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Burning Man (A Gideon and Sirius Novel) Paperback – December 11, 2012
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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
"One of the best writers in the mystery field today" - Publishers Weekly
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In this novel both the detective Michael Gideon and his police dog Sirius are marked. They followed a serial killer into a wild fire, and came out with the felon under arrest, but Gideon and Sirius suffered third degree burns.
Both dog and man qualify for early retirement, but they find their way bacl to the L.A. police department as a one man, one dog special crimes unit. This is the first in a series of two novels to date about these heroes. I already read the second story “Guardians of the Night,” and liked it so much I have ordered other novels by Alan Russell. He is very good,
I bought the first book thinking this would be similar to Spencer Quinn’s novels about private eye, Bernie Little and his dog Chet. While Chet and Bernie have lots of humor, this is a straight police procedural.
Michael Gideon does have a sense of humor, and I even shared one of the book’s jokes on my Facebook page. But readers expecting the fun stuff in Chet and Bernie novels will be disappointed.
In “Burning Man” we get the back story of how Gideon and Sirius were injured and how they came back on the force. They waste no time finding crimes to solve. A teenager is crucified in the park; a mother abandons her baby to die.
Gideon is haunted by nightmares of his ordeal by fire, and his own past as an abandoned infant, and more recently a widower. He romances a social worker, and treats his canine partner more like a brother than as a co-worker. In this story Gideon and Sirius must enter the flames for a second time. This time they enter a burning house to make an arrest and try to save a suspect’s life.
Has mystery fiction has gone to the dogs? Not only do we have this series and the Chet and Bernie series, but David Rosenfelt’s wonderful Andy Carpenter novels feature a helpful dog, Tara.
I love dogs. Maybe that’s why Rosenfelt, Quinn and Russell are three of my favorite authors. More likely it is because they can tell wonderful stories. Dogs make great companions. The human detectives in these stories are blessed.
*Book source ~ Purchased on Amazon
Michael Gideon and his K-9 partner Sirius are everyday LAPD cops. Until the day they became famous for capturing the Santa Ana Strangler while in the middle of an inferno and getting severely burned in the process. All three made it out alive. After a year of skin grafts and physical therapy, Gideon wants to go back to work even though Sirius’s injuries put him in early retirement. Lucky for him & Sirius, the new Chief has just the job for them. Though he wants the golden apple of Robbery-Homicide, Gideon agrees to give the chief’s newly created Special Cases Unit a try since he’d be pretty much autonomous and even better, Sirius can still be his partner. Win-win. When the case of a crucified teenager comes his way, he investigates, but for some reason this case is stirring up his PTSD more than usual. Will he and Sirius solve the case before his PTSD becomes general knowledge? What is Ellis Haines, The Santa Ana Strangler, cooking up behind bars? And finally, will Gideon screw up a possible relationship with a woman dubbed the Saint? Only time will tell and sometimes time is the fire in which we burn.
What a great read! First, you gotta love a good mystery in which one of the detectives solving it is a German Shepherd. Then there’s all the leads to follow where you don’t have a clue who the killer is. In addition, the dialogue is snappy and on point. And finally there’s a bit of the paranormal to it. Though I’m not sure how much is paranormal and how much is Gideon’s subconscious talking. I choose to put a bit of a paranormal spin on it because that’s what I love, but others may see it differently. There’s also some romance and definitely humor. The only reason I didn’t give this an all out 5 is because sometimes the humor was a bit much and sometimes I didn’t get the references being made. Other than that, I loved it and can’t wait to read the next book.
Most recent customer reviews
Is one. My only complaint is the language. However I realize
most authors feel that is necessary.