I love a good police procedural. The steps they take to find the killer are fascinating to me. THE SHADOW GIRLS gave me a bit of everything I like - including ROMANCE.
My only "regret" is I did not read the previous books in the series before reading THE SHADOW GIRLS. I've already solved that problem by checking out the books from the library.
Our detective, Natalie, and her department are dealing with the fallout of a couple of serial killers. When a man is found dead in a Halloween costume shop with a clown nose stuck to his face Natalie unravels another ... serial killer.
While this book is the third in the series Blanchard gives good summaries of the previous stories. However, that left me wanting more. I knew I had to go back and read how those stories/cases unfolded as well.
The pacing was good, although I think the book was a tad too long.
This would be a perfect book after the first cold snap leading to Halloween.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-copy of THE SHADOW GIRLS to review.
I rate THE SHADOW GIRLS four out of five stars.
The Shadow Girls is book four in the Natalie Lockhart series. You must read the first three books to understand what is happening in this one. The author briefly explained what happened in the previous three books, but I needed more. I was confused when everything came together at the end of the book and was left scratching my head.
The Shadow Girls is a fast-paced book. While I enjoyed the book’s pace and felt it complemented the storyline, I was overwhelmed. The main reason was that I had to backtrack and reread paragraphs and sometimes chapters.
The main storyline in The Shadow Girls centers around Natalie and the 2-3 cases she investigates. The storylines were well written, and I loved how the author connected and interconnected them. But, again, it would have been helpful if I read the previous books.
The storyline involving Natalie, the murder at the Halloween shop, and her investigation was interesting. There weren’t that many twists in this storyline. The only two notable twists came mid-storyline when the author connected this murder to another storyline, and then at the end, it was revealed why the guy was killed. I liked seeing how the investigation was handled, as well as how cold cases were handled. Also, the book’s title comes from this storyline (fun fact!!).
The storyline with Natalie and the investigation into Veronica Manes’s death was well written. I liked the twists and turns this storyline took and its interconnectedness with the other two storylines. I was shocked at how this one ended up.
The storyline with Natalie, her missing best friend, and the investigation/personal issues that stemmed from that was sad. This storyline had the most twists out of the three main storylines. I was surprised at every single thing that was uncovered.
The end of The Shadow Girls was a chaotic mess. It seemed like every single storyline was solved, but I am a little skeptical. I hope there will be a book five because I would love to see more of the town.
I have loved and enjoyed Alice Blanchard’s Natalie Lockhart thriller series from the very beginning. Set in the town of Burning Lake, with its history of executing 3 women for witchcraft hundreds of years ago, the trauma of those events seems to permeate the town into the present day. This adds a wonderful sinister element to the books.
As usual, I loved this book. It has everything I have come to expect from this series. A complex mystery. In this case a modern day murder with its roots in the past. The victim, a beloved member of the town was not what he seemed, and as Natalie investigates his death, what she learns will chill your very bones. The book twists and turns in wonderfully unexpected ways and I was continually surprised and kept on edge in a deliciously wonderful way.
I always appreciate that Blanchard isn’t afraid to go to very dark places in her novels. She excels in finding the darkest sides of human nature and then weaving it into a thrilling and suspenseful narrative and this time is no exception. I adore discovering all the dark secrets of Burning Lake.
This is the fourth book and judging the way all the various hanging threads of the series were tied up, I sadly think it may be the last. This is not a read alone book. To understand and appreciate it, it must be read within the context of the series. So start at the beginningand enjoy.
I didn’t realize this was the last in a series until I started reading it but I caught up pretty quickly. This might have been a 4 star or above if I had read the other books. I loved Natalie, Luke was just okay (maybe great in the other books 🤷🏻♀️), but hunter really got on my nerves. He was way over the top with all the gestures and professions. There wasn’t really just one bad guy in this book but a compilation from previous books. There was some mystery, some romance, and a little witchery all of which I love. I may go back and read the series but I will definitely read more from this author.
