Thursday, June 8, 2017

Putting Out the Fires

Detective Constable Kevin Walker and Detective Inspector Ellie March, work together again, to solve the arson that has terrorized the Leeds County community. Whenever you have a March and Walker mystery, you have the makings of a good crime novel.  Michael J. McCann's Burn Country is well researched with specific police procedures.

Unfortunately, I was put off in the first ten chapters of the story.  There are too many characters.  I was forced to take a pen and paper to write them all down. The positions and names drove me crazy: detective constable, detective sergeant, detective inspector, OFM investigator, OPP Identification Sergeant, Forensic Identification Unit, Identification Constable, Detachment Commander, Deputy Commissioner, Provincial Commander of Investigations and Organized Crime, Quick Response Team Mountie, Integrated National Security Enforcement, Regional Intelligence Coordinator.  And these are just titles.  The names attached to them made my list two pages long!

Fortunately, I became interested in Kevin Walker’s home life.  He’s a kind, reflective, honest, and intelligent investigator.  Ellie March is a machine, but an effective one.  She’s intelligent, experienced and focused.  Her personal life suffers from her detailed fixation, but she’s successful.  Walker’s priorities aren’t so singular.  They do make a good team.

The story develops around a murder/arson crime.  The victim is a senator and also an artist.  As a politician, he had enemies.  His political work involved sensitive material, so even the prime minister was concerned.  The man, Senator Darius Lane, also was an artist—a good one.  You could even say a successful artist, or he would have been if he weren’t an alcoholic.  The investigation went off in different directions due to the political intrigue, artistic jealousy, and personal grudges.  There were several good suspects.

The question though was the other fires.  Was this murder the same arsonist?  Was the fire a cover-up for Senator Lane’s murder?  Were all the crimes related? 

Walker worked the interrogations.  He intuited that he was looking for a serial arsonist and zeroed in on a young, emotionally fragile young man.  March handled and sorted out the various police and government interests.  It turned out that the senator’s murder was a cover-up and the murderer was not the serial arsonist.  But both criminals are brought to justice. 

The story is good.  The pace is perfect.  On the whole, I enjoyed Burn Country.  But there were too many characters.  I still do recommend the book.  I also recommend that the reader just skim over the names and not concern himself with them.  Get to the story. I received a free copy of Burn Country by Michael J. McCann from Tribute Books.  No other compensation was received and my review is my honest evaluation.

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Burn Country
 blog tour site:
Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $24.99 paperback
Murder Mystery
March 17, 2017
Plaid Raccoon Press

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Tribute Books said...

Faith, thanks for the review! :)

Michael J. McCann said...

Thanks very much for participating in the blog tour.

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