Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fifth Petal” as Want to Read:
The Fifth Petal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fifth Petal (Salem #3)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,358 Ratings  ·  789 Reviews
Could a witch hunt happen again in Salem?

For readers of Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader Brunonia Barry returns to Salem with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty, wonders
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Crown
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fifth Petal, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Brunonia Barry Not at all. This really isn't a series, though it is being billed that way. It has some recurring characters though from both of my other books. These…moreNot at all. This really isn't a series, though it is being billed that way. It has some recurring characters though from both of my other books. These days, I tell people to start with THE FIFTH PETAL and, if they like it, to read the others.
Brunonia Barry It has some recurring characters, so it does explain what happens to them over time, since this takes place 17 years later. For example, Rafferty and…moreIt has some recurring characters, so it does explain what happens to them over time, since this takes place 17 years later. For example, Rafferty and Towner are now married, and we know some of what happened in the years between. My next book, Bone Lace, will explain more. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Diane S ☔
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 I read her novel The Lace Reader so long ago, I remember little. This book is too difficult to summarize the plot, but the blurb for this book does a fairly good job. The setting and the subject holds a big attraction for me, Salem, Massachusetts, the witch trials and modern day Salem. I also love the character Rafferty, the police officer, and his wife Towner, who has a tragic past of her own.

Modern day Salem, the past always present, so intriguing. This book is not without its flaws, ther
Modern day witch hunt

I have been dying to read this book ever since I read an excerpt several months ago. I have always been drawn to the idea of witchcraft and people possessing special powers in books, movies and occasionally TV shows. Brunonia Barry weaves an excellent tale of witchcraft past and present in where else but Salem Massachusetts.
It is Halloween night in 1989 and three beautiful young women also known as The Goddesses have just been brutally murdered. There is a five year old girl
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating falls somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. The story kept getting better and better as it unfolded.

Brunonia Barry returns to Salem, MA in book two of her Lace Reader series. Chief of Police, John Rafferty, has two murder mysteries to solve--one a cold case that happened in 1989, before he came to town, which involved three young women who called themselves the Goddesses, and another that happened on this Halloween night and involved the death of a young boy. The common factor? A banshee
I really enjoyed this story. It's not what I usually reach for but I'm so glad I got to read it. The story starts off with this mysterious wibe and that immediatelly catched my attention till the end of the book. When you start reading, you simply have to find all the answers and unravel the hidden secrets these people try to hide. I felt like a woman on a mission and it felt wonderful. I'm not giving away any plot but it's safe to say this story doesn't disappoint. What a great read!
Susan Johnson
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wish I could have liked this book more than I did. It's the second book in the series but the first came out over seven years ago. My memory is sketchy and I can barely remember what I read last month let alone seven years ago so I think the author could have given us a better rehash of the first one so things would have clearer. On top of that, the plot is quite convoluted so I was lost quite a few times.

In the 1980's three young women were found brutally murdered. They were called the Godd
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have always been fascinated with witches and the story of Salem. In Brunonia Barry's "The Fifth Petal" (the 2nd book in The Lace Reader series) we are, once again, transported to that town where she fully captures the essence of present day Salem and its dark and mysterious history.
In 1989, three young women are brutally murdered and the crime hasn't been solved. The victims were believed to be witches and their descendants were women who were hanged for being witches in 1692.
Callie's mom was
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Paranormal fans
Recommended to Thomas by: Goodreads
This is a book of multi generational wrongs and revenge. It starts with a triple murder in 1989 Salem,Mass. and moves to present day Salem. The book makes periodic references to the Salem witch trials in 1692. A teenager dies after threatening Rose Whelan, considered to to be the local crazy lady. She was one of two survivors of the 1989 triple murder. She was found covered in blood and while some suspected her to be the murderer, this was never proven. The other survivor is Callie Cahill, then ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: librarything
This book has some of the same characters as in “The Lace Reader” though you don’t necessarily need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. There are some mention of things that happened in the first book. Apparently, more of what has happened between the first and second books will be contained in the author’s next release “Bone Lace”. Although I did read “The Lace Reader”, I don’t remember it all that well so I didn’t quite remember what they were talking about in the mentions of pr ...more
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A little bit of madness, a little bit of witchcraft, a little bit of mystery. Callie Cahill witnessed her mother and friends murdered and could not remember any of it. She has lived in another town most of her life raised by the nuns under another name. She returns to town after another murder and thinks she begins to remember what happened. Rose Whelan is accused of Callie's mother's and friends murder when another murder happens of which she is also accused. Most of the residents of Salem beli ...more
"God will give you blood to drink. "—SARAH GOOD, 1692