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I've so enjoyed this series and hope there is another coming.. Alice Blanchard has hit it out of the park again. All the twists and turns in this, book four, of the Natalie Lockhart series. You won't see it coming. I promise.
Natalie Lockhart has solved her share of crimes in Burning Lake. Very recently she was lead detective for the two most horrific serial killer cases they've seen in a long time. Maybe ever. This book picks up where book three ended. Luke is in a coma and Natalie is standing watch over him. Their chemistry is strong despite the fact that they are each in committed relationships. They have known each other most of their lives and been the best of friends always. Natalie has always loved Luke but she's in love with Hunter.
When Randy Holmes's body is found murdered Natalie is on the case. She uncovers things that were kept hidden for years. Randolph Holmes had many deep dark secrets that no one knew about. Almost no one that is. He was part of a group back in the seventies who practiced the black magic. So when he is found and his secrets come to light someone wants to shut Natalie up. She's uncovered far to much.
This book will bring you to the edge of your seat. You'll cringe at some of the things happening or that had happened in Burning Lake, NY. Some very sinister things. From practicing with Black Magic to murder. Abducting young ladies and holding them. Pure and evil murder. There is a lot going on in this town. One cop who is on the run. Others who are bound and determined to find him. But with all of this it's so easy to follow. This book will keep you on your toes and the ending is spectacular in my opinion. I love how this author tied up all the loose ends and brought much closure to things. I do still hope there is another book though. Or a new series perhaps.
Thank you #NetGalley, #AliceBlanchard, #StMartinsPress/MinotaurBooks for this ARC.
Five big stars and I recommend this series.
Alice Blanchard’s fourth book featuring Natalie Lockhart picks up where her previous book, The Witching Tree, ended. The death of Veronica Manes, a well known witch in Burning Cove, remains unsolved. Lt. Luke Pittman remains in a coma, the result of an attack by another member of his police unit. Natalie has moved in with Hunter Rose, a wealthy businessman, but the love that she has always carried for Luke is still an issue. Then Randolph Holmes is murdered. Holmes was employed as a clerk and handyman at a shop that specialized in Halloween merchandise. As Natalie investigates she learns about his dark side. Through a period of time seven women disappeared. In a newspaper article they were dubbed The Shadow Girls. Exploring Holmes’ home she discovers his connection to their disappearance. She also finds a connection to several notorious cases that she helped solve.
Natalie becomes deeply involved in Burning Lakes’ murder cases and it has left her both exhausted and seeking therapy. Hunter is pressuring her to relocate and marry him, but she has deep connections to the community. She is obsessed with the disappearance of her best friend after their high school graduation and she finally believes that she is close to the truth. There is also the problem of her ties to Luke. Blanchard ties all of Natalie’s past cases together in what seems to be the last book in this series. I can only hope that she will continue with the community that her readers have enjoyed. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press - Minotaur for providing this book for my review.
This book really just didn’t do it for me. It started off slow and never really picked up til about 70% through. I would have not finished but I was reading with a friend to discuss. I just couldn’t get into it; maybe I would feel differently if I had read the previous books in this series but since I was told it could be a standalone I gave it a shot. If you liked the previous books, you probably would like this one but it was not for me.
The Shadow Girls is the fourth (and I believe last) book in Alice Blanchard's atmospheric Natalie Lockhart series. I don't want this series to end...it's one of my favorites! But since everything is wrapped up nice and tidy in Burning Lake, New York, I don't see how it can go on. But if another book does come out, I am there! If you haven't read the first three books, I highly recommend that you do so. Though this murder case can stand alone, it's really connected to past storylines and you will NOT want to miss any of those stories!
