Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Burning - M.R.Hall

photo courtesy: goodreads.com
A treat for crime aficionados.

I remember picking up the first Jenny Cooper book called the The Coroner. This is my second one and am beginning to love Hall books.

The protaganist is a coroner, a very unlikely person (according to me)to be investigating crimes. If you thought coroners had a very boring job signing certificates, Mrs Cooper's character is an eye opener.

The plots are intricately woven and the main protaganist is also a flawed character - classic elements for a great whodunnit and to keep the series going.


Mrs Cooper is investigating a fire that has razed a family. Apparently, the father shot his kids before setting himself and the house ablaze. The mother is away working late at a pub and therefore escapes being killed. Jenny gets down to finding out what actually happened, when a past case of a girl disappearing without a trace surfaces in connection with this killing. Jenny is grappling with issues of her own, but soon gets down to the trail of what could have driven the father to commit the crime.

What works:

  • Loved the character of Jenny Cooper. She is piecing together a life torn apart by divorce and professional neglect. She is hoping to build a new life and career and it is not easy. However, that doesn't stop her from taking risks and asking difficult questions. She is real and the reader can empathise with her.
  • The plots are so good. As mentioned earlier, this is my second M R Hall and I have started liking the style and look forward to it. The stories are complicated yet seem simple once you get to the end. 
  • I also loved the Madeline Mccann reference. I enjoyed thinking this story as Hall's take on what could have happened to her.
What doesn't:
  • Nothing bad about it, really. It is gripping, enough to keep you awake and engaging enough to make you want to read more from the author.
Highly recommended.

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