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Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard Book 2) by [Olson, Melissa F.]
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Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 354 customer reviews

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Length: 310 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melissa F. Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where she eventually acquired a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, two kids, and two comically oversize dogs—not at all in that order. She is the author of Dead Spots.


Product Details

  • File Size: 865 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (June 4, 2013)
  • Publication Date: June 4, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AW147EC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,005 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Four and a half star - rounded up to five.

Such an improvement over the first book.

The world-building in the Dead Spots felt generic except for the addition of a null crime scene cleaner. In the second book Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard), the uniqueness of the world - a labyrinth of a new mythology building on the boring cinderblock foundation of the first - has come to life. Suddenly the series is looking interesting.

(Note added to review: In the first book, the establishing scene defining her abilities and specialty magic involves the cleanup of a bird. The effect and non-effects of her null abilities as established there are important in the second case. Not that you need to read the first book to enjoy the second. Just the two situations together made some very good world-building.)

The main character was more engaging, as she begins to move beyond her damage and take control of her life. The murder mystery felt more urgent. In the first book, the urgency felt artificially enforced. In the second book, the ticking clock device felt real. Like the rush of an oncoming car.

True the Romantic Heroes both remain neutered - and I had hoped the policeman would wander off with his new love interest so we can stick with the more interesting combo of Scarlett and the regions' second-in-command werewolf (who needs to work on being an "Alpha" male hero). Hopefully in the next book the author will figure out how to make toes curl from the romance as well as the mystery.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This installment of the series gave us a stronger and more confident Scarlett, the story was a great thriller and the love triangle is still as confusing.

Her old mentor is killing people and she seems to have a witch to help her, but the problem is that the killings seem to be getting closer to her friends and love ones. She is going to have to hook back up with Jesse to get this one solved and as usual Scarlett might not be the strongest person in the supernatural world but nobody gets to mess with her friends.

This story covers a lot of ground and after the first book this one seems to be a bit smoother and a bit better written. Our heroine borders on TSTL a few times but never crosses the line into idiot but it was close <grin>.

This story revolves around the love she feels for her friends and male love interests, plus in the course of the story you get more background on Scarlett. The past of her and Olivia will come to a head and Scarlett grows into her powers a bit more which I feel may have problems for the future.

Bottom Line: Great story, slightly better than Dead Spots but don't try to read this book without reading book 1 or you are going to lose a lot of back story and be confused. 5 Stars for mystery, great story and keeping the reader hooked without using cliff hangers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book of the series and right now, I'm having an internal debate on whether to read the next one. Why? Because the heroine had way too many TSTL moments.

*** some spoilers maybe ***

One thing about the character is that she knows her weakness. That is, she is just human. She may have the null power but at the end of the day, those powers are carried by a human with human frailties. She doesn't have vampire or werewolf strength or speed. And she doesn't have witch magic. But knowing that, she feels she has to protect everybody. Don't get me wrong, I understand the need to protect people you love. But when the people you love are a vampire, a werewolf, and a policeman, don't you think you should rethink that "I have to protect them" mantra? I mean these are not helpless people. This is not a minor like the one in the earlier book. Except for her brother who is clueless, all the other people she loves know what's going on. You would think that now that she faces a powerful witch and a vampire with a grudge, she would accept help. The cop offers her a gun and she refuses it for some stupid reason... And yet hours later, she forgets all about it. LOL. She goes into enemy territory without plan. Knowing that the bad guys must be doing something bad, she courageously offers herself without a backup plan! She didn't think about the fact that if she dies, more bad things could happen. Good thing she was the lead character, otherwise, she should be dead.

And for a 23 (or was it 24) year old woman, she acts so immature. She carries all these guilt about her parents and yet continues to wallow in it and use it as an excuse to hurt the people she loves. Geez, girl, grow up!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Trail of the Dead sat in my queue waiting. Something nagged me about it, delaying my jump to read the 2nd installment of the series, which started with Dead Spots, but finally I read....

...And was reminded why this sat on 'kindle shelf' almost a year.

1) There isn't anyone to like. Even Scarlett, who has regressed. Her potential is undeveloped in this book. Scarlett spent the book whining, avoiding, woe-is-me pouting, & a hypocrite..only to settle on martyrdom (yawn). There was a lot of gold to mine in Scarlett/Olivia past, especially psychologically. However, the author seemed to go for 'shock' instead, which fell flat boring. Olivia is talked up as super villain/fearful sociopath. For me the writing never lived to or brought forth the heart pounding fear factor a villain of this magnitude should. There were plot driven murders, but those were...dull. The remaining cast of characters are cardboard & no one for the reader to cheer for. The typical suitor triangle dull. Jesse, the clear front runner is lame. He's supposed to be a very moral upstanding by the book cop but picks & chooses which morals he upholds & those remain in flux also, discarded in a quick 'mind change'. He has a new girlfriend...but lusts for of Scarlett all the time & only seems to want the GF when he needs to feel 'normal'. He IS normal! Dashiell, Will, Kirsten, & Eli are one dimensional dull. Nothing to like...or even really dislike...or fear...about any of them. Molly, the vampire roommate is probably the most likable of all, yet still suffers from under development.

2) POV switches abruptly between chapters which wrecks the flow and is jarring.

3) Oy, the writing of Jesse POV: "Jesse felt like he'd just taken a shot.....", "Jesse banged on Scarlett's door..
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