Detective Natalie Lockhart's best friend and boss, Lieutenant Luke Pittman, is in the hospital in a coma, having been attacked by a fellow police officer. The horrific death of Veronica Manes, a well liked modern-day witch, is still unsolved. Many years after her disappearance, Natalie still doesn't know what happened to her best friend Bella. She still struggles with the deaths of her sisters Willow and Grace. So Natalie has more than enough on her plate right now; however, she catches the murder case of the town's latest casualty. Randy Holmes, who worked at a Halloween costume store, is brutally murdered. As Natalie's investigation progresses, some very disturbing things about Randy come to light, rocking the residents of Burning Creek back on their heels. This investigation is going to be a doozy!
I absolutely love the fictional town of Burning Lake, New York. Much of its appeal is its history: 3 women in the 1700's were accused of being witches and were burned to death. Now Burning Lake's economy pretty much revolves around Halloween and the occult. It gives this upstate NY town a spooky, witchy vibe. Burning Lake is as much of a character in this series as its occupants. Natalie Lockhart is a truly fascinating character. She has dealt with some dark history, including the deaths of her sisters and traumatizing cases. This new one just adds more of a burden to her increasingly battered soul. Natalie is living with Hunter Rose, a rich entrepreneur who professes to love her dearly. Only problem is, besides that his feelings for her are suffocating her, he hides things from her in an attempt to protect her, such as some unknown person throwing dead animals and occult artifacts onto their property. Natalie is also in love with Luke and has been for ages, except she won't profess her love to him...and he seems to be moving on without her. The author does an incredible job in making one feel Natalie's inner despair, hurt and longing. This new case that she is working on may be the one that breaks her. Randy turns out to be something other than the hardworking and quiet man he appears to be. His hidden life will chill you to your bones. I just adore Luke Pittman. It's obvious he has feelings for Natalie and seems to be waiting for her to reveal her thoughts. Luke becomes engaged to sweet Rainie, as Natalie remains mute. Hunter Rose, Natalie's lover, is a great character, though I never did like him.. As I've stated in past reviews, there's something hinky about the man. Also, I'm on Team Luke, so that does cloud my feelings! Peter Murphy, the corrupt cop who attacked Luke, has hidden depths and secrets. Lots of secrets. The plots of all four books are interconnected, but I don't want to ruin anything for you. I want you to be surprised as I was when all is revealed! Just when I thought I had it all figured out, things changed and I was gobsmacked. This was an exciting book, and I was very honored to have been given the opportunity to read it and the rest of the series. I'm looking forward to whatever Alice Blanchard comes up with next!
I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Natalie Lockhart continues to solve murders in her small town in upstate NY. This time there are missing girls and another suspicious murder.
This is the fourth book in the female detective series. You need to read the first three as this is not a standalone. This follows the unsolved murder from book 3 The Witching Tree and also there is another murder added. Everything is intertwined and resolved by the end. I like how the whole series has witchy vibes with a touch of Wiccan beliefs sprinkled in. Out of all four books, this one was my favorite probably because there was a lot to figure out and many suspects. If you enjoy small town murder mysteries with a fall feel, this series is for you! 🍂🧙♀️
Thank you to Minotaur Books for the ARC! 🖤
Natalie has stumbled upon a crime in which no one knew it happened. She has discovered a possible serial kidnapper and killer in her jurisdiction. This sends Natalie into an obsession of finding the truth. She is not to be stopped.
Natalie is a character that I enjoy. She is damaged but she pushes through everything to get to her final outcome. Does she always do it right? No. But she always has good on her side.
I have not read all the books in this series. I have read The Wicked Hour. And this one falls on the same level as that one. This story takes a bit to build and just didn’t hit the right notes for me at the right time. That being said, it is a good mystery and I do enjoy Natalie. I just wanted it to move quicker with more intensity.
Need a good police thriller…THIS IS IT. Grab your copy today.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
The Shadow Girls by Alice Blanchard is the fourth novel in the author’s Natalie Lockhart series, a fact of which I was unaware when I downloaded this book.
