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The Burning by M. R. Hall
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A great, rather horrific tale with perhaps a tad too many red-herrings and characters so keep your wits about you. It stars Bristol coroner Jenny Cooper of past books (all recommended) but you don’t need back history to love this, although it is not his best. Here we have a fire, a father and two of his children dead, a small boy missing and the mother/wife away at the time. It all gets very involved with, as I’ve said, lots of side threads. Arson is suspected and then bullets are discovered in the bodies … As a character I rate Jenny Cooper very highly, her cases are all just that little bit different. If this is your introduction to her then try some back titles too.

If you like M. R. Hall you might also like to read books by Stuart MacBride, Morag Joss and Anne Cleeves.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Are there any contemporary crime writers as consistently reliable as M R Hall? His ability to come up with novel and innovative plots has been in evidence throughout a highly impressive series of books, with The Burning among his most considerable achievements. A dense, bitterly cold fog has settled over the Wye Valley when Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper is called to the scene of a dreadful tragedy: in the village of Blackstone Ley, a house has burned to the ground with three members of a family inside. Evidence of foul play is quickly uncovered – it seems certain that the fire was started by one of the victims.
~ Barry Forshaw

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Synopsis

The Burning by M. R. Hall

A family tragedy. A buried secret. What lies hidden in the flames? A dense, bitterly cold fog has settled over the Wye Valley when Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper is called to the scene of a dreadful tragedy: in the village of Blackstone Ley, a house has burned to the ground with three members of a family inside. Though evidence of foul play is quickly uncovered, it isn't long before the police investigation is drawn to a close. It seems certain that the fire was started by one of the victims, Ed Morgan, in a fit of jealous rage. But their infant son is still missing and Ed had left a message for his surviving wife, Kelly Hart, telling her that she would never find the child ...As Jenny prepares the inquest, she finds herself troubled by the official version of events. What could have provoked Ed's murderous rampage? How might the other, guarded inhabitants of the village have been involved? And what could the connection be with the mysterious abduction of a little girl ten years ago? Battling to supress gruelling events in her own life, Jenny soon becomes entangled in another perplexing inquiry that may have surprising links to this one. Can she unearth Blackstone Ley's secrets, before it's too late?

Reviews

Hall shows with aplomb that a coroner is just as able to become a detective (and, in this case, advance into the world of spooks) as the forensic pathologists of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs Sunday Times Hall has created a wonderful heroine in a genre we haven't seen before Lynda La Plante


About the Author

M. R. Hall

M. R. Hall lives and works in the Wye valley in South Wales. Born in London in 1967, he was educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester College, Oxford, where he graduated in law.

During a career at the Bar, working mostly in the field of criminal law, he tried to learn the craft of screen writing, eventually getting his first commission in television writing an episode of the ITV hit series, Kavanagh QC starring John Thaw. He went on to write further episodes and shortly afterwards was commissioned to create a series for the new Channel Five, Wing And A Prayer. The first season earned him a BAFTA nomination in the best series category.

For over ten years Matthew has been a screen writer and producer, and has written over forty hours of prime time drama for BBC1 and ITV.

His debut novel, The Coroner, was published by Pan Macmillan in the UK in 2009 and has been nominated for the Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger in the best novel category.

The second novel in the series, The Disappeared, was published in the USA by Simon and Schuster on December 1st 2009 and in the UK by Pan Macmillan in January 2010. The third novel in the series, The Redeemed, is out in April 2011.

Translation rights to both The Coroner and The Disappeared have been sold across the world.

Matthew spends much of his spare time looking after his sixteen acres of woodland and working for the conservation of the countryside.

Click here to read a Q & A with this author.

Author photo © Alexander James

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2015

Author

M. R. Hall

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Author's Website

www.m-r-hall.com/

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Publisher

Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites

Political / legal thriller
Crime & mystery

ISBN

9780330526630

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