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.
About the Author
JANE CASEY was born and raised in Dublin. A graduate of Oxford with a M. Phil from Trinity College, Dublin, she lives in London where she works as an editor. This is her second novel.
JANE CASEY is the author of the Maeve Kerrigan novels (Let the Dead Speak, After the Fire) and the Jess Tennant Mysteries (Hide and Seek, Bet Your Life). A graduate of Oxford she also has received a M. Phil from Trinity College, Dublin. Born and raised in Dublin, she lives in London where she works as an editor.
Read an Excerpt
By Jane Casey
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2012 Jane Casey
All rights reserved.
I didn't know where I was or what I was doing when the phone rang; I didn't even know that it was the phone that had woken me. I came up from miles below the surface and opened an eye as one part of my brain tried to work out what had disturbed me and another part focused on how to make the noise stop. It resolved into a low rattle that was my phone vibrating crossly on the bedside table along with the high-pitched shrill of the most annoying ring tone I could have chosen. Fumbling for it in the dark, I sideswiped it and managed to push it off the table. It fell face down in the carpet, still ringing, the sound now slightly muffled. I'd winged it but not killed it. The bonus was that now it was a little bit harder to reach. I leaned out of bed at a dangerous angle, raking the carpet with my fingers, trying to get to it.
Most of the nuance was lost in the pillow, but I interpreted Ian's comment as 'answer the fucking phone', which was pretty much what I was thinking myself. Along with what time is it? and what does this eejit want?
I got it at last and stabbed at the buttons until it stopped making a noise, trying to read the screen. LANGTON. Rob. I squinted at the time and read 03.27. Half past three in the morning and Detective Constable Rob Langton was calling me. I was waking up now, my brain starting to crank into gear, but my mouth hadn't caught up with the change of plans and was still slack with sleep. When I said hello, it sounded slurred, as if I'd been drinking for the last — I worked it out — three and a half hours instead of having some much-needed shut-eye. Three and a half hours. That made six hours of sleep in the last forty-eight. I squeezed my eyes closed and wished I hadn't added it up. Somehow, knowing the numbers made me feel worse.
'Did I wake you, Kerrigan?' I would have recognised the Manchester twang anywhere.
'You know you did. What do you want?'
I asked, but I already knew. There were only two reasons why Rob Langton would be ringing me at that hour of the morning sounding excited. One: there was another body. Two: they'd caught the killer. Either way, I wasn't going back to sleep any time soon.
'No way.' I sat up in bed and put the light on, ignoring a groan from beside me and squinting as I tried to concentrate. 'Where? How?'
'We had a bit of help. Nice young lady out on the beers with a bladed article didn't take kindly to being next on the Burning Man's list.'
'He's not dead.' My heart was pounding. If he was dead, that was it. No answers. No trial.
'Nah, he's clinging on. He's in hospital. In surgery, at the minute. Two stab wounds to the abdomen; she lacerated his bowel.'
'Yeah, couldn't happen to a nicer person.'
'Anyone we know?' I rubbed my eyes with the heel of my hand and tried not to yawn.
'Not known at all. Never been arrested before, and he hadn't come up in this enquiry.'
I sighed. That wasn't great news. We hadn't even been close to catching him, then. We'd just been lucky. Though the girl had been luckier still. I wasn't a fan of people wandering around carrying knives, but I'd seen enough dead women in the past few weeks to think it wasn't such a bad idea.
'His name's Vic Blackstaff. He had all his documents on him — driver's licence, work ID. He's in his mid-fifties, does shift work for a call centre in Epsom. Lives in Peckham. Drives through south- west London to get home in the small hours of the morning. Plenty of opportunity.'
'Older than we'd thought,' I commented. 'Shift work fits, though. Where did it happen?'
'That's quite a long way out of the usual area. Up to now he's stuck to Kennington, Stockwell — nowhere as far out as Richmond.' I was frowning.
'Yeah, but his usual area is flooded with uniforms. Makes sense that he would be hunting elsewhere, doesn't it?' Rob sounded confident and I gave a mental shrug; who was I to second-guess a serial killer?