Callie was 5 years old when her mother along with her two friends were killed on Halloween when performing a blessing at Proctor's Ledge, the real site of the hanging of the Salem Witches. Named the Goddesses, the woman were the descendants of the original Salem witch hanging victims and had a reputation of bewitching men in Salem. Rose, a historian and mother-figure of the group, hid Callie during the murders and gave Callie a rose rosary, th
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
When the last sentence of a novel gives you the chills... good lord.. what a read! Fans of the Lace Reader will enjoy a return to Towner and Rafferty's story. However, Towner is more of a secondary character in this one as Rafferty takes the lead in solving the recent murder in Salem that has ties to an unsolved case many years ago.

My Reactions:
-I need to plan a Salem trip. Barry's descriptions of the town, its revitalizations, and the atmosphere have elevated it on my vacation dream list.
4.5 "A Destiny Intertwined w/ Witches, Trees & A Killer" Stars!

The Fifth Petal is a thoroughly enjoyable jaunt back to one of the most turbulent times in our nation's history: the Salem Witch Trials, as well as, an interesting fictional account of the influence that the horrific events of those times still has on our modern society hundreds of years later. The central theme of this novel is a cold-case, a triple homicide that occurred on the night of Halloween in 1989 and which is tied both
rated it did not like it
Nov 09, 2016
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 stars out of 5

To really enjoy this one, readers will need a taste for the occult. I'm sort of a mugwump on that topic, so I can swing either way depending on the time of day, whether or not I've had my morning coffee and how intriguing I find the material. To the latter end, I had few issues with this book; what happens stretches a bit beyond my conception of possibility, to be sure, but the whole thing was bewitching all the same.

This book is connected to another of the author's books, The La
Catherine ♡
Actual Rating 2.5

Hmm...this book is pretty hard to review as well. The first half was painfully boring, but the second half really picked up and got me interested. Either way, this definitely was a complicated story.

The Fifth Petal is a blend of fantasy, mystery, and history. Twenty-five years ago, three women - all descended from Salem witches - were murdered. There were only two survivors: a fourth woman, Rose Whelan, and a daughter of one of the victims, Callie Cahill. The girl was only five-
Becky -  Pug and Books
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc-galley
The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

Star rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1/5

Format: ebook galley

Summary: When a teenage boy dies, an old cold case in Salem is reopened over the death of three woman referred to as the Goddesses. They were attempting to consecrate the ground that their ancestors, condemned as witches, were hung when they were murdered. The only survivors were a five year old girl and an older woman who was blamed but never had any charges brought against her after she went into a non-responsive state.
Heather A
I received a copy from Penguin's First to Read site.

This is a murder mystery set in Salem. The premise was a fairly interesting one, 20 or so odd years ago three women were murdered on Halloween night during what appears to be some sort of ritual, there were two survivors, a little girl and another older woman. The older woman turned slightly nutty, the little girl remembered nothing and was shipped off to an orphanage run by nuns.

