Burntown by Jennifer McMahon

By Jennifer McMahon
Published by Doubleday Books

This book starts with a murder! One night, young Miles is having a little bit of fun lurking in the bushes of his backyard, dressed as Robin Hood, plotting to spring up and scare his mother. All in good fun, right…at first. Instead, what he witnesses is a horrific crime that changes his life forever.

The story jumps ahead a little bit, and we learn what happens to Miles and how he grows up, but not a lot of time is spent on this part of the story. It’s just the set-up to a bigger piece of the puzzle which comes later.

We catch up with Miles, who is now married and a father of two, a boy Errol and a girl Eva. He’s a respected professor and author, and a part time inventor. As an inventor, he forms a bond with Eva, who shares his love of the mechanical toys and trinkets that he builds for her. But there is another secret invention sitting in his workshop that Eva knows nothing about – until the night of the storm.

And this is where the mystery begins. As the storm rages, and the river rises, Miles is checking to make sure that his work shop, and the inventions inside, are protected and kept safe. Lily, Miles’ wife is planning on evacuating their home, as Eva follows her father to the workshop. Eva doesn’t remember much after that; she’s suffering from some form of amnesia. What she does know is that her father and brother are dead, and she and her mother are in hiding, fleeing some unknown danger. She’s not sure if the danger is real or just some figment in her mother’s unhinged mind.

Jump ahead again, and Eva is now Necco, living in a station wagon with her boyfriend. But tragedy strikes once again, and Necco is back on the run and accused of murder. As she tries to figure out how to clear her name, she meets some unusual characters – but are they friend or foe? And what has this got to do with her father’s invention?

I just loved this book. It never slowed down, and it kept moving at such a great pace. There are some very interesting characters that at first make you wonder how they all fit – but it all does fit – eventually. Heroes, villains, and a circus? This book is a delight!

Share this:
Like this:Like Loading...