Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: The Burning by Jane Casey (audio)

Title: The Burning   
Author: Jane Casey  
Series: Maeve Kerrigan, #1   
Narrator: Sarah Coomes  
Published: May 2012, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 14 hours 53 minutes  
Source: Personal copy via Audible 

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.

My thoughts: This is the first full-length novel in Jane Casey's Maeve Kerrigan series and I can tell you, I'm hooked! I have been on a thriller/mystery/crime kick lately and a foreign author kick to boot and this series fits both of those criteria. Because I am once again coming to a series late to the game, I happened to read the digital short story that came out after this was written but is really a prequel to the series. 

I loved the way this story is told - alternating between the points of view of Maeve and Louise, the friend of one of the victims of The Burning Man. Not only did this give us insight into Maeve and how she goes about doing her job, but it allowed us to get to know this one victim a bit more. But, as Maeve starts investigating, she begins to realize that things are just a slight bit off here. Is Rebecca really a victim of The Burning Man or is this the work of a copy cat?

The characters in this book are well-developed and engaging. Maeve is fun, witty and ambitious. She's the only female in a male-dominated field and constantly putting up with grief for being Irish. But, she's determined to move up in the ranks and works hard. Louise also proved to be an interesting character and I admit I looked forward to the parts that she narrated. I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was just something off about her. As the story progresses, each character sheds light on what really happened bit by bit, so that finally you get the full picture.

I'm looking forward to continuing with this series. I foresee Maeve becoming a favorite character of mine!!!

Audio Thoughts: Sarah Coomes is a new-to-me narrator and I thought she did a great job with this book. She was able to give each character their own unique voice and infuse just the right amount of empathy when needed. I'm quite excited to see that she narrates the whole series of Maeve Kerrigan books as I think I will be listening to them all! I love when the same narrator narrates the whole series - I like that continuity!!!

Books in this series:
      0.5  Left for Dead
      1.    The Burning
      2.    The Reckoning
      3.    The Last Girl
      4.    The Stranger You Know
      5.    The Kill



  1. That's a different approach, using the POV of a victim's friend. I hadn't heard of this series before but now I'm curious. Thanks!

  2. Oh, you have such a treat ahead of you. I'm current with series up through The Kill. Now the waiting. However, I did not know that there was a prequel of sorts. I'll have to check that out when I'm longing for a new Maeve book.

  3. Sounds like a great series! I hope you enjoy the other books as much as the first.


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