Review: Everything Burns

Book Title: Everything Burns

Book Author: William Zandri

Book Rating: ☆☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis: “When Reece Johnston was a boy, a fire destroyed his home, killing his mother and brothers while leaving him scarred for life. It also kindled something dark inside him: an irresistible attraction to flames in all their terrifying, tantalizing power. But after two failed arson attempts—and two trips to the mental ward—he was finally able to put down the matches and pick up the pieces. With a career as a bestselling crime writer going strong, Reece is working to fix his broken marriage to Lisa and be there for their preteen daughter, Anna. He’s not just dealing with his own demons; there’s a world of deadly hurt bearing down on him in the form of the jealous rival he’s bested in literature and love, who’s determined to see Reece crash…and burn. But a guy like Reece knows how to take the heat. And thanks to his lifelong friendship with fire, he also knows how to bring it.”

This book started out very promising.  The prologue opens with a little boy awakening to find his home on fire, and barely escaping with his own life.  As someone who endured a house fire myself several years ago, I can say that the author did an excellent job of capturing the sights, sounds, feelings, and emotions that occur in that type of situation.

Unfortunately, everything sort of went down hill for me during the first chapter.  The dialog was so poor, it was almost funny without intending to be.  When I came to this line in the conversation between the main character and his ex-wife: “I’ll let you bite my naked butt when I get home on Wednesday afternoon, big boy,”  I immediately closed the book. There’s no way that someone could write dialog that bad, right?  I decided to take a break and try to pick it up again later.  I’m glad that I did pick it back up, because besides the poor dialog, this wasn’t a bad psychological thriller.  The author was able to take us into the mind of someone battling some pretty intense mental disturbances in a way that didn’t seem too over the top, but was still quite frightening. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, I would recommend this to you, but skim over the parts that are heavy with dialog.

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