When I mentioned on my personal blog that I was reading Ted Dekker and Erin Healy’s novel Burn, I received a surprised email from a friend and fellow blogger. Seems my friend knows something of Dekker’s novels which are by any accounts unusual to say the least, and she was curious about my like or dislike of his work. I have to say, some of his novels I have loved, The Circle Trilogy to name three. Some of his novels, well, weren’t exactly my favorites. Burn, however, is a book I both enjoyed and recommend to you.
From the publisher’s description:
The past Janeal thought had burned away is rising from the ashes.
Years ago, the Gypsy Kumpania where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend–at serious risk to her own life–or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered . . .
But the past is quickly coming back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There’s a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there’s an even greater debt she must face–and if the chaff isn’t burned from her own heart, it will consume her.
For a thriller to be a thriller, supernatural or no, the reader must be not only caught up in the action and suspense but she must also be uncertain of how it will end, that is, right up until the end. Few things are as disappointing to this reader than figuring it all out well before she was supposed to. Burn is an interesting thrill ride because rather than shocking us with some big Aha! moment, Dekker and Healy carefully reveal the strange and mysterious conflict that is the heart of the novel’s premise, at first in cautious hints but later in outright storytelling, informing the reader well before the characters themselves understand. Thus the tension comes from wondering how it will all be resolved, a tension that swells to an exciting and gripping conclusion.
I read somewhere that Burn and the authors’ first collaboration, Kiss (which I have not read), represent a kinder, gentler (less unusual?) Ted Dekker and I think there’s some truth in that. Suspense, yes. Supernatural elements, yes. Thriller, yes. Hard to put down, yes. All of that with more character and relationship driven action and less shock factor. All in all, an enjoyable read.
Thanks to Amy at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for the review copy!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….
This review, and others from the week, are linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books. Link up your own, or see what other book bloggers are reviewing.