Review: WHAT BURNS WITHIN, by Sandra Ruttan

RCMP Constables Craig Nolan, Ashlyn Hart, and Tain (no first name) worked together on a case the year before that profoundly impacted all three. Since that time, they've not worked together. As the story opens, each is working a separate case: Nolan, a series of rapes, Hart a series of arson, and Tain a string of child abductions, one of which has turned to murder. As the separate investigations proceed, it becomes clear that they are linked in some fashion, bringing the three together again. What follows is a police procedural that meticulously follows the constables as they pursue leads, run down blind alleys, and eventually piece together the truth.

WHAT BURNS WITHIN is built on procedure, and offers the readers a sense of authenticity in its depiction of interdepartmental interplay and politics as the police and fire departments must cooperate, and hidden agendas try to dictate the investigation within the RCMP itself. The characters are well-drawn and believable, human and fallible rather than omnipotent superheroes. The one small problem I had with this book is that too little information of the previous case with the three protagonists was given. A bit more detail would have been nice.

That aside, this is an excellent book.

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Comment by Sandra Ruttan on December 27, 2008 at 3:46am
December '09, assuming nothing changes. There's a bit of information about it in a recent interview I did on Shots.
Comment by Larry W. Chavis on December 27, 2008 at 1:08am
That's great, Sandra. I really liked WBW, and FRAILTY OF FLESH is next up on my buy list. Do you have a firm publication date for the third?
Comment by Sandra Ruttan on December 26, 2008 at 12:11pm
Thanks for the thoughtful review Larry. I can see your point about the information on the old case they worked together. The good news is that the third book in the series, LULLABY FOR THE NAMELESS, will be out later next year and will tell that story.

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