FICTION

Burntown

Doubleday. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780385541367. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385541374. F
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In the sleepy town of Ashford, VT, a mysterious string of family murders has been stumping the locals for generations. At the center of the mystery is Necco, a homeless teen with ties to the mystical Fire Eaters who share premonitions while under the influence of an herb they call the Devil's Snuff. Necco's father and brother were killed in a flood years ago and her mother recently committed suicide, leaving her to fend for herself on the streets with her boyfriend. But when her lover is murdered as Necco sleeps next to him, she seeks out the truth behind the tragedy that has plagued her young life.
VERDICT McMahon (The Winter People) weaves another twisted story of murder and psychological thrills with a dash of the supernatural. After a slow start with a hefty backstory introducing a slew of complex characters, the novel redeems itself in the end with an intriguing mystery that will delight reading groups. [See Prepub Alert 11/26/16.]

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