She stared down in terror at the breaks in the circle. The circle kept her safe; the circle protected her from what was outside-but only if it was unbroken….Samantha Ryan is plagued by nightmarish memories of magic and fear…of strange chants and blood spilled. Because Samantha Ryan grew up in a coven that was seduced by power and greed.With a cross around her neck and a detective’s shield in her pocket, Samantha has tried hard to put her horrific childhood behind her. But as the last in a long line of ruthless witches, she should know that such talismans are no match for the power of a coven that’s gone bad. And when young women start dying, only Samantha knows what the archaic symbol carved into their flesh means: The witched have returned to Salem. Now Samantha is going undercover-into a town obsessed with black magic, into her past, and into the dark, newly awakened heart of evil….Samantha has been running from her past, trying to forget what happened to her and the coven she was raised in. Personally keeping herself from using magic, she has been working as a member of the Boston Police Department. Samantha and her partner Ed are called in on a case, a college coed was found dead at her off campus apartment. What made this one a little different was there was a bloody pentagram on the dead girls’ forehead. After a phone call from the coroner, it was determined that the pentagram was done in nail polish and not blood. After questioning the dead girls’ roommate, they get a phone call about a dead nun that was found at the local church, with a pentagram on her forehead also, which turns out to be red wax. Samantha knows something is going on, when after looking at the crime scene at the church, they go back to the college campus to investigate a third crime scene, this time it’s a male and it’s an extremely gruesome killing. After doing some background checks on the three victims, it is discovered that the nun has a sister that is in the local metal hospital. Samantha and Ed get the chance to visit Jane (the nuns sister) during their questioning it is found out that Jane was “attacked” by these mysterious people, they wanted her blood, she was going to be used as a sacrifice, and Jane claims that she was branded. Samantha asked to see this brand mark, and she knew what it was the second she saw it. After being asked to leave the hospital, Ed basically demands to know what is going on and how Samantha knows so much about this. Samantha tells Ed the truth about how she was raised in a coven that used Black Magic and conducted human sacrifices.Samantha knows she has to return to her home in Salem, MA. To further investigate these murders and the brand marks. Samantha doesn’t really want to do this, she wishes that someone else could investigate this, but she knows deep down in her heart that she is the only one that can go undercover and find a way into the coven to see what is going on. Despite the feelings of her Captain and her partner, she goes forward and does this on her own. Samantha somewhat steps back into her old role of using magic to find out who is behind these killings and why, using candle magic to summon members of the coven , she finds it a little more difficult to get to the heart of the matter and who it is that is running the show and why. After sometime Samantha finds out what is going on, and she is plans on putting a stop to it fast. It seems that someone wants to bring her old coven leader back from the dead and to let her finish what she had started so many years ago.I was highly interested in this book just by reading the synopsis, having been to Salem, MA myself a few times, I wanted to see what kind of story can be done in this location and the ties to the magic that it’s known for. I have to say I was not disappointed at all. The mention of The Hawthorne Hotel, Red’s Sandwich Shop, The House of Seven Gables, and The Witch History Museum were a great reminder of why I loved going there to visit. The descriptions that were used for what was going on at that time of year were great also, since the apex of the story happens around Halloween. After reading this I really want to go back to Salem one of these days. There are a few squeamish parts in the book, they are flashbacks from Samantha’s life growing up in the coven, if being a visual type reader like myself and the thought of blood makes you queasy, I’m giving you warning now.