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Many thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for providing me with an advance copy of Burntown in exchange for an honest review.
In 1975, a young boy named Miles Sandeski witnesses his mother’s murder. What follows is a quirky yet thrilling tale about a family whose past is never far behind. Burntown stars a cast of misfits–a truly lovable group of characters who all have interesting stories in their own right and keep you rooting for them despite their flaws.
Jennifer McMahon has quickly become one of my go-to authors. The stories and characters in her novels are always so complex and original and she always creates such a strong sense of place. I’ve found that the setting is often one of the most enticing part of her stories, and is one of the reasons I keep coming back to her novels. What I love most about McMahon’s stories is how she weaves together different perspectives and different time periods so that the reader gets to know so much about so many different characters and also gets to see how the past and present interact and often collide at the climax of the story. Burntown did not disappoint in any of these aspects. Unfortunately, however, the ending McMahon provided didn’t quite hold up to the expectations created by the rest of the novel.
All of the fantastic elements in this book–the lovably quirky characters, the vivid setting, the supernatural element–should have added up to a brilliant ending, however in reality the ending fell a bit short, and the reveal of the villain turned out to be both confusing and disappointing.
While I wish it had ended differently, I’d still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries or thrillers, especially those with a supernatural element. Despite its flaws, this book held me until the end and the disappointing ending was redeemed by it’s imagery and lovable characters. Jennifer McMahon has a brilliant command over the English language and has an amazing ability to create characters and places that are totally one of a kind.