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When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem's most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed "The Goddess Murders," in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.
But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-28
- Reviewer: Staff
Bestselling author Barry (The Lace Reader) brings readers into the historic town of Salem, Mass., where the parallels between a past crime and the present-day death of a teenage boy at the hanging site of the Salem witches seem all too familiar to the suspicious community. Rose, a once-respected Salem witch-trial historian and scholar who was the primary suspect in the unsolved Goddess murders, which rocked the town nearly 20 years ago, has never been the same after the humiliation of the investigation. Now a mentally unstable outcast, Rose is again the target of public scrutiny concerning the murder of the troubled teen. The chief of police, Rafferty, and Callie, Roses niece and daughter of one of the murdered women, arent convinced of Roses guilt. Whisked away from Salem under the care of nuns after the death of her mother, Callie was the sole witness to the Goddess murders and has been sheltered from much of her family historyuntil news of the murdered boy brings her again to Salem and memories begin flooding back during waking dreams. By reopening the Goddess-murder cases and relying on the power of modern magic, mythology, and history, Callie and Rafferty seek to uncover the true murderer. Dark and suspenseful, Barrys well-constructed tale is filled with traps and red herrings as the truth is slowly revealed and Salem is forced to confront its sordid past. (Jan.)