Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Burning by Jane Casey

The Burning by Jane Casey is a British police procedural available in the US for the first time. The main character is a young, female, Irish cop. I was a little surprised at the prejudice she faces because she is Irish. It seems so clich├ęd in this kind of book, but maybe that’s really still the way it is in the English police force.

Most of the chapters are told by Maeve, the police officer, or Louise, the best friend of the victim of the murder Maeve is trying to solve. The two characters are quite different, and both points of view are interesting. There is some romance for Maeve – pretty typical for a police procedural – as well as insights into her relationship with the Chief Superintendent. An assortment of other officers on the force get introduced. There is nothing spectacular about the crime or the plot – I guessed who the killer was almost from the beginning, and I am hardly ever right about that – but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. It held my interest and was a quick, diverting, fun read.

All in all, The Burning is a fine example of its type. If you’ve read and enjoyed Jill McGown’s Inspector Lloyd and Judy Hill series or Jo Bannister’s Castlemere series, for example, you are likely to enjoy this book as well. I look forward to the next book in the series.

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