and articles on writing have appeared in The London Times and The Washington Post. Brunonia co-chairs the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers’ Committee. She lives in Salem with her husband Gary Ward and their dog, Angel.

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Crown Publishing, we have one copy of THE FIFTH PETAL to giveaway. Just tell us about the scariest witch story you’ve ever read about or heard. We’ll announce a winner Monday.

12 thoughts on “THE FIFTH PETAL by Brunonia Barry & GIVEAWAY

  1. I’m from Savannah, Ga and it is FULL of ghost and witch stories. Once a friend of mine drove to a spot where witches supposedly used to live. He turned off the headlights and it was pitch black. I started screaming and he proceeded to tell me spooky stories into the night. Craziness!


  2. The 2002 film of the Salem Witch Trials was a good one to watch, and I cringe and squirm at the thought of the punishment that women received for their supposed crime. One of the test I’ve heard of for a witch was to throw them into the water. If they drowned, then they were innocent. Which by then it’s too late anyway. It was thought that a woman who could swim was a witch. Imagine the atrocities suffered by them.


  3. The Blair Witch Project scared me! It seemed so real that you would make a documentary about witches and then get completely spooked.


  4. I was always shocked by the Salem Witch trial stories..scary people were burned to death because of hair color etc!!


  5. Even though it’s fiction, I loved “Outlander.” There is a storyline that involves a witch along with the main character, Claire. They even used it in the TV series.


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