The novel begins with the discovery of the body of sixty-four-year-old Randolph Holmes in a warehouse where he is employed. Though his employer praises his work ethic the deceased’s female colleagues were wary of him. Detective Natalie Lockhart leaves the side of her comatose senior officer/friend, who was attacked by one of their colleagues who is now absconding, to attend to the case. Her investigation reveals a sinister side to the deceased and links to other crimes being investigated. The narrative follows Natalie as she investigates several cases which seem to be connected including one involving the disappearance of her best friend more than a decade ago while navigating her personal life and relationship issues.
I loved the premise and the setting of a town known for its “witchy" history, covens and Wiccans and thought the procedural aspect was really well executed, though I thought the drama in the protagonist’s personal life (the romance tracks) messed with the pace of the novel and distracted from the mystery angle. Usually, I don’t have problems picking up a series midway if the story is well-rounded. However, this book does not work as a standalone. There is a strong continuity with the preceding books and I felt that I was missing out on a lot of the backstory and important plot points since the resolution of several previous cases were related to the present one.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the digital review copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Murray’s Halloween Costumes is a creepy store at night where the aisles are stocked with all things scary. When one of the workers opens the store, she finds what she believes is a life size mannequin on the floor. This is no mannequin, but the body of one of the workers who has been murdered. Detective Natalie Lockhart was at the hospital visiting Lieutenant Detective Luke Pittman when she was called to the murder scene. Luke had been attacked and was still in a coma. The scene at the store was just the beginning as the search of the murdered man’s home would add a new horror to the investigation. What evil has taken over in Burning Lake and will Natalie be able to find the ones responsible and make them pay? I enjoyed the other stories in this series, but this one not as much and it took more effort for me to finish. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (paytonpuppy)
The Shadow Girls is the fourth title in a series that includes Trace of Evil, The Wicked Hour, The Witching Tree and this latest in the Natalie Lockhart series. Some readers will feel that they need to read these books in order as they may be a bit adrift otherwise. No bad thing as those who are interested will have more to read! Or, start here and work backwards.
Past events include the death of Natalie’s sister and a missing friend . Here, in the new book, lots more trouble is piled on. A modern day witch (!) is dead, there are goings on at a warehouse. Why? What is happening in Burning Lake? Also why is a police officer in a coma?
This is a complex story. The reader is drawn in immediately, first meeting Stevie and then going to the hospital with Natalie where she is visiting Luke. From here, there are twists enough to keep the pages turning.
Will Natalie be back in a new book? Maybe not but I hope so.
Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur for this title. All opinions are my own.
I didn't realize that this book was part of a series, but it worked well as a standalone. This book had non-stop action and I couldn't put it down. I can’t wait to read the other books in this series.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for allowing me to read this ARC for my honest opinion.
Happy Pub Day!!
The Shadow Girls is Book 4 in Alice’s Natalie Lockhart Series.
This story starts off with a situation in a warehouse, that leads to a ….
I guess you’re going to have to pick up this one to find out all those details! Clear your schedule & start this series! This could be read as a stand-alone but you’d enjoy reading this series in order for the best reading experience.
A huge thank you to Minotaur Books & NetGalley for an arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
If you enjoy police procedural books this one is definitely for you.
✨ Book Review ✨
A big thank you to @minotaur_books @aliceblanchard.author @netgalley for the #gifted copy of #TheShadowGirls !!
📖 The Shadow Girls by Alice Blanchard
Detective Natalie Lockhart is called to investigate another murder that turns out to be more complicated than anticipated.
What to expect:
🚨 Police Procedural
✨ Picks up where the last novel left off.
✨ So many threads.
✨ Lots of twists and turns.
✨ Loved the romance elements!
We’re back in the town of Burning Lake where the murder case of a modern day witch, Veronica Manes, has been left unsolved. The case has become a tangled web of threads that detective Natalie Lockhart is determined to make sense of. When another murder occurs, Natalie uncovers a larger conspiracy with far reaching tendrils.