'They're going through his car at the moment,' Rob went on. 'We're waiting at the hospital.'
'Me and the boss. And DI Judd, unfortunately. We'll be interviewing the young lady as soon as the doctors tell us we can talk to her. She's still being checked out.'
'How is she? Is she —'
I didn't want to fill in the rest of the sentence. Is she going to make it? Is she badly beaten? Is she burned? How far had he got?
'She's fine. Shaken up. Nothing wrong with her but we haven't been allowed in to see her yet. She says she's not ready.' Rob sounded impatient, which nettled me. Why shouldn't she take her time before speaking to the police? She'd had a shock. What she needed was a sympathetic ear. And I was the ideal person to provide it. Energy flooded through my limbs, adrenalin pushing fatigue into a corner, to be ignored until I had time to give in to it again. Three hours' sleep was plenty. I was already out of bed, making for the door, stumbling on rubbery legs that ached as if I'd run a marathon the day before.
'Well, I'll be there soon. Maybe they'll let me talk to her.' The perks of being the only woman in Superintendent Godley's inner circle were not legion, but now and then it came in handy.
'Why doesn't that surprise me? Nought to sixty in ten minutes, that's you.'
'That's why you phoned me, isn't it?' I was in the bathroom now, and debated whether I could risk peeing while on the phone. He'd hear. I'd have to wait.
'I knew you'd want to be here.' That was only half the story; it suited them all for me to be there. I could hear Rob grinning; he was a smug git sometimes, but I could forgive him, because when all was said and done, I did want to be there, and without a call from him, I wouldn't have known a thing about it until I'd seen it on the news.
'I'll be there in half an hour,' I said before I'd thought about it properly. It was a long way from Primrose Hill to Kingston and I desperately needed a shower. My hair was sticking to my head. There was no way I was leaving with dirty hair. Not again. 'Make that forty minutes.'
'We're in the ICU. Phones off, so ring the hospital if you need us.'
I flicked the water on before going to the loo, but even so, it wasn't even close to warm enough when I forced myself to step into the slate- lined shower area, wincing as the spray hit my goose-pimpled skin. The showerhead was the size of a dinner plate and pumped out rain-forest levels of water; it was just a shame that it never got hot enough for me. Style over substance, as usual. But it wasn't my flat so I couldn't really complain. I was sharing it, officially, but I felt more like a guest. And not necessarily a welcome one, at times.
I had balled my hands together under my chin, hugging body heat to myself, and it was an effort to unknot my fingers and reach for the shampoo once the water started to approach tepidity. Haste made me fumble the shampoo cap and I swore as I heard it skitter around the sloping tiles that led to the drain. I left it there, hearing my mother's voice in my head, sure, it can't fall any further ... Two minutes later, I stepped on it and had to muffle a yelp in the crook of my elbow as a sharp edge dug into the arch of my foot. Swearing was a help. I swore. A lot.
I scrubbed at my scalp until the muscles in my forearms complained and rinsed my hair for as long as I could allow myself to, eyes closed against the lather that slid down my face. Bliss to be clean again, joy to know that the case was coming to an end. I wanted to stay in there for ever with my eyes closed; I wanted to sleep — how I wanted to sleep. But I couldn't. I had to get going. And by the time I got out of the shower, I was what passed for awake these days.
Back in the bedroom, I tried to be quiet, but I couldn't help rattling the hangers in the wardrobe when I was taking out a suit. I heard stirring behind me in the bed and bit my lip.
I wouldn't have spoken to Ian if he hadn't spoken to me; that was the rule I observed about getting up and leaving in the middle of the night. Not that I was sure he'd ever noticed there was a rule.
'Going to meet a murderer.'
That earned me an opened eye. 'You got him. Well done.'
'It wasn't exactly all my own work, but thanks.'
