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Burning Man (A Gideon and Sirius Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Alan Russell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,165 customer reviews)

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Book Description

LAPD cop Michael Gideon and his police dog partner Sirius became reluctant celebrities after capturing a notorious serial killer in the midst of an inferno. For their heroism, they were chosen to head up the newly formed Special Cases Unit. Now the duo tackles out-of-the-ordinary cases, anything deemed unusual or bizarre even by Hollyweird standards.

When a teenager is found crucified in a city park, Gideon and Sirius are handed the bizarre case. Confronting the gruesome tableau and having to work the case worsens Detective Gideon’s PTSD, a condition he has tried to hide from others. Gideon’s burns may have healed, but the fire haunts him still...in more ways than one.

Eerily prescient since that terrible night of the fire, Gideon has unusual insights into the crimes he investigates, a skill he and Sirius must learn to trust as much as they do each other if they are to solve—and survive—this case.


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


Michael Connelly and Alan Russell Talk Burning Man

Michael Connelly, best-selling author of The Black Box, interviews fellow author Alan Russell on his new police procedural Burning Man.

Michael Connelly: Welcome back to the world of mystery writing! Where the hell have you been for the last decade? Did you become a golf pro? (Inside joke: Connelly has seen Russell golf which is not a pretty sight).

Alan Russell: I was writing, but mostly ghostwriting to pay the bills. I had my own secret titles for the books I wrote. There was Downstairs Flooring, and My Son’s Expensive Liberal Arts College. Actually, that was a trilogy, with parts I, II, and III. There was also, Dental Work, Two Bridges and an Implant, and my classic work, Upstairs Decking... Read the rest of the conversation at www.kindlepost.com.


From Booklist

Crime-fiction-veteran Russell (Multiple Wounds, 2005) blurs subgenre boundaries here, with comedy, psychological suspense, and police procedural blissfully cohabitating. After months of treatment for burns sustained while pursuing a serial killer into a raging wildfire, Michael Gideon and his K-9 partner, Sirius, have leveraged their hero status for spots on the newly created Special (read Strange) Cases Unit. With Gideon barely squelching fire-induced PTSD, the duo is summoned to the scene of a teenager’s apparent crucifixion. The victim is quickly identified as a bully with numerous victims, and Gideon gets to work, wise-cracking the resulting tangle of witnesses into cooperation. Gideon is managing more than cases and nightmares; he’s also juggling a budding romance, conflict about his family’s past, and a creepily codependent relationship with the murderer, whose capture has shaped his current life. Alternately used to ingratiate himself with witnesses and suspects and to exhaust their defenses, Gideon’s wit runs up against inner turbulence as he attempts to crack the case and deal with personal demons. Particularly appealing for fans of Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole series. --Christine Tran

Product Details

  • File Size: 571 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612186092
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (December 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BU74RS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,183 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bond forged in fire October 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Alan Russell is the mystery writer's mystery writer. BURNING MAN may be his best, and certainly most nuanced novel yet. It has been nearly a decade since his last novel, POLITICAL SUICIDE; this book clearly signals a return of a gifted author.

Even before the fire that propels him into the pantheon of a true hero, Detective Michael Gideon has enough baggage to fill a transcontinental airline flight. His wife has died, he blames himself for her death, he was a foundling raised by adoptive parents...so when he and his partner, police dog Sirius (named for the dog star) head into a flame choked canyon in pursuit of a serial killer dubbed the Santa Ana Strangler, there is more than a hint that it wouldn't matter one way or the other if he comes out alive at the other end. After the fire, more baggage: rehabilitation, compression suit, scarred face, and skin grafts. Gideon suffers post traumatic stress and he is plagued by nightmares so vivid that he wakes with blistered skin.

The capture of Ellis Haines, the serial killer, is dramatic. Both Gideon and Sirius are shot and wounded. The only way out of the fire is to elicit the help of Haines to assist in carrying Sirius out of the fire, at gunpoint. All three are horribly burned. Haines is eventually tried and convicted, sentenced to death, and doing his time in San Quentin. Gideon and Sirius rehab and after a year return to duty. The police chief creates a position for Gideon, Special Cases Unit, a roving investigator who is assigned to particularly incendiary cases. The best part, though officially retired as a K9 officer, Sirius remains Gideon's partner.

