Saturday 6 March 2021

The Burning Men - Will Shindler || Review


When a development in South London catches fire mid-construction, a close-knit team of fire fighters runs in to save a man spotted at the window.

They come out without a body. They quit the service. They plan never to speak to each other again.

Five years later one of them is set alight at his own wedding. Soon after, a second is found, nothing but a smoking corpse. It appears that someone knows what they did that night. What they chose over their duty. And there are still three men left to burn . . .

DI Alex Finn and his new partner DC Mattie Paulsen are an unlikely pairing, but they need to discover who is behind these killings before the next man faces the fire.

I picked this up at the back end of the summer last year and i remember thinking at the time, well this sounds like the sort of series i can start and love! 

It sat on my kindle for just shy of a year and let me tell you, after reading it - i am so frustrated at myself for not reading this sooner. 

When a building development catches fire, a group of close knit fire fighters happen to be the first on scene and spot a man waving in the window, heading in they don't expect to come out without a body but they do and over a short period of time they all leave the service and never speak to each other again. Something happened that night, and now its coming back to them.

Five years later one of the firemen is set alight at his own wedding hours after getting married, it seems quite personal but when a second one is also set alight - questions are been asked. What happened that night? Who knows but what we do know is there is still three men to go and something needs to be done.

Well - this was a knock out read for me, it was so thrilling. I loved getting to know DI Alex Finn, having suffered his own tragedy its debateable that he should even be investigating this but determined to focus he sets his mind to it as best he can. I loved watching the investigation unfold and piecing it all together as not all is as it seems.

I often struggle when there is lots of characters but this just worked - with the five firefighters, the team investigating and another investigation also underway i found it easy to separate the characters as they were written so clear cut. The pacing was fast and i could hardly believe how quickly i was flying through it but i needed answers and the drama unfolded in a way that you would just recover and the book would draw you back in.

I loved the flow of it, the writing style and like i mentioned the pacing all made it work for a brilliantly thrilling police read and i cannot wait to read the next in the series to discover more about Alex Finn.

Will Shindler has been a Broadcast Journalist for the BBC for over twenty-five years, spending a decade working in television drama as a scriptwriter on Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors. His time on these leading prime time dramas has given him a rich grounding in authentic police procedure, powerful character development and gripping narratives. He currently combines reading the news on BBC Radio London with writing crime novels and has previously worked as a television presenter for HTV, a sports reporter for BBC Radio Five Live, and one of the stadium presenters at the London Olympics. The Burning Men is his first novel.

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