Monday, March 31, 2014

A Serial Killer and a Copycat

London is terrified by a serial killer who bludgeons young women to death and sets them on fire. The police, including the elite squad let by Superintendent Godly, is having trouble finding the killer when another murder is committed. On the surface it looks like the work of the Burning Man, but is it?

Rebecca Howorth, a privileged young woman is found dead in circumstances that look like the work of the Burning Man. To most of the squad, it appears that the serial killer has taken another victim, but DC Meave Kerrigan isn't sure. There is a superficial resemblance, but something is off. She feels her inferior position on the squad, being female and having an affinity for the psychological side of crime, so she's loath to say too much about her ideas.

The Burning starts slowly with Maeve unsure about her theory of the murder. Chapters alternate between Maeve's observations and thoughts and those of Louise, Rebecca Howorth's best friend. However, after the midpoint of the book, the action picks up. It ends as a very satisfying mystery.

In the beginning, I did not like the character of Maeve. She was too needy, wanting recognition by her boss, Superintendent Godly, on whom she had an obvious crush. She was extremely self-absorbed, always wondering how she was being observed by her colleagues, particularly Godley. After the midpoint, she gained confidence and the action speeded up. I ended up liking her.

The plot is engrossing, if you like who done-its. It wasn't hard to figure out that Maeve was right and it was a copycat killing, but the author had several suspects to choose from. I enjoyed the ending.

I recommend this book if you like a good mystery.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.