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CR3 #70: The Burning by Jane Casey

(St. Martin's Minotaur press sent me this book for free through a Goodreads.com giveaway. Fear not, my opinions cannot be swayed by free books. Now, were they to send foodstuffs...)

Maeve Kerrigan is a detective in the London police department. She and the rest of her colleagues are on the hunt for a serial killer called "The Burning Man" who beats women to death and then sets them on fire in parks. The stress is building because there have been four deaths already and the murderer doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Then, late one night, another body turns up. Twenty-eight year old Rebecca Haworth is found and it looks like she's become the eighth victim. However, things don't add up for Maeve. Something about this is off, and she makes it her mission to figure out what's going on.

The story is told from both Maeve's perspective and that of Louise North, Rebecca's mousy best friend. Both women's stories entwine as they seek the truth about Rebecca's demise.

Maeve is a great character (though she can get a little whiny and defensive, being the only woman on her squad and constantly determined to prove herself to her superintendent) and I think a book series could easily be built around her. Although most of the story revolves around the murders, there is also a certain amount of personal issues going on for Maeve, and a minor romantic subplot. On the whole, I'd happily read another book about her. The other characters were also pretty distinct, particularly the people in Rebecca's life and those in the police department.The mystery was complicated, but I figured it out a ways before the end. However, I didn't mind because I was enjoying finding out what Maeve (and to some extent Louise) were going to do.

This book is nothing mind-blowing, but it was an enjoyable and well-written mystery. I hope Jane Casey will write more Maeve Kerrigan books, because I will read them.

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