When LAPD detective Michael Gideon and his police-dog partner, Sirius, are assigned to the Special Cases Unit (SCU), Gideon knows their work lives will be anything but ordinary. SCU gets the cases no one else wants, the unusual and bizarre crimes that need special handling and special investigators. When a high-school student is found crucified in a local park, Gideon and Sirius must face up to the gruesome tableau and the motivation behind the murder. Complicating matters is a nightmare from their past, the scars of a terrible fire that nearly cost them their lives. The blaze left Gideon ravaged by PTSD - and yet somehow imbued him with an eerie prescience that gives him unusual insights into the crimes he investigates.
©2012 Alan Russell (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Perfect, just perfect. Horrific beginning, as LAPD cop Michael Gideon and his police dog, Sirius, are trapped in a burning forest in pursuit of a killer. The killer shoots at them, hits Sirius, but Gideon forces the killer to help him carry the wounded dog out through a wall of flame. They all survive, the killer is sentenced, and becomes an eerie presence in the book. Both Sirius and Gideon are badly burned, but both go on to become the protagonists of what will -- I hope - become a new police procedural series for Alan Russell.
Burning Man is one of those "just five minutes more" books you can't find a place to stop listening. The cases Gideon and his "partner" Sirius get are fascinating -- a newborn baby abandoned on church steps, a teen-aged bully crucified on a tree in the park. There's a romantic interest, but just enough to make Gideon a real person. I like how Sirius is included in everything -- he's not a "sleuth", like some of the cat books, but not since Carol Lea Benjamin created PI Rachel Alexander and her pit bull companion 'Dash' has a dog played such a significant -- dare I say 'meaty'? Sirius is addicted to In 'N Out Burgers -- role in a book, and done it so well. Nothing cutesy here, just a really smart police dog with a brave and interesting human.
The narration is excellent -- thank Gd for a narrator who can pronounce California place names correctly! Couldn't be better.
Can't praise this book enough -- more, more!!
Unafraid to read from any genre.
I liked the story, and in the hands of a good narrator, I think it had some nice potential. But unfortunately, Jeff Cummings was not the man for this job. Because of a serious lack of variety in voicing characters, he fails in setting the mood of tension and mystery this book demands. His delivery is flat and strangely pedantic for most of the minor characters. As a result, the story loses what little depth and texture it possessed, becoming as light and inconsequential as an hour of Hawaii Five O.
Everyone has to have that "Thing They Love!" This is how I find and keep up with mine!
The book was okay I guess I would have rather read the tic tock of Patterson but maybe it's not a fair comparison. Don't think I'll spend a credit on book 2. I'll wait for a sale..
I don't want to read the bestsellers. I want to read the best written.
In my experience novels that start a series are either brilliant or take a workman's path to establishing a protagonist's character and back story. I would count this book as an example of of the second type. I believe I would have enjoyed it more had the narrator Jeff Cummings been more skilled in giving each supporting character a unique voice. More significantly, his failure to properly render a woman's part made the appearance of the strong or complex females in the plot distracting and the whole suffered for it.
The narrator's voice bothered me enough that sometime it pulled me out of the story. He has a tendency to become nasal and made the protagonist sound snide. The protagonist has a wry, sarcastic sense of humor, but the narrator made it unbearable. And he made everything the love interest said sound like a come-on.
The opening scenes about the fire
I don't know enough about other narrators to make a knowledgeable suggestion
The story was interesting and well-paced. However, the narrator mispronounced several names of places and things making it hard to listen to at times.
I found the story to be interesting and this kept me engaged throughout. Though the dialogue, at times, bordered on "corny." Added to this the reader's falsetto voice for women was a distraction throughout.
Reading books while riding on the back of Pegasus' wings
Not bad series. Yes. I loved interaction with Sirius.
Creepy Ellis Haines, the serial killer. Who reminds me of Hannibal Lecter, the weather man version. Haines called and sings to Gideon on his house phone.
He did a great job of making me feel Michael Gideon as a cop voice. But is very bad in any female characters! Mr. Cummings did try his best. Would be better to have a 2nd female narrated.
Great story. I hope there will be more in this series.
The base story, a man struggling to recover from a significant trama is clouded by hravy handed snappy dialogues anf narrative.
The evolution of the character and his relationship with his dog.
The reading could have been much better. Always heard the Long island in the voice even when changing accents.
The Rose brick was hit my heart.
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