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Review: The Burning by Jane Casey

Title: The Burning
AuthorJane Casey
Year Published: 2010

Genre: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map): UK

FTC Disclosure: I received this book as a gift

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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 French

The 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, keen to make her mark on the murder task force. Her male colleagues believe Maeve’s empathy makes her weak, but the more she learns about the latest victim, Rebecca Haworth, from her grieving friends and family, the more determined Maeve becomes to bring her murderer to justice. But how do you catch a killer no one has seen when so much of the evidence has gone up in smoke?

Maeve’s frenetic hunt for a killer in Jane Casey’s gripping series debut will entrance even the most jaded suspense readers.

Review: I received this book from my Secret Santa who was excited when she saw it on my wish list. I'm glad I read it even though the beginning is slow.

The story is told in alternating chapters by Maeve, the police woman, and Louise, the victim's best friend. I like books with alternating narrators as I feel like we get more of the story that way. 

Maeve is a good main character who is smart, learning the ropes of police work and dealing with all male colleagues. We also get a bit of her personal life, which always improves a book. This is apparently the first book in a building series, so I am sure we'll get to know more about her as the books are published. The other characters are also good; a mixture of hateful arrogant people and those with whom I was able to sympathize.

The story is a good one even though, for me, it started out a bit slow. I'm not sure if that's the book's fault or if I was distracted because my daughter is home and we were so busy that I didn't really sit down for a proper reading session until the second half of the book. I like that I didn't figure out the details of the murderer. If you enjoy police novels and murder mysteries, then I'd recommend this one.

Challenges for which this counts: 
For the Pop Sugar challenge, this book is set in a city that has hosted the Olympics (London). And, I attended those Olympics in 2012.

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