The Burning Girl: A Novel

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9780060745264: The Burning Girl: A Novel

Once burned . . .

By rights, the horrific schoolyard crime should have been laid to rest twenty years ago. An alleged perpetrator confessed and now is growing old behind bars. But the case still haunts ex-Detective Chief Inspector Carol Chamberlain -- and she has asked DI Tom Thorne to uncover a disturbing truth that lies buried in the ashes.

A series of brutal gangland slayings -- each victim found with an X gouged into his back -- has Thorne plunging into the fires of a deadly turf war, as he attempts to tie together the threads of perplexing crimes separated by decades. But time is rapidly running out in his search for a copycat who revels in blood and pain -- because the body count keeps rising . . . and someone has carved an X into Tom Thorne's front door.

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Product Description:

Jessica Clarke was set alight twenty years ago. Her attacker is still in jail, so who is harassing Carol Chamberlain - the arresting officer - and claiming that he is the one who burned Jessica? Carol turns to DI Tom Thorne for help, but when an X is carved on his front door, Thorne knows that the embers of a long dead case are about to erupt into flames. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.

Review:

A contract killer is carving his way through North London's criminal underworld, leaving a bloody X on his victims' backs and taking Billy Ryan's gang down one thug at a time. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and his team know there's a turf war going on, but who's attempting to take over Ryan's racket isn't quite clear. When DCI Carol Chamberlin comes out of retirement to work on the cold case squad and asks Thorne for help solving an old murder, the past and present catch up in what looks like a continuation of a twenty-year-old gang war. And when someone carves an X in Thorne's door, a fuse is lit that stretches from the eponymous burning girl of the title--Chamberlin's old case--to the gang war that's lighting up the London sky. It's a clunky plot that relies on telling more than showing, slowing down the pace and makeing it difficult for the reader to care about any of the principals involved--either the victims or those who seek justic for them. Billingham has written better thrillers ( Lazybones, Scaredy Cat), but this one doesn't live up to their promises. --Jane Adams

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