He rolled over onto his back and threw an arm over his face, shielding his eyes from the light. He was in his natural position now, hogging the middle of the bed. I suppressed the impulse to push him back onto his own side and hauled the sheet up instead, tucking him in. Look, I care about you. See how thoughtful I am.
'Mmm,' was the response. He was on his way back to sleep. I slipped the dry-cleaner's bag off my suit and balled it up, squashing it into the bin. I should have taken it off sooner. The suit smelled of chemicals and I wrinkled my nose, reluctant to put it on. The forecast was for a cold day, and rain. I thought longingly of jeans tucked into boots, of chunky jumpers and long knitted scarves. God, dressing like a grown-up was a pain.
I sat on the edge of the bed to deal with my tights, coaxing them over damp skin, wary of ripping them. My hair dripped onto my shoulders, cold water running down my back. I hadn't got time for this. I hadn't got time for immaculate. Slowly, infinitely slowly, I worked the material up over my thighs and stood to haul the tights the rest of the way. It was not the most elegant moment of getting dressed, and I wasn't pleased to turn and find Ian staring at me, an unreadable expression on his face.
'So is this it?'
'What do you mean?' I slipped on a shirt, then stepped into my skirt, zipping it up quickly and smoothing it over my hips. That was better. More dignified. The waistband was loose, I noticed, the skirt hanging from my hips rather than my waist. It took the hem from on the knee to over it, from flattering to frump. I needed to eat more. I needed to rest.
'I mean is this the end of it? Are you going to be around more?'
'Probably. Not for a little while — we've got to sort out the paperwork and get the case ready for the CPS. But after that, yeah.'
If there isn't another serial killer waiting to take over from where the Burning Man left off. If nothing else goes wrong between now and Christmas. If all the criminals in London take the rest of the year off.
I was looking for shoes, my medium-heeled courts that didn't so much as nod to fashion but hey, I could wear them from now until midnight without a twinge of complaint from my feet. I could even run in them if I had to. One was in the corner of the room, where I'd kicked it off. The other I eventually found under the bed, and had to sprawl inelegantly to retrieve it.
'I hate the way they whistle and you come running.' He sounded wide awake now, and cross. My heart sank.
'It's my job.'
'Oh, it's your job. Sorry. I didn't realise.'
'Don't do this now,' I said, stabbing my feet into my shoes and grabbing my towel. 'I've got to go. It's important and you know it.'
He'd sat up, leaning on one elbow, blue eyes hostile under thick eyebrows, his brown hair uncharacteristically untidy. 'What I know is that I haven't seen you for weeks. What I know is that I'll be ringing up Camilla to say you can't come to supper after all, and is that OK, and I'm really sorry if it's mucked up her seating arrangement. What I know is that your job always seems to come first.'
I let him rant, towelling most of the water out of my hair and then dragging a comb through it, trying to get it into some sort of order. No time to dry it; it would dry on the way to the hospital. A few wisps, a lighter brown than the rest, were already curling around my face.
'Camilla works in an art gallery. She has nothing to do all day but rearrange the seating plan for her little dinner parties. It'll be a challenge for her.'
He flopped back down and stared at the ceiling. 'You always do that.'
'What?' I shouldn't have asked.
'Put down my friends because their jobs aren't as important or as worthwhile as yours.'
'For God's sake ...'
'Not everyone wants to save the world, Maeve.'
'Yeah, it's just as important to make it look nice,' I snapped, and regretted it as soon as I'd said it. Camilla was sweet, sincere, a wide-eyed innocent that brought out the protective instinct in everyone who knew her, including me. Usually. The sharpness in my voice had been partly exhaustion and partly guilt; I had been thinking of skipping the dinner party she was throwing. It wasn't that I didn't like Ian's friends — it was just that I couldn't stand the questions. Any interesting cases lately? Why haven't you caught the Burning Man yet? What's the most hideous thing you've ever seen on duty? Do you wish they still had capital punishment? Can you sort out this speeding ticket for me? It was tedious and predictable and I found it acutely embarrassing to represent the Metropolitan Police to Ian's friends. I was just one person. And traffic tickets were definitely outside my purview.
