Welcome to Burning Lake, a small, isolated town with a dark history of witches and false accusations. Now, a modern-day witch has been murdered, and Detective Natalie Lockhart is reluctantly drawn deep into the case, in this atmospheric mystery from Alice Blanchard, The Witching Tree.
As legend has it, if you carve your deepest desire into the bark of a Witch Tree, then over time as the tree grows, it will swallow the carvings until only a witch can read them.
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.
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I'm a sucker for a good detective series, and I've loved Natalie Lockhart and the small town of Burning Lake since I read Trace of Evil. I was so excited to receive the next installment and quickly dove in. Following the events of the previous book (no spoilers, but The Wicked Hour is also compulsively readable and I highly recommend) Natalie is unsure where she stands--in love, in life, in her career. And as she's about to make the biggest decision--one that will inevitably change everything--Burning Lake is struck by another murder. A popular witch from a local coven suffers a gruesome death, and the responsibility falls on Natalie to investigate. I loved this book. Blanchard's writing is swift and eloquent which makes it almost impossible not to get lost in the story. From broad-stroke descriptions that perfectly set up each chapter to the well-paced dialogue and plot reveals, The Witching Tree serves as a masterclass in mystery. Once again, Natalie is a spectacular narrator, both logical and endearing, and you'll find yourself rooting for her from the first page. What's great about this series is while it helps to start at Book 1, you don't need to. Blanchard gives us snippets of the past without overwhelming her reader with info dumps, so if you're on the fence about starting mid-series, trust me and take the leap. The murder this time is probably the most vivid in terms of exposition, and I could see this translating well into a series. Cinematic and atmospheric, this is going to be the perfect fall/winter read. Big thanks to Minotaur and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.
I definitely recommend reading this first two books in this series first! I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but with this third one, you definitely need the background info to fully understand why Natalie Lockhart is on the edge of quitting the police force but still willing to do anything to solve this latest twisted case in Burning Lake. I always like reading this series right around Halloween because there is always something witchy going on with the the murder and crimes that Natalie dives into. I like the little historical bits mentioned about the town and the burning of the three witches. This book gets darker and darker and pushes Natalie to the edge with all the unanswered questions about Veronica's death and the other mysteries that are popping up some going back years and years. It also ends on a bit of a very dark cliff hanger but I know that Natalie will be able to get to the bottom of it and I can't wait to find out how. Bring on the next book, stat! Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ecopy of the book in exchange for a review!
A story that seems to be part of a series but can be read on its own (if you want to commit to reading the next book too) This is a story about a lady cop who has gone through some tragic cases (in books I am now inclined to read) and is now being babied by most of the men in her life. Natalie lives in a little town known for its historic witch hunts and Wiccan covens. (All the men she’s interested in are either drop dead gorgeous, millionaires, or both, which is kinda annoying ) The story begins with a member of one of those covens being murdered in a brutal way, leading to a tale of horror which seeps through the town. As Natalie searches for clues and follows leads, she finds strange evidence that leads her to the town’s legendary Witching Tree, and even darker mysteries. There are so many delicious red herrings dangled in this tale. I just don’t like ending on a cliff-hanger.
The Witching Tree, the 3rd book in the series was so good that I had a hard time putting it down. It starts from the beginning of the chapter with the death of Veronica Manes, a well loved and known witch in the town of Burning Lake, NY. The main character, Natalie Lockhart is a police detective who is notified and called to the scene of her death. She , along with the other officers in her department try to find out who would do such a terrible thing. She is staying with her boyfriend, Hunter Rose to get away from the reporters because of the events of the death of her two sisters a year earlier. She is torn between Hunter and her boss and childhood friend, Luke Pittman. There are two covens of witches in the town, the Carrington Coven and the Pendleton Coven which Veronica was the head of. One of her relatives, Thomas Bell was a judge who put the witches to death on the stake. Veronica is also a author of books pertaining to witchcraft. She is researching the town for her new book. She discovers something that could change things for her coven. The other characters in the story add to the suspense that seems to mount with each introduction of them. The reader is introduced to the witches who are upstanding citizens. This is where the story takes off with different events that make the reader keep guessing who had killed Veronica and why. The Witching Tree is a tree that grew on the spot where Nettie Goodson died in a fire.. She was deemed a witch in the colonial days. The tree was protected by a fence, It was rumored that if anyone tried to damage the tree something bad happened to them. There is such suspense towards the end and such a surprise that leaves the reader hanging. I liked the series so much I plan to read the first two books. The reader will have to wait with anticipation for book 4 to find out who killed Veronica etc. Also who put Luke in a coma now in the hospital with Natalie sitting in his room. vowing she will protect him no matter what because what is going on in Burning Lake is bigger than she realizes. Thank you NetGalley, and St. Martin's Publishing Group for this ARL.
Thank you so much to the publisher and Netgalley for my e-arc copy of The Witching Tree by Alice Blanchard in exchange for an honest review! This one publishes December 7! This one gets 4.5 stars from me! I loved being back in Burning Lake with Detective Natalie Lockhart. I really enjoy detective novels, and now with the aded bonus of witchy vibes? Yes please! This is the third book in the series, and starts off with a gruesome murder on the train tracks. Natalie is still dealing with the grief of her sister and everything that was revealed in that case, as well as the most recent cases she has solved: The Crow Killer and The Violinist. All of which have been high profile and in the media. She has been put through the wringer, and is starting to feel burnt out. Should she quit the police force? That is an internal debate she has throughout the book, while solving the current case of who murdered a beloved member of the Wiccan community. I loved this one! More so for the struggles that Natalie is evidently going through. The author doesn't hide these factors, making the characters more relatable. While I enjoyed the murder/detective/crime solving elements of this book for keeping me turning the pages, the evident struggles Natalie deals with, really stood out to me. Also, I really hope there is a fourth book, because the way this one ended, I NEED to know what happens next and to make sure a certain character is ok!
This book is so flipping good, I’m not even sure what to say. It’s the third, and hands down best, book of the series. There are multiple murders (always with enough graphic detail to make me cringe), never-ending guilt and trauma for Natalie, a seemingly unsolved case, and a CLIFFHANGER!!! Not cool, Alice Blanchard. Not cool. And also brilliant. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
If you have not started reading the Natalie Lockhart series by Alice Blanchard then you are definitely missing out! I have been lucky enough to have received ARC’s for all three books in this series and each one is better than the last. Alice Blanchard is the Queen of cliffhangers!! After the cliffhanger in The Wicked Hour left me me shouting out loud for more I didn’t think it was possible to do it again, but she did! I shouldn’t have finished reading it at 1:00 AM because I was too wired to fall asleep! In The Witching Tree, Natalie Lockhart is dealing with another bizarre case in Burning Lake along with many personal life decisions and feelings. The way Alice writes, you can feel what Natalie is feeling and easily get lost in the pages of the story. And the ending will leave you impatiently waiting for what is next. I can’t say enough good things about The Witching Tree and this series! I cannot wait until the next book, like I need to know what is going to happen. Now! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press - Minotaur Books for the ARC!!