After the cliffhanger ending in The Witching Tree, I was so happy to be back in Burning Lake! This book picks up where The Witching Tree left off. Natalie is following up with leads concerning Veronica’s murder when another seemingly unconnected murder lands on her plate. There were plenty of twist and turns and red herrings throughout her investigation.
The second murder leads her deeper into the darkness plaguing her town. I really loved how everything was weaved together. All of the storylines from the very beginning of the story came into play. The loose threads throughout the series were neatly wrapped up in meaningful ways.
The journey Natalie has been on since book one has been beautifully written. I feel like by the end of this book she has come full circle. I loved seeing how much she’s grown and how she’s mended some of the broken parts of her life including relationships and friendships.
One of my favorite parts of this series has been the will they, won’t they relationship between Natalie and her long time older friend and boss Luke. There were so many ups and downs in this book with them, it was a wild ride! I loved every second of it and all of the developments between them.
If you like mysteries with a strong female lead read this series! I suggest reading it in order to get the full experience.
A very dark and creepy story!
Main character, Natalie, is a deceive that has solved a few serial killer cases in the past.
All in all, an engaging murder mystery with lots of suspense.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is the fourth and I presume final book of a series. I definitely recommend reading the books in order or you will be lost at different times in the book. The author did not do a good job of "reminding" us what happened previously, so it was hard to put all the pieces together especially considering how they were tied together in the end. I know this was a uncorrected ARC, but there were wrong days/timeline issues, contradicting statements just a few paragraphs apart, and flat out wrong conclusions based on previous information, not to mention lists and lists of things in a room or people or things they're doing. There were these odd mini info dumps about things in the past that did not help us with the story and/or was completely irrelevant information that had nothing to do with the story. Although, there was a good basis to the story, this book needed a developmental edit. There were times when I thought about not finishing it, but something about it kept me going, so there are good things about this book. Maybe if you read the books in order it would seem better, because you would only be dealing with too much information and some errors and wouldn't be confused on the storyline. After finishing it, I looked back and discovered I'd read the second book in the series and I I had the same issues with it that I have with this one.
Thank you to NetGalley and St Martins Press/Minotaur for providing this book to me. All opinions are my own.
This is book 4 in the series, and it feels like it's a conclusion to the story of Burning Lake and Natalie Lockhart, Surrounded by notoriety for capturing two serial killers, Natalie is hoping to get her life on track. When she's called to the murder scene at the local Halloween costume emporium (in Burning Lake, this is a year-round enterprise), she's faced with the gruesome death of an old man who everyone tolerated as an odd fellow. As she begins to pull threads, she finds that everything seems to connect to everything else in Burning Lake. This will keep you guessing as Natalie confronts the darkness around her town. If this is the end of the Natalie Lockhart series, it is a satisfying one.
Thanks to St. Martin's Press for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley.
The Shadow Girls by Alice Blanchard is a thrilling police procedural with an equally compelling personal story. Detective Natalie Lockheart is trying to solve multiple cases while dealing with her feelings over multiple men - sound messy? It is but in only the best ways.
I loved how much was going on in this story. It was never dull, though sometimes a bit confusing because multiple cases meant even more characters than usual, and trying to keep straight who was connected to who and how could be a daunting task. But I wouldn’t change how compelling all the different cases kept the story because it also kept the pace fast.
I also loved how compelling Natalie’s personal story is and how it ended up intertwined with the cases she investigated. Her personal life is very messy, but that just made it fascinating. Almost as fascinating as the town this takes place in. Burning Lake in upstate New York has quite the history, which plays so well in the story. The history of witches, occult activity, and a popular Halloween destination worked well with the story and the mysteries.
The Shadow Girls is the fourth, and I believe, last book in a series, or at least at a pivot point. You can easily read it as a stand-alone, but I feel you will enjoy it so much more if you read the series in order, especially since it’s only four books.