'Aren't you in a hurry?'
I checked my watch. 'Yes. Let's talk about this later, OK?'
I wanted to point out that I hadn't brought it up in the first place. Instead, I leaned across the bed and planted a kiss on the bit of Ian's chin I could reach easily. There was no response. With a sigh, I headed to the kitchen to pick up a banana, then grabbed my bag and my coat and ran down the stairs. I closed the front door with the key in the lock so I didn't wake the neighbours, though if they'd slept through my shower and relationship issues, they probably wouldn't notice the door banging. If they were at home, and not on a pre-Christmas shopping trip to New York or a winter break in the Bahamas.
I stopped for a second on the doorstep, head down, my mind whirling.
'What am I doing? What the hell am I doing?'
I hadn't meant to say it out loud, and I wasn't talking about work. I could handle work. My boyfriend was another matter. We'd been together for eight months, lived together for six, and from the moment I'd moved into Ian's place, the fighting had started. I'd fallen for a big smile, broad shoulders and a job that had nothing to do with crime. He'd told me he liked the dynamic, busy detective with long legs and no ulterior motives. I wasn't looking for a husband who could be the father to my children — yet. My eyes didn't light up with pound signs when I heard he was in banking. It was all so easy. We saw one another when we could, snatched hours in bed at his place or mine, managed dinner together every so often and when my lease came up for renewal, Ian had taken a chance, the sort of gamble that had made him rich, and invited me to move in with him in his ludicrously over-designed, expensive flat in Primrose Hill. It hadn't been a good idea. It had been a disaster. And I wasn't sure how to get out of it. After two months, we hadn't known one another, except in the biblical sense. We hadn't worked out what we had in common, or how we might spend long winter afternoons when the weather made going out an unappealing prospect. As it turned out, we stayed in bed or we fought. There was no middle ground. I started to stay longer at work, left earlier in the morning, popped into the nick over the weekend even if I wasn't on duty. The only silver lining was the overtime pay.
The night air was harsh and I shivered as I hurried down the road, my hair cold against my neck. I was glad of the coat Ian had bought me, full-length and caramel-coloured in fine wool that was really too nice for hacking about crime scenes, but he had insisted on it. Generosity was not one of his shortcomings — he was open-handed to a fault. Even allowing for the extra overtime cash, there was no way I could compete. We weren't equals, couldn't pretend to be. It was no way to live.
When I got to my car, parked where I could find a space the night before, which was not particularly close to the flat, I stopped for a second to fill my lungs with sharp-edged air and centre myself, letting the silence fill my mind. That was the idea, anyway. Somewhere an engine revved as a neighbour drove away; traffic noise was building already, even at that early hour. And I needed to be elsewhere. Enough of the Zen contemplation. I got into the car and got going.
Excerpted from The Burning by Jane Casey. Copyright © 2012 Jane Casey. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book does not concentrate on the serial-killer cases but on another burn murder victim. Reader's involvement in the characters' lives are made simple by devoting chapters to the individual named characters while having continuity to the novel. There is also some light humor in the bantering among Maeve's fellow cops and also between her and her partners. The book turned out to more of a psychological thriller than just a police procedural or a descriptive murder mystery. I am glad that Jane Casey's books will be coming to the US. It will be interesting to see how Maeve's character will develop in future books.
I was worried about the start of this book but the more I read the more I didn't want to put it down. Wonderful read.
First book in this series of British Crime fiction. A woman is found dead and burned and the police think it's the work of a serial killer on the loose....but is she? Each chapter is written first person by different characters. Not too suspenseful, but fun to read.
Consistently well written throughout. I was hoping for more of a whodunnit than a thriller, but I hung in there for the characters, who are have tremendous depth that is revealed layer by layer. A satisfying read.
