Mystery Book Reviews
Book Review: The Burning
By Sandy Amazeen Sep 14, 2011, 17:49 GMT
A determined young police constable goes it alone against an enigmatic killer and her bosses in a series debut for fans of Sophie Hannah and Tana FrenchThe Burning Man. It\'s the name the media has given a brutal murderer who has beaten four young women to death before setting their bodies ablaze in secluded areas of London\'s parks. And now there\'s a fifth. Maeve Kerrigan is an ambitious detective constable, ...more
Detective Constable Maeve Kerrington keenly feels the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle discrimination that comes with being a female officer of Irish descent in the London office. As a serial killer stalks the night, murdering and burning women in a gruesome crime spree that has the city panicked, Kerrington notices some anomalies about the fifth victim, Rebecca Haworth that lead her to suspect a copycat at work. Superintendent Godley allows Kerrington the opportunity to prove herself by assigning her the Haworth investigation while maintaining an active presence in the serial killer case.
Daughter of reasonably wealthy parents, Haworth seemed like a well-adjusted gregarious young woman just coming out of an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend who happens to be named the beneficiary on her life insurance policy. Haworth’s best friend Louse North is used to cleaning for Rebecca yet, because of their history together and all that she has learned, doesn’t begrudge the task. Riddled with self doubt behind the corporate façade she wears, North has patterned much of her life after Haworth and is understandably devastated to learn of her best friend’s murder. As Kerrington works the case it will become clear who killed Haworth but that doesn’t take anything away from the tale.
With Kerrington’s wayward heart, this psychological mystery adds tantalizing bits of romantic interests while maintaining a smooth pace. The character development is excellent and indeed, it is the finely drawn, often flawed characters that carry the story to its satisfying conclusion that will have readers looking for more from the plucky detective.