Wednesday, March 2, 2016

QUICK REVIEW: Angel's Burning by Tawni O'Dell


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club pick Back Roads comes this fast-paced literary thriller about a small town police chief who’s forced to dig into her own shadowy past as she investigates the murder of a teenage girl.

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.

With countless accolades to her credit, author Tawni O’Dell writes with the “fearless insights” (The New York Times Book Review) she brought to the page in Back Roads and One of Us. In this new, masterfully told psychological thriller, the past and present collide to reveal the extent some will go to escape their fate, and in turn, the crimes committed to push them back to where they began.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Gallery Books
ISBN 1501132547 (ISBN13: 9781501132544) 

About the Author

Tawni O'Dell is the New York Times bestselling author of Fragile Beasts, Sister Mine, Coal Run, and Back Roads, which was an Oprah's Book Club pick and a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. Tawni's screen adaptation of Back Roads is currently in development to be made into a film with Adrian Lyne set to direct. Her work has been translated into 15 languages and been published in over 30 countries.

Tawni was born and raised in the coal-mining region of western Pennsylvania, the territory she writes about with such striking authenticity. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and spent many years living in the Chicago area before moving back to Pennsylvania where she now lives with her two children.

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My Thoughts
The last time I was this close to Rudy Mayfield he was leaning across the seat of his dad's truck trying to grope my recently ripened breasts.
Dove Carnahan is the police chief in a small town. She and her sister both inherited their mother's beauty, but have never fully embraced it. In fact, her dog trainer sister does everything to downplay it. They survived a difficult childhood along with their brother Champ (or half-brother, as they all have different fathers). Their mother was a party girl who was always seeking to find happiness in some new man, and when the siblings were just kids, they endured through their mother's murder and with finding themselves orphans.

Now in her 50s, Dove finds herself in charge of the murder investigation of a young girl found partially burned. The investigation leads her to the girl's family-- a family even more screwed than her own.

My final word: This story has a couple of mysteries woven throughout it. This was my introduction to author Tawni O'Dell, and I enjoyed her writing. It is very easy to read and engaging. It wasn't overly predictable, and held my interest throughout. And I love, love, love the cover! I would definitely read Tawni O'Dell again. Very effective without being overdone, and a fast read (even for a slow reader like me).

Buy Now:

Barnes and Noble
Simon & Schuster

My Rating:


The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.

I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release. 

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