Mostly enjoyed this, although I am not much on pushy, excessively competitive, young cops as heroines. Perhaps she will improve as she (and this series) matures. This book, however, is well worth reading, with a tight, well-paced plot and an interesting assortment of characters.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was not the psychological thriller I expected. The pace is fairly slow and is more of a whodunit, police procedural read. That in itself wouldn't have been a disappointment, had it better captured my attention. I did like Maeve and can easily see her character carrying a series. I also liked the character of Rob, though I wish he'd been more developed. His POV didn't enter the story until almost 3/4 through. The serial killer is a very small part of the story and, for the most part, is not the case being worked. When the killer is found, it's far too easy. The other case didn't have enough twists to leave any doubt for me as to who the real killer was. The revelation felt anticlimactic. I enjoyed the writing style, though I don't think the plot lived up to its description or its potential.
Once i had started this i didnt want to stop! Casey keeps you engaged and creates dynamic characters the reader can understand. She makes the reader feel as if they are "along for the ride!"
I love a good mystery! This was certainly an interesting story but there simply were too many twists and turns that didn't seem quite believable. This is the first book in the Maeve Kerrigan series and I will try book #2 when it comes out.
I'm a huge fan of British mysteries and was delighted to find another series to try. The personalities are perhaps not as well delineated as those in Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series, but then again, I've been reading those for so long, I feel like I am friends with the characters. I'm looking forward to book #2 and getting to know Maeve better.
This book was very good. A real "page-turner". I only get to read for about 30 minutes a day, and it was hard to stop each time. Very suspenseful, though a different writing style than I'm used to.
"You can change everything about yourself - the way you look, the way you talk, the way you behave - but you can't escape what you truly are..." so says Louise North, one of the multi-faceted characters in Jane Casey's The Burning. I remember reading a review before starting this book that indicated it was less about the serial killings taking place in London parks for whom the book is named, and I found that to be true. However, it matters little...I enjoyed this book immensely. It was a compelling read with good characters and more than a few twists. I thought the opening chapter was fabulous, and I appreciated the way Casey alternated chapters between Maeve, the young DC trying to make a name for herself, and Louise, best friend of Rebecca, the supposed latest victim of the Burning Man. I loved how we went back into Rebecca's past in an attempt to find her murderer, and how Casey does the same for Louise. Maeve is a great character who reminded me of a British Kinsey Milhone, a ringing endorsement indeed!
Jane Casey does an excellent job with this book. There are 2 story lines to follow though the one that Jane made me think would be front and center sort of drops to the background in my mind when the other one begins to be investigated. Her characters are well developed and strong and the plot keeps you captivated.
4.0 out of 5 stars - Solid investigative police proceduralThe Burning Man is the name given by the press to the killer who has attacked and beat four women to death before setting them on fire in various places in the city of London. Maeve Kerrigan, a detective constable and one of the few women on the team, is called to the scene of a fifth victim. As she begins to delve into the crime and interview friends and relatives, some questions about this particular murdered woman, Rebecca Haworth -- make Maeve wonder if Rebecca is really the victim of a copycat killer instead.The narrative is told in the alternating voices of Louise, Rebecca's best friend, and Detective Kerrigan. Although the ending is somewhat predictable, the story is good and the characters are well developed. It's not a typical fast paced suspense thriller but more a well plotted and deliberate by the book report of the investigation into the crimes. I understand this is the debut of a new series and I will most likely look for the next one when it comes out.
I basically enjoyed this mystery within a mystery. The basic plot finds a young female murder detective, Maeve Kerrigan, investigating the murder of a young woman named Rebecca, whose murder, on the surface, appears to be the work of a serial killer who burns the bodies of their victims in deserted parks. As Maeve struggles to gain credibility as a young female on the murder team, she begins to notice things about Rebecca's murder that point to a killer that might have had a more personal motivation.There were some plot points that were a little contrived, and I have to say that the basic structure of the narrative, with alternating points of view between Maeve Kerrigan and Louise, Rebecca's purported best friend, gave me a HUGE clue as to who is ultimately responsible for the death of Rebecca. I don't normally mind a shifting point of view, but, in a mystery I think it needs to be handled very subtly or you can inadvertently give away more than the surface narrative might otherwise, which happened for me as I was reading it.I think the characters were well developed and the writing flowed nicely. Maeve wasn't too perfect, and she had plenty of her own frustrations and opinions, and her own professional woes and personal crises to distract her during her investigation. Louise was a bit card board, and I'm not so sure how true her motivations for murder ring with me, but, I didn't find it so unbelievable as to ruin my enjoyment of an otherwise fun, and engaging read.I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy watching or reading modern police procedurals, especially those of with a UK bend, like Tana French or the Prime Suspect series.
