*originally published on 11/09/2016
ANGELS BURNING Written by Tawni O’Dell
2016; 288 Pages (Gallery Books)
Genre: fiction, literary, psychological, mystery
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)
“On the surface, Chief Dove Carnahan is a true trailblazer who would do anything to protect the rural Pennsylvanian countryside where she has lived all fifty of her years. Traditional and proud of her blue-collar sensibilities, Dove is loved by her community. But beneath her badge lies a dark and self-destructive streak, fed by a secret she has kept since she was sixteen.
When a girl is beaten to death, her body tossed down a fiery sinkhole in an abandoned coal town, Dove is faced with solving the worst crime of her law enforcement career. She identifies the girl as a daughter of the Truly family, a notoriously irascible dynasty of rednecks and petty criminals.
During her investigation, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother years earlier is released from prison. Still proclaiming his innocence, he approaches Dove with a startling accusation and a chilling threat that forces her to face the parallels between her own family’s trauma and that of the Trulys.” (From Publisher)
Tawni O’Dell’s first novel, Back Roads is one of my favourite books. I have read it a few times, and even listened to it on audio! It is a dark story but also so realistic and very well-written. O’Dell also has this dark humour that balances the book and keeps it from getting too depressing. The “heroes” of her novels are always so interesting as they are not what you would expect. I read O’Dell’s second and third books and liked them but they lacked the punch of Back Roads. I had a chance to read and review this book, but went in with no expectations…punch! Dove reminds me a lot of Harley – an older sibling trying to take care of the little ones, while trying to grow up themselves. Right off you feel for them, but come to realize there is so much more to them. The secrets and mystery are key to the novel’s allure but it is the characters who will stay in your mind. Highly recommend this book!