Review: The Burning Man (Bryant & May #12) by Christopher Fowler

Bryant and May and the Burning Man - Christopher Fowler

Publication Date: 26th March 2015

 

Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

 

ISBN: 978-0857522047

 

Source: Publisher copy via NetGalley

 

Rating: 3*

 

Synopsis:

London is under siege. A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and as the anger in the streets detonates, a young homeless man burns to death after being caught in the crossfire between rioters and the police.

But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge, but his intended victims are so mysteriously chosen that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to find a way of stopping him.

Using their network of eccentric contacts, elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May hunt down a murderer who adopts incendiary methods of execution. But they soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, rebellion, punishment and the legend of Guy Fawkes.

At the same time, several members of the PCU team reach dramatic turning points in their lives - but the most personal tragedy is yet to come, for as the race to bring down a cunning killer reaches its climax, Arthur Bryant faces his own devastating day of reckoning.

‘I always said we’d go out with a hell of a bang,’ warns Bryant.

 

Review:

Special thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.

 

This is the first crime novel I've read to feature duo Bryant & May and my first read by this author. I think being unfamiliar with the characters and the style of writing impeded my opinion of this novel. It opens with a memo-style letter and an account of a meeting, both seemed rather a cold and abrupt start, which put me of straight away. There was no gentle introduction to the characters or case, so perhaps I'd have perceived this novel better if I'd previously read other Bryant & May books.

 

I liked the humour of the characters, which was described very well and have a lighter feeling to a disturbing case.

 

My 3* reading is purely my opinion and should not hamper your decision to read this, or any other, B&M novel or anything else written by the author.

 

About the author:

 

Christopher Fowler

 

Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mysteries. His first bestseller was 'Roofworld'. Subsequent novels include 'Spanky', 'Disturbia', 'Psychoville' and 'Calabash'. He spent 25 years working in the film industry.

His collection 'Red Gloves', 25 new stories of unease, marked his first 25 years of writing. His memoir 'Paperboy' won the Green Carnation Award, and was followed by a 2nd volume, 'Film Freak'. Other new novels include the dark comedy-thriller 'Plastic' and the haunted house chiller 'Nyctophobia'.

He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, including Radio One's first broadcast drama in 2005. He has a weekly column called 'Invisible Ink' in the Independent on Sunday. His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed 'Menz Insana'. His short story 'The Master Builder' became a feature film entitled 'Through The Eyes Of A Killer', starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. Among his awards are the Edge Hill prize 2008 for 'Old Devil Moon', and the Last Laugh prize 2009 for 'The Victoria Vanishes'.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Short Stories, The Best Of Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, the Mammoth Book of Horror and many others. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in London's King's Cross and Barcelona.