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Burn What Will Burn
by C. B. Mckenzie


Overview -

""Burn What Will Burn" is a gritty, gripping mystery and an enthralling character study of its poet-protagonist, who is self-exiled and bedeviled by the locals, the summer Arkansas heat, and his own past. I was hooked by sentence one and burned right through the pages." Michael Kardos, author of "Before He Finds Her"

Bob Reynolds doesn't recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it.  Read more...


 
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More About Burn What Will Burn by C. B. Mckenzie
 
 
 
Overview

""Burn What Will Burn" is a gritty, gripping mystery and an enthralling character study of its poet-protagonist, who is self-exiled and bedeviled by the locals, the summer Arkansas heat, and his own past. I was hooked by sentence one and burned right through the pages." Michael Kardos, author of "Before He Finds Her"

Bob Reynolds doesn't recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it. He's a newcomer to town, not entirely welcome, and not entirely on good footing with the sheriff. So far he's kept his head down, mostly over the bar at the Crow's Nest. But he has interests other than drinking and spending his inheritance, including one that goes by the name Tammy Fay Smith and who may have caught the sheriff's eye as well.

Reynolds would rather pretend he never saw the body, but when it disappears, he begins to doubt what little he knew about this secretive town, a town that seems to become more unwelcoming by the day. Try as he might, he just can't forget the body, despite the advice he's been given to do so, and despite the evidence to suggest that he might be disappearing himself soon enough.

Following his acclaimed, award-winning debut, "Burn What Will Burn "confirms CB McKenzie as a one-of-a-kind crime novelist with an unforgettably original voice."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250083371
  • ISBN-10: 1250083370
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 224
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Crime
Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-04-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

Despite having plenty of family money, Bob Reynolds, the narrator of this gritty, atmospheric crime novel from Edgar-finalist McKenzie (Bad Country), seeks refuge in an old rundown home in Rushing, Ark., to avoid the Houston police, who suspect he might have been responsible for the recent fatal drowning of his wife in their bathtub. Bob, happily a loner in this isolated small town, has his serenity disturbed when he discovers a man’s body in Little Piney Creek near his property. Bob reports the matter to Sheriff Baxter, only to find that the sheriff is familiar with his past and distrustful of his character and sanity. Suddenly, Bob is embroiled in the murder investigation, fearing he may be charged with committing the crime. Among the several entertaining and offbeat characters are a disreputable woman to whom Bob is wildly attracted, a former university professor who leveraged sex from students, and a cafe owner with family issues. The well-executed plot builds to a clever, somewhat farcical ending. (June)

 
BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: An outsider stirs up trouble in backwater Arkansas

The American South can get pigeonholed in one of two ways: It’s a happy, bucolic atmosphere peopled with lovable Gomer Pyle-esque rubes, or it’s a Deliverance-inspired snake pit filled with good ol’ boys who make life miserable for anybody not of their clique. CB McKenzie’s second novel, Burn What Will Burn, falls decidedly into the second category. Bob Reynolds is a newcomer to Rushing, Arkansas (population: seven, unless you count dogs and chickens). He has moved into the old Duncan place, where nobody but Duncans has ever lived before, and his mistrustful neighbors are far from pleased. Now Bob has stumbled upon a dead body in nearby Little Piney Creek. Bob doesn’t want to get involved with the local law, but he reluctantly phones the sheriff. When they return to the scene of the crime, there is no body to be found, and the sheriff and his cronies seem to have a vested interest in sweeping the entire case under the rug, along with Bob if necessary. It’s atmospheric to the nth degree, with prose that borders on poetry and a story that will put you off traveling south of the Mason-Dixon Line, perhaps forever.

NOT SO EASY BEING RAWLINS
Veteran storyteller Walter Mosley is back with another installment in the life and times of Easy Rawlins in Charcoal Joe. This is terrific news on several fronts: Easy is one of the finest characters in modern-day suspense fiction, complex and artfully drawn; the heroes and villains change sides with some regularity, including the main character; and the story offers more than its share of twists and turns to confound the reader. The titular Charcoal Joe is something of a legend in the circles of Los Angeles bad guys. Easy has stayed outside Joe’s sphere, but all that changes when he is tapped by his longtime frenemy Mouse to look into the murder charges against a young friend of Joe. Violence raises its ugly head, and our hero must take some serious evasive action to protect the lives of his family and loved ones. The Easy Rawlins saga has followed the landlord-turned-detective from the early post-World War II years through the Jim Crow 1950s and up to 1968 in this latest installment. The late ’60s were tumultuous times in Southern California, and Mosley deftly weaves social commentary into the narrative.

PARISIAN BEGINNINGS
Cara Black fans, have you ever wondered how Aimée Leduc got her start in private investigations? Find out in Murder on the Quai, the long-awaited prequel to the popular series. The year is 1989. Aimée is in her first year of university, studying to become a doctor. It’s not going well, to say the least. Someone has sabotaged her laboratory work, and her boyfriend has just become engaged to a Parisian socialite, without so much as a word of farewell to Aimée. So when her father asks her for a bit of organizational help at the family detective agency, she agrees, never anticipating that it will lead her into the mysterious world of sleuthing. And particularly never anticipating that said sleuthing will involve a decades-old case of missing Nazi gold that has some tenuous connections to her long-missing mother. Murder on the Quai is suspenseful, emotional and, thanks in part to its Paris setting, très atmosphérique.

TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
I may (or may not) be the first to compare Michael Harvey’s Brighton to Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, but I won’t be the last. Both are set in Boston, unfold over a number of years and involve crimes of passion in which the perpetrator(s) skate away scot-free—sort of. But on a deeper level, both books approach Thomas Wolfe or Pat Conroy levels of writing, transcending the “damned with faint praise” epithet of genre fiction. Bobby Scales and Kevin Pearce, childhood pals from the mean streets of Brighton, have gone on to markedly different lives: Kevin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Boston Globe, while Bobby is a feared underworld figure. They share a decades-old secret: Together they enacted deadly revenge on the man running from the scene of the murder of Kevin’s grandmother. Thirty-some years later, their shared secret comes back to haunt them, as the gun used by Bobby all those years ago is the same gun used in the recent high-profile murder of a policewoman. The connections between past and present will test every notion of loyalty that either man could ever draw upon. Harvey has written a bunch of critically acclaimed novels, but he has seriously upped his game with Brighton.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews