Review: The Witching Tree by Alice Blanchard

Title: The Witching Tree by Alice Blanchard
Natalie Lockhart Series Book Three
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating:

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Welcome to Burning Lake, a small, isolated town with a dark history of witches and false accusations. Now, a modern-day witch has been murdered, and Detective Natalie Lockhart is reluctantly drawn deep into the case, in this atmospheric mystery from Alice Blanchard, The Witching Tree.

As legend has it, if you carve your deepest desire into the bark of a Witch Tree, then over time as the tree grows, it will swallow the carvings until only a witch can read them.

Until now.

Detective Natalie Lockhart gained unwanted notoriety when she and her family became front and center of not one, but two sensational murder cases. Now she’s lost her way. Burned out and always looking over her shoulder, Natalie desperately thinks that quitting the police force is her only option left.

All that changes when a beloved resident—a practicing Wiccan and founder of the town’s oldest coven—is killed in a fashion more twisted and shocking than Natalie has ever seen before, leaving the town reeling. Natalie has no choice but to help solve the case along with Detective Luke Pittman, her boss and the old childhood friend she cannot admit she loves, even to herself. There is a silent, malignant presence in Burning Lake that will not rest. And what happens next will shock the whole town, and Natalie, to the core.


The Witching Tree by Alice Blanchard is a riveting mystery that is incredibly fast-paced.

Detective Natalie Lockhart is unofficially living with her wealthy boyfriend Hunter Rose. After being the center of intense media coverage during her previous cases, she is considering her future as a police officer. With a looming deadline approaching for her decision, Natalie puts her career choice on the backburner when well-liked Wiccan Veronica Manes is murdered in a particularly horrific manner. Her boss, Lieutenant Detective Luke Pittman, puts her in a secondary role during the investigation. Natalie works long hours as she follows the evidence she hopes will lead to Veronica’s killer.

Burning Lake, NY has a long history steeped in witchcraft so Natalie begins with the two predominant covens in town. The members are helpful but no one is aware of anyone who would want to harm Veronica. Natalie turns her attention to the town lore about the infamous Witching Tree and she finds a puzzling detail. But does this discovery have anything to do with Veronica’s murder?

Another possible lead involves a pair of drifters who recently skipped out on paying the local minister their back rent. Natalie is very uneasy about what she uncovers at the abandoned home. Searching for information about the couple, she unearths a startling link that takes the case in a possibly new direction.

The Witching Tree is an absolutely engrossing mystery with a well-executed storyline. Natalie is at a crossroads in both her professional and personal lives but she is unable to make a decision about either of them. Veronica’s murder investigation consumes her as she follows each piece of evidence no matter where it takes her. With stunning plot twists and clever red herrings, Alice Blanchard brings this suspense-laden mystery to a shocking conclusion. The cliff-hanger ending and unanswered questions will leave readers very impatiently awaiting the next installment in the Natalie Lockhart series.

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Filed under Alice Blanchard, Contemporary, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Natalie Lockhart Series, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Witching Tree

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