The latest in a series of barn fires in Leeds County turns ugly when a body is discovered inside the burned-out husk of an old hay barn near the village of Elgin.
When the victim turns out to be Independent Senator Darius Lane, a renowned artist and social activist recently appointed to the upper chamber by the prime minister, Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police finds herself coping with an RCMP national security team which must first assess whether the senator’s involvement in sensitive government business led to his brutal murder by forces hostile to Canada.
While Detective Constable Kevin Walker works the case files of the previous barn fires looking for a serial arsonist within Leeds County who may have killed for the first time, Ellie discovers that the intervention of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Danny Merrick, unexpectedly polite and charming, will place her directly in the cross-hairs of a homicide investigation with national repercussions!
Published: March 2017
Burn Country is a police procedural revolving around a rash of arsons. The central focus is the final arson during which a high-profile politician was murdered. The plot is intricate and complex, with details that are well laid out and easy to follow.
After such a bad start to the day, how much worse could it get?
The mystery is set up so that we are able to play detective along with the police. We dig deep into the Senator’s life, unraveling the secrets of his past while forming a picture of the man he was. Alternately, we follow leads on the first group of arsons, where no one died, and which seem to point the investigation in a different direction.
Kevin Walker and Ellie March each go their own way in this case, as part of a larger investigative team. The interplay between the various characters feels genuine, with dialogue and exchanges that give us a good sense of each of them as well as their relationships with each other. Michael McCann’s immense research shows in the realism of the police work.
“Maybe he was whacked by a team of ninja terrorists wearing black ski masks and funky tights,” Bishop offered.
This is the second book in McCann’s March and Walker Crime Series, though it reads well as a stand-alone. With this second installment, I felt a connection to Kevin and Ellie as people outside of their work. I could see the emotional toll the job took on their personal lives, along with their drive and determination to solve the crime.
Ellie was aware that she was seen by others as aloof and disinterested, but the truth was that, like any other experienced law enforcement professional, she had an abiding curiosity about people.
*I received an ebook copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*
Thanks for reading. 🙂