Review: The Wicked Hour by Alice Blanchard

 
Title: The Wicked Hour
Author: Alice Blanchard
Series: Natalie Lockard, #2
Published: December 2020, Minotaur Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 304 pages
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Summary: 
From the
award-winning author of Trace of Evil, 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, in Alice Blanchard’s The Wicked Hour.

“Readers will welcome a return to Burning Lake with Natalie at the helm.”—Associated Press

“Lockhart
is a relatable new heroine on the police-procedural scene, and one who
will appeal to readers of Tana French.”—Booklist

The day
after Burning Lake’s notorious, debauched Halloween celebration,
Detective Natalie Lockhart uncovers a heartbreaking scene—a young woman,
dead and lying in a dumpster. There’s no clue to who she is, save for a
mystifying tattoo on her arm, and a callus underneath her chin. She’s
not from around here. No one knows who she is.

As Natalie
retraces the young woman’s steps leading up to her death, she uncovers a
deeper, darker horror—a string of murders and disappearances, seemingly
unconnected, that may have ties to each other—and explain the abrupt
disappearance of her best friend years ago.

As she digs deeper
within the mind of the hunter, Natalie finds a darkness she could never
have imagined. And as she draws closer to the truth, the killer is
weaving a trap for her that may prove inescapable.

My thoughts: This is the second book in Alice Blanchard’s Natalie Lockard series and it is just as good as the first one, Trace of Evil. This series, part mystery, part police procedural has such a unique feel to it and that’s what I love about it – it really helps set it apart from all the other series I read.

I really feel that it’s important that you read this series in order. There is a lot that happens in the first book that is carried over to the second book. While it doesn’t have anything to do with the case that Detective Natalie Lockhart is working on, it does have to do with Natalie herself, and you will have a richer reading experience for having done so. There are many references made to events that happen in the first book, some that might be potential spoilers.

Once again, we have a completely atmospheric, tense read. When a body is found in a dumpster right after Halloween, Natalie can’t help but be reminded of her best friend that went missing so many years ago. As she starts trying to find out who this young woman is, another body is found, and the more she digs into things, she starts to wonder just how well she really knows those that are close to her.

I love how while investigating the case, we end up learning more about Natalie herself. She really is quite the complex character who has been dealt a tough hand in life. In this book, she is quite introspective and it was refreshing to see that. It was interesting to see that Natalie’s missing friend, Bella, still affects her all these years later. 

This book had me hooked from the beginning and the twists and turns kept me flipping the pages until the very end. I hope there is going to be more in this series…I am not ready to say goodbye to Natalie just yet!

Books in this series:

  1. Trace of Evil
  2. The Wicked Hour


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