Book Review: The Burning – Jane Casey

Title: The Burning
Author: Jane Casey
ISBN: 9780312614171
Pages: 368
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Maeve Kerrigan is a woman in a man’s world, the only female on the murder task force in London.  Her male colleagues don’t make it easy for her to fit in, but Maeve does her best to ignore them and focus on her job, especially considering there is a serial killer on the loose who is targeting women.  When the body of Rebecca Haworth is discovered, Maeve takes it upon herself to learn about the victim and investigate her murder, but the more she learns, the more she is convinced that this is a copycat murder that has nothing to do with the serial killer they are hunting.

Review:

The Burning is the first novel in a crime fiction series starring detective constable Maeve Kerrigan.  Maeve is a sympathetic character, and Casey really takes the reader into her head over the course of the book.  Readers can’t help but feel anger on Maeve’s behalf as they see what she endures on a daily basis.  She has no support from anyone – her boyfriend is uninterested in her career, her parents don’t understand it, and her fellow detectives objectify and disrespect her on a daily basis.  She must fight to prove herself just because of her gender, and she does a great job with it, demonstrating how empathy with a victim can be a good thing.  Maeve becomes determined to find Rebecca’s killer, convinced that it is unrelated to the serial killing spree.

The novel is told from two points of view – Maeve’s and Louise’s.  Louise is Rebecca’s best friend, a cold, difficult woman on the surface.  She works with the police in order to find Rebecca’s killer, but it’s in the sections she narrates that the reader really sees into Louise.  It works well because she is so guarded on the surface, so it allows the reader to get to know Louise.

Moving at a brisk pace, The Burning never becomes dry or dull.  Casey deals with the two plotlines – Rebecca’s and the serial killer’s – well, and the two overlap and diverge as necessary to keep the novel flowing.  I appreciate that the author didn’t feel like she needed to include unnecessary twists and turns to keep the reader hooked; instead, she does it on the merit of the storytelling.  As a result, the book is straightforward, and while not necessarily predictable, it does follow a logical course.

I really enjoyed The Burning and look forward to revisiting Maeve in future novels.  She’s a great, well-developed main character, and while I do hope she finds her department easier to work with, that tension makes for great storytelling.  It’ll be interesting to see what Maeve is up to next.

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Comments

  1. I do like my mysteries to move at a brisk pace, so I’ll have to look for this series.

  2. I do like my mysteries to move at a brisk pace, so I’ll have to look for this series.

  3. I love it that there are no big twists and turns, but that the author maintains a sense of urgency throughout the plot. I don’t often dip into these types of books, but you’ve made me want to seek this one out when I can. Fantastic and enticing review today!

  4. I love it that there are no big twists and turns, but that the author maintains a sense of urgency throughout the plot. I don’t often dip into these types of books, but you’ve made me want to seek this one out when I can. Fantastic and enticing review today!

  5. yes, I liked this one a lot as well and am looking forward to future books in the series.

  6. yes, I liked this one a lot as well and am looking forward to future books in the series.

  7. This looks like an exciting novel. I am a fan of crime novels and this one seems to put a lot of reading and thinking into it. Maeve looks like a amazing character.

    Looking forward to read it asap.
    Thanks Krishna

  8. This looks like an exciting novel. I am a fan of crime novels and this one seems to put a lot of reading and thinking into it. Maeve looks like a amazing character.

    Looking forward to read it asap.
    Thanks Krishna

  9. I must say I enjoy the cover to this book!

  10. I must say I enjoy the cover to this book!

Trackbacks

  1. […] if you haven’t picked them up yet, I highly recommend you start with the first U.S. release, The Burning. This is a very enjoyable series of novels that crime fiction fans shouldn’t hesitate to read […]

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