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 clouds her judgment, 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 The Burning, Jane Casey’s series debut, is a gripping introduction to one of the most engaging crime fiction characters in recent memory.
©2011 Jane Casey (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Avid reader and audiobook listener; I love paranormal lit, mysteries, historical fiction, romance, Brit-crime novels and thrillers.
This is not one of the better detective stories I have listened to recently. The plot is fairly predictable, nothing very interesting. It's a standard whodunnit. I do not like the deliberately misleading introduction of Louise (if you listen to/read it, you'll understand what I mean). It's immature and lacks imagination on the writer's part. There is nothing here that makes me want to continue listening if this should become a series.
What I enjoyed least about this book is the narrator. The chair she is sitting in often creaks noticeably in the background. She has a bad habit of sucking in air between her teeth. Sometimes it could be appropriate to the dialogue, but at other times it's just annoying. Her portrayal of male characters is very distracting as her voice becomes extremely harsh-sounding and nasal. Right around the beginning of the second half it is obvious that she has a rather bad head cold and at times her voice becomes so scratchy that it I found myself actually clearing MY throat! I wanted to yell at her to take a drink of water! When this happens, I don't understand why they don't just stop recording and wait a few days for the reader to get better instead of pushing them until they are hoarse. Things like this are distracting to me and really detract from the listening experience. A narrator should be unobtrusive, in my opinion.
I wish I had saved the credit, but it isn't the worst I've listened to. It's just....meh. Save your credit unless you're desperate for Britcrime and have listened to everything else.
I thought I'd have a tough time listening to the narrator at the start of the book but she turned out to be very skilled in changing from one voice to another and differentiating between characters.
I enjoyed Jane Casey's style of writing and the story kept me wanting to listen to more.
This is Casey’s debut novel involving Maeve Kerrigan, a bright and ambitious detective on the murder squad. She is willing to give all she has to the job, to bring murderers to justice. This puts her in conflict with her boy friend, Ian, and her parents, all of whom don’t want her to be a policewoman at all and think it’s too dangerous for her. She also has to fight against her male counterparts who make cracks about her being a woman, and who feel that her “compassion” gets in the way of her judgment. At present they are tracking down a serial killer, dubbed “the burning man” by the press because he has killed four women, savaged their looks unbelievably so as to disguise who they are, and then set them on fire. There is a fifth victim, who fits some, but not all of the MO of the burning man. Maeve doesn’t think it’s the same killer but a copycat killer, and she sets out to find the murderer while working also on the serial killer case. In some ways this was a compelling book. The character of Maeve reminds me of Paddy Sheehan, Denise Mina’s character, fighting for respect from her family and from her male colleagues. The use of alternating viewpoints in this novel didn’t work for me. The narrator did very well with all the characters, portraying them. But with the alternating voices, particularly if the character now speaking isn’t named, which happened a couple of times, even the best of narrators couldn’t have avoided some confusion for the reader. Having said this, I liked Maeve as a character and am willing to read more books in this series.
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English (as in Scotland Yard), Enjoyable, Feminine Perspective
One of the selling points for this series is of course the lead detective, Maeve Kerrigan, who is smart and fairly unflappable. She definitely has some commitment issues in her personal life that she's going to have to get over...I sometimes find myself losing patience with all the back and forth with her boyfriend/fellow police officer, Rob.
I appreciated Maeve's obvious empathy with the female victims.
A good listen if you enjoy British police procedurals with a psychological bent.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
A good solid listen even if you figured it out in the first 2 chapters. Excellent narration for an enjoyable story.
Jane Casey has done something difficult. . .successfully created a character who follows in the footsteps of Jane Tennison (Prime Suspect) and Anna Travis while establishing her own identity. The plots are clever, the dialogue smart and the narration superb. If you enjoy British police procedurals this is a wonderful series !
Yes. The book is long but it is never not interesting. I liked the characters.
Not totally. I figured out early on who it was (I have a knack for this) but what was interesting was the detail and how the crime was solved.
I definitely will listen to more of this author's books.
This mystery novel stands alone among the Jane Casey books in my library, both for the quality of it's writing and particularly for its narration. In the books I've heard, Sarah Coombs' performances vary widely - some are almost painful, as she grinds out strangled dialog between male characters. But her performance in The Burning is perfect. The plot is complicated and nuanced, the characters vibrant and interesting. I hope there will be more Casey like this one.
I'm really glad that I listened to this book in the Maeve Kerrigan series last because had I listened to it first, I don't think I would have listened to the other books in this series, which are VERY good.
I found Louise to be very annoying in this book and the last hour of the book which is mostly a letter from Louise simply needed to finish!
I don't think this book is critical to Maeve Kerrigan series if you are interested in reading or listening to these books. All of the other books in the series are much better and maybe that is because of the interaction of Josh Derwent. He's a bugger and I love him! He adds to the story.
I've been waffling between three and four stars but because the characters are strong and I think the series has a lot of potential, I ended up giving 4 stars. I listened to most of it on audio but did end up reading some of it in print and that may have played a part in my mixed feelings. While there was nothing specifically bad about the reader of the audio, for some reason it left me feeling lukewarm about the book. I found myself enjoying it much more when I was reading it in print.
Maeve is a strong, intelligent, likeable character. She works with an interesting mix of men, some good to work with, others not so much. Interestingly enough, despite the book's title, the "Burning Man" case is not the focus of the book. Early on, an apparent fifth victim is discovered but Maeve believes she may be the victim of a copycat. The bulk of the book is spent investigating that victim and solving her murder. I figured it out (which I think many readers will do, whether intentionally or not, I am not sure), but it was enjoyable to watch Maeve figure it out. The reader is privvy to much more insight and information than Maeve is because we get the benefit of chapters narrated by the victim's best friend. Those chapters add an interesting dimension to the book that would have been missing without them.
The Burning Man case itself was wrapped up a little too easily but it provided action and a bit of excitement to the book which is otherwise slower paced (but still utterly readable).
I look forward to giving Maeve another try but I will read it in print instead of listening to it on audio.
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