Blog content has become limited to mostly book reviews and promos. Sorry about that. I have been performing surgical excision on Alliances and editing. This is meticulous and time consuming. Also, I’m reading…a lot. Some classics and some new stuff. I don’t recall where I was introduced to this author, a blog interview or twitter.
I’ve read a few times that authors should not review books in their genre. I apologize in advance if people might feel I am violating some code of ethics or author etiquette. I haven’t published in this genre…yet, so the rebel in me sees an exemption. Besides, this is a slightly different region, though somewhat similar.
Southern Heat is a perfect example of what makes regional fiction so appealing. A Georgia girl transplanted to Florida, when I was reading this book, I felt right at home. The theme centers on an environmental issue close to my heart. The setting is the low country of the South Carolina coastline in Charleston. Southern Heat has all of the elements of an excellent contemporary southern crime fiction novel.
What sets this book apart is Burnsworth’s unique voice and style. Southern Heat has a gritty, noir feel to it with rough, edgy characters while keeping a traditionally southern charm.
The mystery begins when Brack Pelton’s Uncle Reggie dies in his arms in an alley after uttering the name of the person who shot him. Even though he’s gone from the very beginning, I felt like I knew Uncle Reggie, owner of the Pirate’s Cove bar and grill and Vietnam vet, from my hippie days. Brack, tainted by the loss of his late wife and PTSD from his own service time in Afghanistan, earned my respect early on. I fell in love with his dog, Shelby. The women in this book made me proud.
Burnsworth’s cast of supporting characters are a determined, though somewhat disturbed, motley crew in keeping with that southern tradition. The string of bad guys is just as well drawn as the good. There are even a few you can’t tell are good or bad. That always makes things interesting. The descriptions provided just enough realism to set the place and mood without being overly detailed or distracting. Though the plot is well-focused, there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone who likes reading books set in the south or along the coastline, a good mystery, noir crime fiction, or a real page turner that will have you rooting for your favorites from the get-go to the end.