Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: Burn What Will Burn: A Novel by C. B. McKenzie

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250083370
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 21 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0191K3GI2

Book Description

 A noirish crime novel set in rural Arkansas from award-winning author C. B. McKenzie. Bob Reynolds doesn't recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it. Hes a newcomer to town, not entirely welcome and not entirely on good footing with the sheriff. So far, hes kept his head down, mostly over the bar at the Crows Nest. But he has other interests than drinking and spending his inheritance, including one that goes by the name Tammy Fay Smith and who may have caught the sheriffs eye as well.Bob Reynolds would rather pretend he never saw the body, but when it disappears he begins to doubt what little he knew about this secretive town, one that seems to become more unwelcoming by the day. But he cant just forget the body, despite the advice hes given to do so, and despite the evidence to suggest that he might be disappearing along with it.Following his acclaimed, Edgar-nominated debut, C. B. McKenzies Burn What Will Burn will appeal to fans of such literary crime authors as Daniel Woodrell, Tom Franklin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Nic Pizzolatto.


“It’s atmospheric to the nth degree, with prose that borders on poetry and a story that will put you off traveling south of the Mason-Dixon Line, perhaps forever.” ―Bookpage

"Evil comes in all shapes and sizes, and McKenzie gets the best out of that premise in this chilling portrayal of murder and mayhem. Careful development of each personality adds an outstanding facet to the story." ―RT Book Review

Following the Edgar Award–nominated Bad Country, McKenzie takes another fascinating look at life in rural America. The lyrical writing balances out the bleakness of his ­protagonist’s existence." ―Library Journal

"Thematically very different than McKenzie's outstanding first novel (Bad Country, 2014). But the prose is just as pure and the story just as riveting." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Burn What Will Burn is a natural successor to Bad Country, and it will scorch the literary landscape with perfectly structured sentences and blistering prose." ―Matthew McBride, author of A Swollen Red Sun

“There’s a tightness to life in a small town―part of it is fierce loyalty, part long memory. In Burn What Will Burn, small town life is rendered a snake-pit where self-interest and self-preservation inform every action. Our guide through the backwaters, diners, and abandoned cabins is Bob Reynolds, a fish-out-of-water weirdly suited to his search for truth in a verdant hollow of lies. CB McKenzie builds a world so compelling that the Little Piney Creek showed up in my dreams. I loved every page.” ―Christian Kiefer, author of The Animals

“Poe County has plenty to hide, but newcomer Bob Reynolds is interested only in drinking away his inheritance at the Crow's Nest. That is until he discovers a dead body afloat in nearby creek. And steals something from it. A bleary-eyed and sharp-tongued philosopher-poet, Reynolds proves the perfect guide to the hollers and dirt roads of Poe County, where a crisis greets him at every turn, and the secrets hang as thick as the shadows. I'm already looking forward to going back there.” ―Bill Loehfelm, author of Doing the Devil’s Work

“Written in richly poetic language and infused with sly humor, CB McKenzie's brooding, gothic tale of eccentric characters set in backwoods Arkansas will appeal to readers of Daniel Woodrell and Joe Lansdale.” ―Terry Shames, author of The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

Burn What Will Burn is a gritty, gripping mystery and an enthralling character study of its poet-protagonist, who is self-exiled and bedeviled by the locals, the summer Arkansas heat, and his own past. I was hooked by sentence one and burned right through the pages.” ―Michael Kardos, author of Before He Finds Her

About the Author

 CB MCKENZIE is the author of Bad Country, which won the Tony Hillerman Prize and the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and was named a finalist for the Edgar and Shamus Awards for Best First Novel. A graduate of Arkansas Tech University, he lives on the Slow Coast of California when he's not traveling.

My Review

I have been a C.B. McKenzie fan since his first book Bad Country. Burn What Will Burn is McKenzie's second published novel. I enjoy gritty noir mysteries so I enjoyed Burn What Will Burn very much.

Burn What Will Burn is a fast read. I found it hard to put down. It is beautifully written. I enjoy McKenzie's writing style. His writing reminds me of James Lee Burke who also writes beautiful words about very flawed people.

I liked the setting of north western Arkansas. It is not an area that I have been to often but it is an interestingly beautiful location to base a novel. The characters in Burn What Will Burn are all fascinating and a lot more complicated than you may initially believe. The main character, Bob Reynolds, is not really likeable but he is interesting and well written. I sympathized with his dilemmas as I read the book.

Great page turner of a book. I enjoyed discovering all the secrets of Poe County and the twists the story took.

Available June 21st, Burn What Will Burn, is a great read.

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