Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
Date of publication: July 25th, 2023
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Thriller
Series: Natalie Lockhart
Trace of Evil—Book 1
The Wicked Hour—Book 2
The Witching Tree—Book 3
The Shadow Girls—Book 4
Someone is playing deadly games. Lieutenant Luke Pittman lies in the hospital in a coma after being attacked by one of their own. Veronica Manes, Burning Lake’s most respected modern-day witch, is dead, her murder left unsolved. Natalie Lockhart has become embroiled in a case with threads that become increasingly difficult to untangle.
Now, a new horror is uncovered, one that shocks the town as never before, and the dark, shadowy path forward for Natalie is paved with challenges that haunt her past―Veronica’s unsolved case. Her sister’s traumatic murder. The long-lost disappearance of her old best friend. Natalie’s obsession with finding the truth leads to a twisted, elemental struggle between good and evil―and nothing will ever be the same again.
/.The woods have secrets.
The trees are carved with curses.
There’s something wicked in Burning Lake.
Thirty-seven-year-old Stevie Greenway drove across town to Murray’s Halloween Costumes and parked in the sprawling let behind the sooty brick building.The Shadow Girls by Alice Blanchard
If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know how much I dislike reading books out of order (if they are in a series). If I come across a book that interests me, I usually shelve it and then pick up book one in the series. But, when it comes to reviewing books, that rule becomes obsolete. That was the case with The Shadow Girls. When St. Martin’s Press emailed me with the review request, I immediately accepted. Then kicked myself when I realized it was part of a series.
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 would recommend The Shadow Girls to anyone over 21. There are language, violence, and sexual situations.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, NetGalley, and Alice Blanchard for allowing me to read and review The Shadow Girls. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of The Shadow Girls, then you will enjoy reading these books:
Other books by Alice Blanchard: