Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Witching Tree by Alice Blanchard
Series: Natalie Lockhart #3
Published by Minotaur Books on December 7, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Detective Natalie Lockhart gained unwanted notoriety when she and her family became front and center of not one, but two sensational murder cases. Now she’s lost her way. Burned out and always looking over her shoulder, Natalie desperately thinks that quitting the police force is her only option left.
All that changes when a beloved resident—a practicing Wiccan and founder of the town’s oldest coven—is killed in a fashion more twisted and shocking than Natalie has ever seen before, leaving the town reeling. Natalie has no choice but to help solve the case along with Detective Luke Pittman, her boss and the old childhood friend she cannot admit she loves, even to herself. There is a silent, malignant presence in Burning Lake that will not rest. And what happens next will shock the whole town, and Natalie, to the core
I listened to the first two books in the Natalie Lockhart series but The Witching Tree doesn’t seem to be on audio yet. I was curious to see what would happen with Natalie. She has had a lot of big and dangerous cases ove the past year. She’s tired, grieving the loss of her sister, and reconsidering her life choices.
She is living with Hunter Rose but still has a connection with her childhood friend, Luke. I was Team Luke in the first book, no time for romance in the last book and now I don’t know. I’m not Team Hunter as he seems to be pushing her to make decisions, where Luke leaves it up to her.
We start with a horrific murder, a bunch of shady people around, and no one really tells the truth. Natalie perseveres and just when she makes headway, there are more deaths. There are plenty of smart steps she takes in the investigation and she learns a lot. I do worry when she is out questioning people on her own without backup. Someone out there is a murderer after all. I like Natalie and she pieces things together with skill.
The Witching Tree was a really good read but it ends on a cliffhanger. We don’t really know who committed the murders or exactly why. Natalie’s personal relationships are also up in the air. While we learn lots of facts and history about the town and those involved, nothing is resolved. I’m really enjoying the series but my rating is lower because of the lack of any closure here.
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