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Trail of Dead

(Scarlett Bernard #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  5,714 ratings  ·  317 reviews
As a null, Scarlett Bernard possesses a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces. For years she has used her gift to scrub crime scenes of any magical traces, helping the powerful paranormal communities of Los Angeles stay hidden. But after LAPD detective Jesse Cruz discovered Scarlett’s secret, he made a bargain with ...more
Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by 47North
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Montzalee Wittmann
Trail of Dead by Melissa F Olson and narrated by Amy McFadden is book two in the series. This fantasy novel has Scarlet dealing with an ex-friend then foe who is still after Scarlet and her new friends. Murders, witches, werewolves, vampires,and magic. Lots of magic and suspense with complicated romance thrown in!
Scarlet is a Null which means she cancels out other magic when close. Weres shift back to humans, vampires are briefly human again, and magic from witches won't work. She has also lear
First reading: 4 stars
First Re-read: 1.5 stars

DNFed @ 15% and it's all due to Scarlett Bernard, the heroine of this trilogy. I could just about tolerate her in book one, Dead Spots but the plot and side characters got me through the tough spots. in Trail of Dead, Scarlett is even more unbearable, easily manipulated, whiny, lets others control her from day one, falls for the same tricks over and over again, she's dumb, she does nothing to gain her freedom and be her own woman, she pretends to be
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy

Trail of Dead managed to be an incredible boring read with a even more annoying heroine.

I found Dead Spots likeable, but not that great. ToD was a book I almost DNFed.
I accused Scarlett to be too much of a victim in book 1. Well, she didn't grow an inch. She actually reverts even more into YA territory, making her really unbearable. She's dumb, she's stupid, she's whiny (WHINY). She can't think beyond her "range". It's unbelievable. Her brother has already been used as an hostage, again he c
Erin (PT)
Trail of Dead is very similar to its predecessor, Dead Spots. That is, on the one hand, it's a fast, enjoyable read that I stayed up late to finish and, on the other hand, it retains pretty much all the same flaws and foibles that annoyed me about the first book.

Indeed, in terms of Scarlett and her relationships with women, I feel like there was a step backwards, especially with Molly, Scarlett's roommate. A part of me wants to handwave this as consequences/damage from the last book, i.e. (view
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Reread: I agree with my previous review.

I can see the early Anita Blake emerging from this book.

Jesse Cruz is like Richard with his impractical and dangerous moral high ground. Dashiell and Eli have Jean Claude's practicality with none of his dripping Frenchy sexy - I consider this an improvement.

Scarlett herself is slowly resolving to be more of a bad ass in the face of fear, she even says "Bully for me," which is very Blake.

Still, there are long "I've decided to drown myself in guilt" monol
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
2.5 Stars

Remember that feeling of Meh I had after the first book that was strong? Well, now it got stronger and I threw in a valiant dose of Ugh for good measure. Review yada yada...

🌟 Read for the Clean that TBR Already! 2018 Edition Challenge over at the MacHalos 🌟
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of FLUF w/ less romance and more action, fans of UF in general
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine
Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of urban fantasy, those looking for a female-lead urban fantasy with less romance and more action
Book Available: June 4, 2013 in Kindle and Paperback formats
Trigger Warnings: murder, violence

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Scarlett Bernard series, following Dead Spots, which I read and reviewed (linked where allowed) in March, 2013.

One interesting thing about the style of these books is that the point of view go
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
3.5 stars

I wanted to give this book higher rating, because I really liked the plot (Olivia teaming up with the unknown witch, Golem, murders, etc), but I was so sick of Scarlett that I couldn't bring myself to give it 4 stars. In the first book, I liked Scarlett, but in this one, I just wanted her to drive off a cliff and die peacefully without complicating everyone's lives.

1) Eli - Eli does absolutely nothing wrong in this book, yet Scarlett treats him like a trash, barely even looks at him and
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scarlett and Jesse now have to track down Olivia, a former null now a vampire, who is threatening Scarlett and the stability of the LA Old World. Because Olivia and Scarlett have a troubled past, they know each other pretty well. Olivia is always one step ahead of them and seems to be working with someone else that is very powerful. At some point, it becomes clear that Olivia is going to target the people that Scarlett cares about the most. Scarlett must figure out what to do before someone gets ...more
Enjoyed this book even more than the first. These books are well written and edited, and the series is free with Kindle Unlimited! I'm immediately on to the next book!
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Either the protagonist is shortsighted or ignorant. Is she's not familiar with basic Physics: Newton's Third law? Certainly she's not naive. She can't possibly make a decision like changing every cell & a character's whole existence lightly can she? I suspect she did.... ...more
J.A. Ironside
More 3.5 stars but still a solid hit of urban fantasy. I really do like Scarlett and I have grown fond of Jesse. I like the fact that Olson is skillfully skirting the potential love triangle and in general everyone is acting like an adult, despite Scarlett being seriously committment phobic. My one niggle is that the actual feelings involved aren't very deep judging from how the word 'love' is tossed around and attached first to one person then another. Perfectly possible to be single if you can ...more
Trish R.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was ok

I’m not sure about this one. Scarlett, who’s a null, thinks she’s in love with Jesse, but he was in love with Runa until he found out she was a witch, then Scarlett laid down with an unconscious Eli when it ended. She needs to make up her mind. I don’t like females like that, so I probably won’t read the 3rd book.

It was pretty exciting all the way through, Olivia and Mallory were so vicious it was crazy but as far as Scarlett goes she only stops witches from using their magic when they get withi
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I wasn’t blown away by the first book, but I found in enjoyable in a few spots so decided to try again and see if I warmed up more to the characters in its sequel.