An interesting book, but not quite the sum of its parts. A hunt for a brutal serial killer leads to a hunt for a different perp, a copy cat murderer. The story is told from two points of view although a third pops up late in the story appearing like a movie trailer for coming attractions. If this sounds confusing, you are right. DC Maeve Kerrigan, is an appealing character, and proves to be the most engaging and clever. It is her observation that sets the Met on the tale of two killers, but the book begins with the POV of Kelley Staples, who is never mentioned again except in an epilogue of newspaper articles. Louise North, a major player comes third and and her subsequent chapters evolve slowly, paralleling Maeve's determined and dogged review of the cases. Needed a bit more editing for me.
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.
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I found it very hard to get into at first. The dysfunctional nature of the police interactions really bothered me. The female police officer (Maeve) didn't seem to be able to approach these issues with any positive outlook and instead seemed to behave in ways that increased the tension with fellow officers. Her difficulty with one officer in particular ((DI Judd) was not sufficiently fleshed out. Since women know that they have to be proactive, especially in male-dominated jobs, I found this character to be very unsatisfying. This was probably what the author intended but I found it hard to put up with.As the book progressed, however, the plot seemed to even out and there was less anxiety apparent in the writing. The initial serial killer activity wound down very quickly and the book changed its personality into a more of a suspense novel than a thriller. The ending was satisfying but in a way that I thought was somewhat dull and not consistent with the previous style.
There is a serial killer roaming the streets killing young women and then burning their bodies. The Burning begins with the murder of yet another young woman, Rebecca. Maeve Kerrigan, a detective working in England with Irish roots, has taken abuse from her fellow detectives because of her heritage and her gender is given the task of getting into the head of Rebecca to find out who she was, why she was murdered, and if she truly was a victim of The Burning Man. Jane Casey tells the story via dueling narrative. We follow Maeve as she goes about her investigation, but we are also privy to the inner thoughts and outward actions of Louise, Rebecca's "best friend." The story is well written and compelling, even after I had figured out "whodunit" I did still want to see how it played out. I wanted to read The Burning because Jane Casey was compared to Tana French - it's not quite as good (I love Tana French it would have taken a great deal to compare), but while you're waiting for Tana French's next book this will help tide you over.
When I first started this book, I didn't think i was going to like it. But after a couple chapters, I was hooked. Maeve Kerrigan has two strikes against her in the London police force: she is a woman and she is Irish. But she loves being a cop and she is determined not to be pushed out of the investigation into The Burning Man, a London serial killer who sets his victims on fire. The latest victim is Rebecca Haworth. But there are discrepancies and her boss thinks it might be a copycat and assigns Maeve to investigate. She is upset at being pushed out of the serial killer investigation but then becomes convinced there is another killer at work and she won't quit until she catches him. The author alternates the chapters between Maeve and Louise North, Rebecca's best friend, keeping the reader guessing if Louise knows something or is going to be the next victim.The story was a fast-paced, well-crafted thriller that I had a hard time putting down at night. I thought I knew who the killer was early on, but then I would keep doubting myself.I hope the author writes another book with Kerrigan, I think she would be great in a series.I highly recommend this book.
I really enjoyed this book! The characterization is fabulous. I really like Maeve and Rob and can't wait to read more cases with them. The whodunit is easy to figure out, but I felt that it didn't impede the story at all. This author has been compared to Tana French and I agree with the assessment. This one kept me turning pages, and was a fascinating police procedural. Thanks LibraryThing!
