ARC Review: Trace of Evil (Natalie Lockhart #1) by Alice Blanchard

What had once been beautiful was dead.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

We really are kicking this fall off with some spooky great books and I’m really excited about it! At first I was hesitant about Trace of Evil because I thought it would be a boring police procedural book but it exceeded my expectations and more.

Despite her mom’s wishes Natalie Lockhart knew she was destined to be a cop. It’s in her blood after all. Raised by a police chief, Natalie is the youngest of three sisters and besides the job has been through her own mountain of tragedy. Her oldest sister, Willow, was tragically murdered, as a teenager and grief firmly planted its roots in her family. It nestled and it grew.

Natalie is now a rookie cop and is tasked with solving the cases of “the Missing Nines”. That all gets sidetracked when a shocking murder rocks the small town of Burning Lake and redefines the past and who she is as a person completely.

I wouldn’t say this was difficult to get into but for me it took a few chapters to read before I was fully engaged. But when I was, I was all the way in. It’s a slow burner and we are introduced to a lot of characters and a lot of history so it’s overwhelming at first but this is to be expected when it’s a book about a small town. Everybody knows everybody else and the history is grand and toxic. That’s what makes it so great in the big scheme of things.

The plot was really interesting and a twist from the usual mystery/detective angle. I liked how there was a coven/witch angle to it. I mean, HELLO THE CRAFT?? It was different and also showed how teenagers can throw things completely out of proportion. I did think that maybe a little too much was put into this book and I’m wondering if perhaps this will become a series? If so that would be terrific.

I found there were a few issues with the pacing. A lot seemed to be jam packed in one book which made me just a tad bit overwhelming for me.

Natalie. Sweet, amazing Natalie has been through so so much. Okay, there absolutely has to be more of her to read because this poor woman has absolutely been through HELL her entire life. LOL, she needs some sort of happiness. I legit gasped at the big twist and clutched my head. I wasn’t expecting it at all and was also completely pissed off. This is a great read for you thrill seekers like me who want to read about murder in a small town and get a rush at trying to solve what the hell is going on. I almost never get it right but that’s exactly what makes it so fun. Don’t judge me.

Thank you very much to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this ARC. All opinions are my own.

Let’s hit Replay. Let’s rewind the tape.

💜💜💜💜 4/5

add to your next great read but don’t think about putting a hex on me

Expected publication: December 3rd 2019 by Minotaur Books

6 thoughts on “ARC Review: Trace of Evil (Natalie Lockhart #1) by Alice Blanchard

  1. Small towns always leave me feeling sentimental! I’ve missed being in a place where you know everyone… and know who the creeps are 😛 This story definitely tells a darker side of that. Great review Amanda! Jen

    Liked by 1 person

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