The Burning is the first installment in the Maeve Kerrigan series and is the second mystery book by Jane Casey. Maeve is a detective constable with the London Police who is struggling to prove herself in a mostly male dominated work force. She’s lucky enough to land on the Burning Man task force, which is investigating the murders of four young women whose dead bodies have been badly burned. When another body drops, Maeve senses something different about this particular victim, Rebecca Hayworth, and begins to delve into her life. Maeve meets everyone from her past including her best friend, a tightly wound lawyer named Louise and a potentially dangerous ex boyfriend. It’s up to Maeve to unravel the mystery of Rebecca’s life. And death.
What makes The Burning a compelling story is the depth of characters and the story structure. For the first installment of a series, it felt like walking into their already established world. All the characters from Maeve to her boyfriend’s friends felt like they had a personality and a back-story, which made for a wonderfully rich read. I also really enjoyed reading the story through the lens of two particular characters. It helps add more layers and depth because there is insight into the workings of their brain.
Perhaps the only real disappointment with the book was the fact that you could tell who the killer was almost right off the bat. There were some moments of doubt but it in end; it was just as suspected all along. Maybe it’s because this is the first installment for this character and the second mystery book for the writer. Maybe I’m just an avid fan of the murder/mystery genre. Regardless, this was a compelling page-turner of a book and I’m looking forward to the next installment.
– Amanda Bard