The Burning

The Burning - Jane Casey My copy was won through Goodreads!

Jane Casey's The Burning is a crime novel set in London during the reign of a particularly heinous serial killer. Known as the "Burning Man", he attacks women in the night, beating them and then setting their bodies on fire, destroying all evidence. Enter DC Maeve Kerrigan, a young detective assigned to the murder of Rebecca Haworth, who may or may not have fallen victim to the Burning Man. This novel follows Maeve as she tries to weed her way through Rebecca's past, determined to prove her murder was a little more personal than the assumption that she was the Burning Man's latest victim. The novel is also told from the point of view of Rebecca's shy and quiet best friend Louise North, whose always lived in her friend's shadow and by all accounts has loved and worshiped her since the day they met. Louise's story offers another account of Rebecca's past, as well as interesting insights into the current events taking place.

I enjoyed the book as a whole, but found it to be pretty slow to develop. Being told from two different points of views does help leave the reader guessing as to the conclusion, though. It's a classic whodunit with some modern flair. Set against the backdrop of London, it sometimes feels as though the detectives are following a modern-day Jack the Ripper- serial killer plaguing the streets of London at night, prowling on younger women and savagely killing them. I'd like the think this is the effect the author was going for.

One thing that really bothered me about the character development was the abrupt end to the budding romance between the main character and her colleague, Rob. Her attraction and affection toward him starts partially through the book, comes to a peak about three quarters through, and then... NOTHING. He's barely even mentioned in the last fifty pages! Although she explains that they could never be together because of their work relationship, the attraction would not just stop. However, Rob's appearances in the book seem to. Unfortunately, there's no closure to this particular side story.

I would like to see a series of crime novels featuring Maeve Kerrigan- she's a strong woman, a well-rounded character, and a brilliant detective. There is also a small group of great supporting characters who could be developed further later on, or left in the background to support and aid the hero. I give this book four out of five stars.