--"When her voice had fallen silent forever." The Burning by Jane Casey is a crime novel about a serial killer identified as the Burning Man by the media. He has beaten four women to death and sets their bodies on fire and watches them burn. Rebecca Haworth is believed to be the fifth victim of this serial killer. But for detective Meave Kerrigan, something about her death is not like the others. Is she really a fifth victim or is there a copy cat killer? Meave will do whatever it takes, even putting herself in harms way, in order to find the Burning Man and find out what really happened to Rebecca. Wow, this was a really good book. From the start Jane draws readers in. I wanted to know right from the beginning what would happen next. I really liked Jane's writing and how she draws her readers in. Meave was a very likable character. I loved the way Jane decides to wrap things up at the end with the "note". (I don't want to give to much away, so I wont go further.) I also liked how she used newspaper articles to bring everything up to date. I chose to start with that quote from the book, because unfortunately it fits all the victims, Rebecca the most. This is definitely a must read, especially for people who love crime novels. I will for sure read more by Jane.
Early reviewer win.The cover compares Ms. Casey to Tana French and Sophie Hannah, both of whom I love. And it is a well-deserved comparison.Maeve's situation in Operation Mandrake--a task force trying to catch a serial killer who burns his victims--is not an enviable one. She's the only woman in working with a bunch of crude men (rather Prime Suspect-ish). Although born in England, she's obviously of Irish descent, which is also a source of harassment. But she puts up with it because she's good at her job and she knows it. So she's a bit nonplussed when she's assigned to a burning case that may be a copycat of The Burning Man.The story is told in chapters alternating between Maeve and Lousie North, best friend of the murder victim in the case Maeve is investigating, building the tension as the chapters flip back and forth. The resolution of the mystery comes as no surprise, but I don't think it was meant to be a shocking revelation. The tension builds in waiting to see how the mystery will be solved by the characters.I definitely want more Maeve Kerrigan!
I liked 'The Burning'. It was more of a "talky" mystery than a suspense filled one for me. Since I figured out the murderer quickly, I would say that is was very predictable. I hope this review doesn't make the books seem boring because it is not! My interest in the story grew as the pages turned. I loved the "Maeve" character, who was the detective assigned to this case. I identified with her thoughts and personality. I was little weird for me because when a situation came up, I stopped and thought about what I would do and it and then read that Maeve would do the samething. No kidding! I think that we would even wear the same type of comfortable clothes on off days. Maeve is ambitious, witty, carefully but brave and very focused on her work. Her mother nagged her to get married and change to a safer occupation.I also love the fully developed character of Louise. I enjoyed swinging back and forth with the chapters focused on Maeve and the Louise. Reading about her early childhood gave more depth to this character. Since I like larger fonts (must be an age thing) The chapters concerning Louise were in restful font size. There were other characters, like Rob, her love interest. I was charmed by his honesty and hope that he appears in later books. I also liked learning more about the traditions at Oxford, where some of the interviews take place. I missed the exciting thrills, twists and turns of some mystery books but I still think this one is worth reading for the characters alone and would love to read more by the author, Jane Casey.I recommend this book to people who love fully developed characters, no matter what the genre. I received this book from GoodReads but that did not influence my review.
Enjoyable and engrossing British detective mystery. A little longer than necessary but a good start for the series. I suspect this series/author will improve with time and look forward to the next.
It's always a good sign when the first thing you do after finishing a book is go look for others by the same author. Which is exactly what I did after finishing The Burning, buying The Reckoning while on vacation in Europe, where it's already out. Maeve Kerrigan is a well-drawn protagonist: a bit reckless, commitment-phobic, and quick to anger, she's also clever, funny, and very easy to relate to. Her squabbles with coworkers, her relationship with her mother, and her ambitions at work all ring very true. And she's thrust into the middle of a fascinating case that quickly turns from run-of-the-mill procedural to psychological thriller. If there's one complaint I have about the book, it's that I figured out who the killer was pretty quickly. It didn't temper my enjoyment of the book at all, which tells you how much I liked it.