Official book jacket summary:
"How do you burn someone to death in public, and not have anyone notice?"
Two people burst into flame, burned alive in front of plenty of eyewitnesses with no obvious cause. Spontaneous human combustion is a bizarre phenomenon, but according to published accounts, it happens. Could that be what occurred here? Or is it murder?
As Jenna Blake turns nineteen, she is getting over a recent breakup and is rekindling an old flame. Between her personal life and college, she has enough on her hands. The last thing she needs is another nasty little puzzle.
But the burn victims' clothes weren't flammable, the crime scenes reveal no evidence of arson, and none of the various witnesses can provide anything resembling a clue. In fact, she and Slick are just beginning to re-evaluate their faith in rational, scientific explanation when the fire claims another victim, and an incredible explanation presents itself. Even as they struggle with their discovery, the danger hits far too close to home...
In the words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's best guy friend, Xander Harris, "It's like the Human Torch - only it hurts." Unless you've experienced severe burns, one can only imagine how excruciating it must be to be injured much less killed in such a manner. In this book, the way that the killer burns his victims is (evil) genius.
And then what happens during the climax of the book - Wowza.
In Burning Bones, Jenna continues to juggle her professional, academic, and personal responsibilities. Throwing herself into her schoolwork and her work at the M.E.'s office helps her bounce back from her breakup. Though the books are narrated in third-person, readers can easily get in Jenna's mind, which is great not only when she's puzzling out crimes, but also when she's reminiscing about Animaniacs in one paragraph and referencing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the next - then, a page later, considering Shirley Jackson's novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Bibliophiles will see themselves in the line "Jenna was a constant reader" while people fascinated with medical facts and criminal profiling will love the discovery of evidence, research, and interrogation scenes throughout the novel.
Can you imagine Jenna working alongside with Abby from NCIS? I definitely can! Jenna is smart, and she is clever, and she's not about to let people think she's incapable of solving crimes due to her age or her gender. She's a strong female protagonist, often as bold as Lilly Rush on Cold Case (another character I admire and praise!) and while her youth and willfulness might get her into scrapes now and again, those elements also help her figure things out, as she's quick-thinking and often more open-minded than some of the older detectives, doctors, and scientists.
If you aren't already hooked, let me share with you the first line of the book:
If looks could kill.
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