Friday, June 2, 2017

Michael J. McCann - Burn Country - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

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! This is the second book in the March and Walker Crime Novel series and the sequel to Sorrow Lake, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best North American crime novel.

My Review

"This is burn country, man. I think half the population of this province just likes watching s*** burn."

From weeds crackling in ditches to bonfires set in newly cleared fields, the residents of Sorrow Lake, a small, backwater community in Canada, like a good blaze. So why in the world is the latest arson case considered a possible threat to national security?

Well, as it turns out, it's not just arson—but murder—when a charred body is found among the smoldering rubble. And it's not just any corpse, either. Oh no, it's that of a left-wing senator. Immediately the stakes are raised for the investigators assigned to the case, especially when the prime minister, himself, is expecting frequent updates when it comes to their findings.

That's why I love how the mindset of the killer is explained through magic tricks. Walker is a young cop who trusted the wrong people early in his career. He can't lie for the life of him, and he's sick of people taking advantage of his good nature. So he takes up this new magician's hobby in order "to see what it's like to fool people," much to the chagrin of his snarly, more experienced partner, Bishop.

But there's a method to Walker's madness. It's all about misdirection, or "forcing attention to one spot while doing something at another spot when they're not looking." In other words, it's like studying the art of getting away with a crime.

It's a neat technique that the author uses in order to get us to think about how someone goes about committing the perfect murder. Some plan everything down to the last detail, while others get caught up in the heat of the moment and make mistake after mistake after mistake, leaving a trail of evidence a mile long. Walker and Bishop don't know who they're dealing with as they begin crisscrossing the countryside investigating a series of confirmed arsons, but they're about to find out what kind of a firebug they're dealing with.

And when Walker begins making some serious headway, his star just may get a chance to shine a bit brighter higher up the ladder. Sometimes good guys don't always finish last, and this one may not have to settle for being a part-time magician at children's birthday parties after all.


Burn Country can be purchased at:

Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $24.99 paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781927884096
Publisher: Plaid Raccoon Press
Release: March 17, 2017
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael J. McCann was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned degrees in English from Trent University and Queen's University in Kingston, ON.

He is the author of Sorrow Lake, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best crime novel in North America.

He is also the author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel Series, including Blood Passage, Marcie's Murder, and The Fregoli Delusion. The Rainy Day Killer, the most recent in the series, was longlisted for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel in Canada.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog (mystery)
Blog (paranormal)
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. Thank you very much for participating in the blog tour! I'm very pleased you picked up on how Kevin's current interest, magic and sleight of hand, applies to the themes of the story. Thanks again, Mike.