Book Review: The Burning (by Jane Casey)

If you’ve ever seen “Wire in the Blood” or read the book series the show was based on, the Maeve Kerrigan series reminds me of those. Granted, I’ve only read this one, but I kept going back to those. Having said that, this one stood on its own as an entertaining novel, so while there are similarities, don’t let those dictate your decision to read…or not to read…this. 

The Burning (Maeve Kerrigan, #1)The Burning by Jane Casey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Someone recommended the Maeve Kerrigan series to me awhile back, but I already had a long reading list. So when this one came available for me on NetGalley, I only realized after I started it that it was the series a fellow reader had said was good.

In this first book of the series, Maeve Kerrigan is trying to find a serial killer dubbed The Burning Man, so named because he sets his victims on fire when he’s done with them. But something seems weird in the latest murder. Though it matches the MO of the killer, Kerrigan believes the circumstances are different. She sets out to solve the mystery behind the murder of a young woman with a strange drug problem, a possessive ex-boyfriend, and an idolizing best friend.

Though it takes extra effort for me to pick up a mystery/crime drama, I’m planning on reading more books in this series. I really enjoyed this story. The writing was good and not dense with legal jargon. I enjoyed the way the author told the story, using the points of view from several different characters in different chapters.

I solved the mystery quickly, but that didn’t mean the read wasn’t fun. It was still a good book that kept me engaged through to the reveal. I also enjoyed many of the side characters, and I’m interested to see how relationships develop in later books. This reminded me of a lighter version of the books that inspired the “Wire in the Blood” series, and while there wasn’t a great deal of gratuitous violence, there was enough disturbing imagery to deliver some reader chills.

I’m giving this four stars since the mystery was apparent and because I think there’s definitely room for the author to grow with the characters. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.

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