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Publisher's Summary

A noirish crime novel set in rural Arkansas from award-winning author C. B. McKenzie.

Bob Reynolds doesn't recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it. He's a newcomer to town, not entirely welcome and not entirely on good footing with the sheriff. So far he's kept his head down, mostly over the bar at the Crow's Nest. But he has interests other than drinking and spending his inheritance, including one that goes by the name Tammy Fay Smith and who may have caught the sheriff's eye as well.

Bob Reynolds would rather pretend he never saw the body, but when it disappears he begins to doubt what little he knew about this secretive town, one that seems to become more unwelcoming by the day. But he can't just forget the body, despite the advice he's given to do so and despite the evidence to suggest that he might be disappearing along with it.

Following his acclaimed, Edgar-nominated debut, C. B. McKenzie's Burn What Will Burn will appeal to fans of such literary crime authors as Daniel Woodrell, Tom Franklin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Nic Pizzolatto.

©2016 C. B. McKenzie (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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An Author to Check Out

This was not a bad book, but the story was not my style. I agree with another reviewer that this story is more "noir" -- not so much "mystery / thriller". McKenzie is an excellent writer with interesting, quirky characters, and I listened to the end. I will absolutely try out his next book.

My desire when I started this book was a continuation of "Bad Country" which was one of my favorite "thriller whodunnit" books last year. My expectations are not fair to McKenzie, but I loved the main character in his first book, Rodeo Grace Garnet.

The narrator did a great job as I felt I was in Arkansas among a diverse group of characters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Good book

After listening to C.B. McKenzie's first book, Bad Country, I was keeping an eye out for his next book. So when I saw Burn What Will Burn, I snapped it up.

I thought Burn What Will Burn was going to be mystery/thriller, but no -- it was more of a slightly-noire novel, and that's a good thing because mystery/thriller books tend to be formulaic, and BWWB was anything but formulaic.

Pros -- great prose, richly-construed characters, not predictable, excellent narration.
Cons -- I could have listened to a couple more hours of the book, but hey, when a story ends, it's over. ;-)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great story!

CB has become my favorite writer! CBM's characters are reliability colorful, quirky and engaging. And this story is no different with its oddly appealing main character. Great story with a twisty path to the finish.

The narration was excellent! He effortlessly gave life to the various characters and made the book a pleasure to hear. So engaging was the narration that I had to turn it off one day while driving. Usually I can switch focus pretty easily between book and critical driving moments, but I found myself driving distracted and that's no good for anyone!

In short, I highly recommend this book!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Boring

Good narration but the story is just eh. But if you need to pass time it will do

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Slow

I still do not know exactly who killed whom, except for Bob killing the sheriff's father. I did not like any of the characters enough to listen again. I may get the Kindle edition for clarification. I greatly enjoyed this author's first book, but am disappointed with this one. I hope he does not use the colostomy bag imagery in his next book.

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...and I LOVED Bad Country.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

So, I got immediately that the main character was an outsider in "Bohunk, USA" but unlike his first book where his protagonist was a self-imposed outsider to the contemporary Native American culture of Tucson, AZ, C.B. McKenzie's Bob Reynolds seems to be editorializing on a whole faction of rural Americans to the detriment of the novel. Clearly, we were meant to like the kid that fed his chickens--and no one else! I loved the IDEA of the fecklessness of the main character--a trust fund baby, poet on psych meds, diminutive in stature, sexually attracted to trouble, and so forth. The realization of these qualities, wrapped around a murky plot, didn't make for an interesting story. And everyone repeated his name ad nauseum like they were all mentally defective. (To be accurate, two of the characters were presented as having diminished mental capacity.) Yes, I loved Winter's Bone, but the protagonist in that story had drive and, dare I say it, gumption.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The bald spot. Then, after numerous references, the bald spot.

What aspect of Bon Shaw’s performance would you have changed?

If I was directing Mr. Shaw, I would have asked him to dial back the gruff growl in his voice a bit. It just seemed to underline that which did not need underlining.

Could you see Burn What Will Burn being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Oh sure, why not? Paul Giamatti comes to mind. Maybe a film would transcend the source material for once.

Any additional comments?

Haven't I said enough? Excuse me while I go down some meds.

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  • CC
  • 02-13-17

Kept getting lost!!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not sure, I totally kept getting lost. What was the story line. Too boring.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything from Darynda Jones :)

Which scene was your favorite?

None

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment!!

Any additional comments?

The story just dragged on but had nothing to catch and engage me as a reader. Great narration though.

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