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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Review of The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns
I have completed The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns. First thoughts are that I liked it and I look forward to reading some of the older books by this author. The New England town of Brewster has been riddled with strange occurances such as a newborn baby being replaced by a snake in the hospital nursery. An insurance agent is found murdered and there is a heavy presence of highly aggressive coyote roaming the town. There are many suspenseful moments that cause the reader to wonder what is going on.
What I enjoyed most about this book was how Dobyns was able to give the reader an aerial view of sorts, into the lives of these townspeople. I felt like I was tagging along with the police in an effort to solve the mysteries of the day. His character development was top-notch and made me actually care about what happened to them.
I didn't like that at times, the novel seemed to go off on a tangent of unnecessary information. Although this seems to be the norm when dealing with a slew of characters, I still don't like it. It often gets hard to see where are the players are and what they are doing or to even pinpoint some of their motivations.
Overall I did enjoy reading this book. It's fast paced, thrilling, and suspenseful. There is even a hint of a supernatural quality in it. I look forward to reading more books by Dobyns. It's obvious in this novel that he isn't new to this. I hear The Church of Dead Girls is a great read. I shall look for it in my local bookstore.