Two of these cases now have Gideon's full attention.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Having one of the main characters as a dog, Sirius, is certainly an intriguing premise for a police procedural and a lesser writer could not have pulled it off as well as Alan Russell in Burning Man. The novel is written from the first person of Sirius's owner, Michael Gideon, and this is what helps the character of the dog actually work. As any dog owner will tell you, we all have imagined conversations with our dogs. Having the human character be the narrator of the overall novel makes the interplay between Michael and the dog Sirius work wonderfully. So if you're worried about the primary character's partner being a dog in this police procedural, put that worry to rest - Mr. Russell does a good job on this score.

The book is really two stories in one - the actual mystery and police procedural, and then the unfolding of Michael's trauma from a fiery incident in the book's prologue (thus the title, burning man). Throughout the book, Michael suffers post-traumatic disorder nightmares involving fire. And each time, he wakes to his dog licking him and whimpering. In part because of this - and in part because of other factors I won't go into so I can avoid spoilers - his personal life is in disarray. Thus, part of the book is Michael trying to pick up the pieces of his life and put it all back together.

That said, I knocked a star off my review because elements of Michael's personal life - which are *much* slower paced than the mystery - tend to get in the way of the primary plot rather than slide alongside it. At about three-fourths of the way through the book, you will undoubtedly be tempted to skip the "personal life interlude" chapter so you can proceed with trying to figure out the mystery.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Close....but misses the mark January 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book started off well enough but over time, it seemed to lose steam and in places was downright awful. I was intrigued by the premise of a dog as a key character but the real character here is fire, and what an overdone character it was. I grew tired of the dream sequences and as the book progressed, the main characters. I found the dialog between the protagonist and his love interest especially painful and felt that the author was perhaps trying to hard to impress us with his command of the English language. By the end, there were still some plot lines left open and the author seemed anxious to wrap everything up in a neat little package so we could put it on a shelf. Ho hum....
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incendiary November 1, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
From the opening lines of 'Burning Man' we are treated to a suspense novel like no other. It has the sense of horror, bewilderment and mystery that makes a good book so worthwhile.

Michael Gideon and his partner, police dog, Sirius, is one of those teams that you know from the get go are trustworthy. The fact that Gideon has burn scars all over his face brings him a humanity missing in many detectives. He has been through the wars, so to speak.

After his heroic feats during a massive fire bringing in a most wanted criminal, he is offered a job working with the Special Cases Unit as lead detective. He finds his own cases, is given cases by his boss, and keeps very busy. He has an affinity for babies left on doorsteps and has his fill. At the same time he is investigating the crucifixtion death of a young teenager. The investigation opens up the world of teenage angst, bullies, drugs and life in the rich area of 90212, Hollywood High.

Michael Gideon is a real person, suffering from PTSD after the horrific fire and his burns, on top of the loss of his wife. His partner, Sirius, is his partner in arms and knows all of his secrets, and is his rock in these trying times. His friends and colleagues are a plus, but Gideon keeps his secrets close. Gideon is a true character that a series can make. He is someone I would follow.
Alan Russell has built a character that can take us with him from one case to another.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-01-12

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
Interesting plot. Main character well fleshed out with a nice sence of humor. Makes you want to keep reading. Can't wait for the next book.
Published 1 hour ago by Anne Fix
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend this book
No. Can't recommend this book.
Published 1 day ago by TWM102
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Lots of big words, good insight into the lives of the characters. The way it was written is the most interesting
Published 2 days ago by Patricia English
5.0 out of 5 stars BURNING MAN
The story keeps the readers interest to the point you can't put the book down. I can't wait to read the Alan Russell`s next book.
Published 4 days ago by Lorraine Yaccarino
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it
A very good read, if slightly anticlimactic.
Published 6 days ago by E. Glantz
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
This is the first novel I have read by Russell and I am now going to binge read his others, because I could not put this book down once I started. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Delia
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!!!!!!!
This is the first time I have read anything by this author, to me it started a little slow......... But then I could not put it down until I was finished. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Lea-Anne Stone
3.0 out of 5 stars Idea for character history was good. A bit slow and repetitive in...
It was OK. A bit formulaic at times. Idea for character history was good. A bit slow and repetitive in places and somewhat predictable..
Published 13 days ago by sue g
4.0 out of 5 stars worth your time
I have a soft spot for stories about dogs. Although Sirius is not the main character in this book, he is an important part of this story. Read more
Published 18 days ago by sue v.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very like able characters, nice back stories, fun and easy read.
Published 20 days ago by byounng
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