Trace of Evil pleasantly surprised me. What I expected was a police procedural, but turned out to be a dark twisted web about the darkness that plagues small towns.
Set in the quiet town of Burning Lake, New York, Trace of Evil follows Natalie, a young female detective, haunted by the murder of her sister Willow when she was a child. When Daisy, the wife of a fellow police officer is found murdered in her home, Natalie is assigned the case. As she begins to investigate the murder, she starts to draw similarities to her sister’s murder and begins to suspect the two might be linked.
I was fascinated by the town of Burning Lake. Once the sight of witch trials and murders, teenagers in the town dabble in Wicca rituals. Much of the novel deals with the consequences of witchcraft. Where Wicca rituals in a small town would typically be seen as occult and generally be discouraged, Burning Lake seems to more or less embrace them, and that made it all the more interesting.
Trace of Evil was an incredibly quick read. I read it over the span of two evenings, and I had a very hard time convincing myself to put it down. I held my breath through the last fifty pages as everything was revealed and all the loose ends were tied together. The ending thoroughly shook me, and I have a feeling it will stay with me for a long time to come.
I thoroughly recommend Trace of Evil to other thriller fans! Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the review copy!