Now in 2014 something has happened involving the surviving lady R
I really enjoyed Brunonia Barry’s first two novels (and I met her during her tour for her second novel) so I was eager to read this one. And it was rather good. I would say the rating would fall between 3 and 4 but I’m rounding up because I really did enjoy the book quite a bit. There is character overlap between this one and her first novel, The Lace Reader. If you read that one, this is a nice revisit to some of the characters. If you didn’t, this one is perfectly good as a stand alone! This i ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading The Fifth Petal it was completely apparant to me that the author has grown and really sharpened her skill since the first installment in this series. Discovering that this was a "book 2" I decided to read The Lace Readers first. While I enjoyed it, I felt it was a little uneven. But I did not have that problem with this book!! This was a completely enthralling story that kept me interested from beginning to end and could very easily stand well on its own.

What I loved about this bo
Kelly Schnorrbusch
2.5 or 3, so I'll round up. There's an audience for this book - it just isn't me.

A modern day murder with ties to the 1989 murders of three young women who have ties to the Salem Witch murders. Whew! That's a lot of ties. We have Rafferty the sheriff (or detective or cop or what have you...) who investigates the death of a rather snotty teenage boy that leads to a lot of fingers pointed at Rose Whelan, who was a suspect of the 1989 Goddess Murders of her friends. Rafferty finds out that the dau
Sarah Anne
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The Fifth Petal felt like a warm Salem homecoming: haunting, compelling, gorgeous, (a little sexy). I was greeted by old friends and introduced to new ones, and the narrative arc was masterfully paced. The story was so full and interconnected and rich (the true mark of a Brunonia Barry novel). What a delicious read -- highly recommend!
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Fifth Petal is a good book that had a great flow and that can be hard to find in a book like this. I was very surprised that the pacing of this book was fantastic! This book did not disappoint at all, but it did not give anything away until the very end.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm teetering between a 3 and 3.5 stars here

I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.
-Sarah Good, 1692

Twenty five years ago 3 women were murdered. Their homicides were dubbed "The Goddess" murders. The women were descendants of witches killed in Salem during the Salem witch hunts.Surviving that night was the 5 year old daughter of one of the victims named Callie and a woman named Grace. Their murders remained unsolved.

John Raffert
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark, giveaway, magic
3.8? The perfect Halloween tale. Set in Salem, where the author lives, this book features characters from her earlier work, the Lace Reader. Truth be told, I didn't remember the Lace Reader well, nor any of the characters, except that I found it dark, vague, and eerie. But there are references to the dynamics in the relationship of Towner and Rafferty, and others like Ann Chase, and May, are clearly making a reappearance. But it stands on its own - one does not need to be familiar with these cha ...more
Darcia Helle
I've long been fascinated by the story of Salem and its witches, partly because I grew up in Massachusetts and partly because I'm intrigued by supernatural possibilities. This book perfectly captures the essence of Salem, transporting us to that town with its dark history.

I think it's important to note that, while this is a murder mystery, the author's writing style has a strong literary feel. The pace is fairly slow, with a heavy focus on mood, emotion, and relationships. If you go into this
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites-books
Ohh wow this was such an amazing and fantastic book I thoroughly loved and enjoy it so much. It is actually the first time I read a book by Brunonia Barry, but it won't be my last book that I will read by her. This book is a great book for Halloween because it is about witches and folklore. The author did amazing job going through the history of the Salam witch trail, the history of witches and folklore. I absolutely love reading the rich history of the witches and folklore, I also love the hist ...more
This book would have benefited from cutting about 100 pages, and, quite honestly, better storytelling. The story that Barry has come up with had so much potential, but I feel that it was squandered because the writing wasn't that good. We never get a true sense of what any character was really like, most of all Rose, who was the one driving the whole story, and basically, the readers are told what happens, rather than reading it for themselves.

For example, Rafferty, Salem's chief of police, had
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Fifth Petal without realizing, initially, that it was book #2 in The Lace Reader series. I've never read anything by Brunonia Barry before but I was so intrigued by the description on the back of The Fifth Petal that I went out and bought myself a copy of book 1, The Lace Reader, thoroughly enjoyed it and immediately read The Fifth Petal right afterwards. I was equally pleased and impressed with the second book in this series.

