Monday, 30 March 2015

The Burning Man by Christopher Fowler

Bryant & May (12)

Review by The Mole

After yet another banking scandal there are rioters on the streets of London. It's Halloween and a man sleeping rough on the streets is burned to death when he is caught in the crossfire between police and rioters... except close examination of CCTV footage raises doubts as to the accuracy of this explanation.

The next day another man dies horrifically, and once again fire is involved but in a totally different form. Using his network of eccentrics, psychics and cranks, Bryant deduces that this will not stop but that there will be one death a day and the race is on to catch the culprit.

As in all good novels there is more than just one theme going on and here we witness interdepartmental wrangling, private lives being devastated, and the onset of a form of Alzheimer's disease in Bryant. Amidst all of this is humour. Not slapstick belly laughs - but one line short laughs that don't diminish the story but greatly enhance the reader's enjoyment.

Previously I have read and reviewed "The Water Room" and "The Invisible Code", both of which I enjoyed immensely but this one is even better still. The only bit I struggled with was when Bryant described this case as his Swan Song and turned his back on May... PLEASE don't do this to us poor readers - he has to able to keep order in London for a few more books! Please?

Publisher - Doubleday
Genre - adult fiction,  crime mystery

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