Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Wicked Hour by Alice Blanchard
Narrator: Sophie Amoss
Series: Natalie Lockhart #2
Published by MacMillan Audio on December 1, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 9 hours, 53 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
The day after Burning Lake’s notorious, debauched Halloween celebration, Detective Natalie Lockhart uncovers a heartbreaking scene - a young woman, dead and lying in a dumpster. There’s no clue to who she is, save for a mystifying tattoo on her arm, and a callus underneath her chin. She’s not from around here. No one knows who she is.
As Natalie retraces the young woman’s steps leading up to her death, she uncovers a deeper, darker horror - a string of murders and disappearances, seemingly unconnected, that may have ties to each other - and explain the abrupt disappearance of her best friend years ago.
As she digs deeper within the mind of the hunter, Natalie finds a darkness she could never have imagined. And as she draws closer to the truth, the killer is weaving a trap for her that may prove inescapable.
I listened to the first book in the Natalie Lockhart series from the library. The events were shocking, a real twist. I wanted to see how things would be for Natalie going forward. She is feeling grief and guilt, pushing everyone away. The Wicked Hour goes in a different direction from what I expected. That’s not a bad thing since I’m not a writer.
It seemed to me there were some new characters here. The town has a big Halloween celebration and October is a big tourist month with its history with witches. Things have gone pretty normal until the cleanup. A body is found and Natalie works the case. She seems much more solitary now in her work and her life. The victim was a student at a well-known music school and competed in the talent contest for the celebration.
I like Natalie. She works with dedication. She is smart and follows evidence and deductions well. I wonder why she doesn’t have a partner and the dangers of being on her own in a murder investigation. Her personal life is a mess. It seems to be a transition for her and I can only hope things improve.
The possibilities and connections give Natalie several leads to follow and trying to trace the victim’s movements during the weekend’s events is tricky. There are people Natalie thought she knew but learns much more about them. The killer is one of the reasonable suspects. But the ending, as far as Natalie’s life, was a stunner for me.
The narrator has changed since the first book, but I didn’t notice, as I listened to it in January. The tone is a bit similar when I compared the samples. Everything is from Natalie’s point of view and the voices felt comfortable. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
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