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.
Listen to a clip:
- Series on Saturday: Audio series @Rachel_Aaron @vikasadam @AndreaPenrose @KevinHearne @luckylukeekul @KelleyArmstrong #KateHandford @veschwab @booknarrator @HoJay92 @BaileyCarrVOICE #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 10, 2023
- Demons of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison @BurningBunnies @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub - June 8, 2023
- 🎧 All The Sinners Bleed by SA Crosby @blacklionking73 @alazarrewhite @MacmillanAudio #LoveAudiobooks #JIAM - June 6, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Natalie sounds like an interesting and complex character. Glad to hear you’re continuing to enjoy this series. 🙂
I always like police procedurals. The action and mystery of cases plus the personal development of the characters is a combination I enjoy.
I think I would really enjoy this series, plus I’ve heard good things about the author. Thanks for sharing ?
I don’t know how but we all seem to hear about more authors than we can read. So we have to spend time making choices.
I’m trying to resist adding yet another series but this sounds good! Excellent review, Anne?
I liked it even though everything ended up different than it started.
I like the mystery series where the character develops as the series goes on and it sounds like a fun set up around the Halloween festivities. Well, that worked out nicely to have a narrator who had a similar voice and you still enjoyed after they traded narrators.
Yes I was really glad I liked both narrators because sometimes if I get used to one I don’t change well and have to read the ebook instead.
I could see myself enjoying this series. The mystery sounds good and Natalie sounds like a fascinating character.
Natalie is not predictable for me and I guess that’s a good thing.
Your description and that last sentence has me curious about the series. I don’t mind a flawed character as long as there’s some positive growth. I’ll check this one out.
I have enjoyed the series so far. A developing character along with the police cases keeps me interested.
It looks like a good one again!
Yes I think it is a series I will continue to read.
This sounds so interesting, I really liked your description of this Natalie character, I love those smart and savvy ones ….she seems very intriguing.
Natalie is a good cop, a good person, who has had a horrific family history. She is growing and learning and I like progression in characters.