In the second book of the Traces of Evil series, a detective dealing with the scars of her past must solve a seemingly unconnected string of murders and face the impossible question of what to do when the killer may be hiding amongst the ones you know.
The perfect read for winter’s extra-dark nights ... It’s necessary to read the first book in the Natalie Lockhart series, Trace of Evil , to fully grasp the events of The Wicked Hour ... The Wicked Hour is a carefully plotted procedural that invites readers to examine each clue along with Natalie. As those clues come together and the novel progresses toward its climax, readers will be rewarded with a suspenseful and memorable finale.
References to events in the previous book will likely be confusing for readers who haven’t read it, but, otherwise, this is an absorbing look at small-town politics and relationships set against the intrigue of a mysterious death. Jodi Picoult’s fans will be an apt audience for Blanchard’s chilling latest.
The events of the previous book loom large, affecting Natalie’s relationships as well as her mental health; regrettably, Blanchard never provides a plot recap, leaving new readers in the dark. Though the setup is clever, the mystery suffers from a dearth of viable suspects with convincing motives (the killer included), and the action-packed denouement feels preposterous and arbitrary. Fans will hope for better next time.