Its a book that I find is very difficult to
Jan 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge: A book involving a mythical creature.

This is a prepub, so I shouldn't judge it too harshly based on typos, grammar -- things like that, according to Netgalley. However, there are two particular points from this book that I could not suspend my belief enough to get past to enjoy the story -- one a major point, the other a slightly less important one.

1. The author has "[tried] to keep things as real as possible when it comes to Salem and vicinity," and does leave a
Jennifer Gallagher
OMG y'all. Run, don't walk, to get this book. First off Deborah Harkness thinks it's amazing, so that right there... but SERIOUSLY!!! This one was SO GOOD!!! Layers of stories, different perspectives, twisty mysteries, modern day witches... this book has it! Ooooh, I did NOT see the end coming.

And, note for the readers. Make a note of the drawings. Rafferty "puts" them throughout the book to keep up with the case... they do help you follow things.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry 6 48 Apr 18, 2018 06:30AM  
Page Hallucinations: Fifth Petal (spoilers) 6 9 Dec 11, 2017 08:27PM  
Play Book Tag: The Fifth Petal by Bruronia Barry, 3.8 stars? 1 12 Oct 25, 2017 04:24AM  
Page Hallucinations: Initial Responses 1 11 Oct 12, 2017 07:26PM  
Cranbury Public L...: March 15 - The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry 4 10 Mar 13, 2017 12:15PM  
Cover needed for hardcover 2 9 Feb 24, 2017 07:18AM  
  • The Edge of Everything (The Edge of Everything, #1)
  • The Hawkweed Prophecy (Hawkweed Prophecy #1)
  • Seven Days of You
  • Wicked Like a Wildfire (Hibiscus Daughter, #1)
  • The Careful Undressing of Love
  • Spontaneous
  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)
  • The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
  • Here Lies Daniel Tate
  • Summit
  • A Psalm for Lost Girls
  • Buying Time (Aspen Moore, #1)
  • Missing
  • Thieving Weasels
  • Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies
  • Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)
  • Last Seen Leaving
  • The Last Days of Night
Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international best selling author of THE LACE READER, THE MAP OF TRUE PLACES, and THE FIFTH PETAL, which will be released in January 2017. 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 Str ...more
More about Brunonia Barry

Other books in the series

Salem (3 books)
  • The Lace Reader (The Lace Reader, #1)
  • The Map of True Places

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Genome (The Extinction Files #2)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Wrong Man
    $9.49 $1.99
  • What You Don't Know
    $13.99 $2.99
  • The River Is Dark (Liam Dempsey, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • When They Come for You (Harper McDaniel #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Murder at Bray Manor : a cozy historical mystery
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Wired (Wired, #1)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Every Single Secret
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Name of the Devil: A Jessica Blackwood Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Working Fire
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Night Crew (Sean Drummond, #7)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Music of the Deep
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Adventuress (Lady Emily, #10)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Summer Children (The Collector, #3)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • The Good Twin
    $5.99 $2.99
  • An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Speed of Sound (Speed of Sound Thrillers #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Bourne Initiative (Jason Bourne, #14)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Good Neighbor
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Under an English Heaven: An Ellie Kent Mystery
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Girls Dancing
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Swansong (DI Nick Dixon #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey #8)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • My Brother Michael
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Mr. Timothy
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Memory Closet
    $3.99 $1.49
  • What Lies Below
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Silent Child
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Pleasantville
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Walkers of Dembley (Agatha Raisin, #4)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Killing Orders
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Heirs of Grace
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Mind's Eye (Inspector Van Veeteren #1)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sound of Rain
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hidden Killers (Tennison, #2)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • What If
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Mother
    $2.99 $1.49
“Tell me what you want, and I'll tell you who you think you are. Tell me what you fear, and I'll tell you who you really are.” 6 likes
“I am a cypher...I carry no weight, no worth, no influence. I represent nothing. I do not exist.” 3 likes
More quotes…