While the mystery is a little lackluster, the story isn’t a bad follow-up to the first. I probably enjoyed it more simply because I did thaw to the characters some. Tossing in the nemesis Olivia and having it tied in with Scarlett’s past and what she’s discovering about herself helped, and of course I enjoyed that she is starting to se
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galleys-arcs
Trail of Dead by Melissa F. Olson

Release date: June 4, 2013 | Series: Scarlett Bernard
This is the second book in a new series, but don’t worry as this can be read as a stand-alone. The author goes through great pains doing a lot of rehashing, especially with the main characters.

I did expect some character growth with this novel, unfortunately that did not happen. If anything, Scarlett has taken a bit of a trip backwards on the self-doubt train and is constantly bemoaning about her life and her f
Trail of Dead picks up a couple of months after the events in Dead Spots. Since then, Scarlett has been trying to find answers. She returns home only to be cornered at the airport by Jesse, the human LAPD officer who helped her with the last case. He's got another crime scene to show her and he wants answers. She's been gone and hasn't had a chance to check in with Dash, Will, or Kirsten since landing, so she doesn't have much to offer. But, at the scene, it is clear that someone's cleaned it an ...more
Another great novel in the Scarlett Bernard series! I really enjoy Scarlett and the very peculiar power she wields. It's unlike any other urban fantasy out there nowadays and I find it a welcome relief. While there's still the requisite vampires, werewolves and witches, Scarlett is in a league of her own as one of the only people in the world capable of completely cancelling out magic by just standing in the same room as the caster. I did have a few problems with this book though and most of it ...more
Jul 11, 2014 marked it as tbr-series-sequels-x
2 January 2016: $1.99 on Kindle

12 July 2014: $1.99 on Kindle
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, audio
Competent and imaginative if suffering from a few situations of unbelievable character actions, and a love triangle that I know is ongoing even into the next spin off that features the MC.

...still shipping the crap out of jessie and scarlett.

Trail of Dead, which is the second book of the Scarlett Bernard series. Scarlett and Jessie sort of work as a team in this book because they are trying to track down Olivia. Now she is someone from Scarlett's past. She used to be a null but is now a vampire.. and she also just seems to be a little obsessive of Scarlett. Yikes!

Besides all of that, there was a ton of betrayal in this book. Olivia was a pretty good villain because she kept every
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Olson's Trail of Dead picks up a few months after the ending of the first book in the Scarlett Bernard series. Scarlett returns to Los Angeles after spending some time with another null in New York trying to learn more about her powers. Detective Jesse Cruz is waiting for her at the airport to take her directly to a crime scene for her analysis. It turns out that Olivia, Scarlett's crazy mentor turned vampire, is putting her plan in motion killing two witches and a human couple with the same fir ...more
Hmmm, the main storyline was decent enough I guess, but I would have liked to see more character growth for Scarlett and some sort of further development around the "love triangle". Unfortunately we didn't seem to get either...and everyone seemed very young in their actions. I've been reading a lot of books with older MCs in their 30s/40s recently, so perhaps this just makes it more obvious?

I again just kind of felt, well, nothing much towards Eli or Jesse...they both seem a bit 'meh'?

I might re
I liked the mystery a lot better in this book that the other, but for some reason (I still think its the narrator) I found my mind wandering and having to rewind.
not my fav
S.M. Reine
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to put this out there right now: I wasn't a huge fan of Dead Spots. It was clunky and exposition-heavy. I probably wouldn't have picked this one up if I hadn't been able to "borrow" it with my Amazon Prime membership...but I'm really glad I did. This book rolls along without any of the slog of the first book. Although it's simple, it's a fun, effective story, and I could read a light mystery like this any day of the week and go to bed feeling satisfied.

As before, Scarlett is a null (so
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The plot:
Similar characters again, with the introduction of some new ones. Jesse is pulled back into Scarlett's world with the murder of two witches, two tourists who have the same name of Scarlett's, and the murder of a rabbi and the theft of witch artifacts. What this all means is investigated by Jesse and Scarlett, but they do know that Olivia, Scarlett's psycho ex-mentor and other null, is involved in someway.

Jesse has a girlfriend in the beginning of this one and I was hoping that the love
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this world, I liked the characters, I liked the plot, but I didn't like the relationships.

(view spoiler)
Despite my misgivings about the dumb, pale, love triangle flickering on in the background I loved this storyline.
I just finished binge reading everything Olson has written, including the last Disrupted Magic book until the third comes out … and woo wee doesn’t that make this seem a bit battier.
Scarlet finding out about the machinations Olivia had regarding her life, those who could have done something about it, and her reactions lend more light on why Scarlet is the way she is now. It was tough
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Quick review:

Cover: Nice
Rating: R
Thumbs Up: 4
Overall: Unhappy with Scarlett
Characters: Well Written
Plot: Danger for her is brought to everyone she cares for
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Eli

SUMMARY (50 words or less)
Why I’ll continue to read this series for now, I was really unhappy with Scarlett. I’m really not on the Jesse bandwagon and not sure how I’ll react if they end up together.

For a full review and yummy pic, see my blog post at:

Rob Blackwell
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy urban fantasy, these are the books for you. Olson does a terrific job continuing to build her world and using familiar monsters -- vampires and werewolves -- in unfamiliar ways. As in "Dead Spots," the best part is the focus on Scarlett and her powers as a "null," someone who can cancel out the powers of vampires, werewolves and witches. Scarlett is both very likable and flawed, making her approachable and easy to root for. And the villain was excellent. I can't wait to see what hap ...more
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2017 Reading Chal...: Trail of Dead  1 20 Jan 15, 2015 05:23PM  

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Melissa Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa landed in Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master's degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, a teaching gig, two kids, and two comically o ...more

Other books in the series

Scarlett Bernard (3 books)
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard, #1)
  • Hunter's Trail (Scarlett Bernard, #3)

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