Monday, June 5, 2017

Michael J. McCann - Burn Country - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

The latest in a series of barn fires in Leeds County turns ugly when a body is discovered inside the burned-out husk of an old hay barn near the village of Elgin. When the victim turns out to be Independent Senator Darius Lane, a renowned artist and social activist recently appointed to the upper chamber by the prime minister, Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police finds herself coping with an RCMP national security team which must first assess whether the senator’s involvement in sensitive government business led to his brutal murder by forces hostile to Canada. While Detective Constable Kevin Walker works the case files of the previous barn fires looking for a serial arsonist within Leeds County who may have killed for the first time, Ellie discovers that the intervention of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Danny Merrick, unexpectedly polite and charming, will place her directly in the cross-hairs of a homicide investigation with national repercussions! This is the second book in the March and Walker Crime Novel series and the sequel to Sorrow Lake, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best North American crime novel.

My Review

Crime Scene Report; Homicide

Population: 600
Terrain: country roads, back lanes, countless lakes, swamps and rivers
Average salary: $32,500

The outlying regions of the city of Ottawa provide a study in contrasts between the haves and the have-nots, depicting a place where "well-being exist[s] on a sliding scale."

It sets the stage perfectly for the murder of a senator and why his body is found in a cabin, far from his downtown office. The likely suspects are a delinquent who set fire to a Burger King restroom after getting into an altercation with the staff behind the counter and a troubled veteran suffering from PTSD, who just can't seem to put his life back together.

They're two young men who are on the downward spiral of prosperity. The fast food fire starter has "still, grey eyes that held the emptiness of rural poverty," while the one-time soldier has to quit his new post at the volunteer fire department when his wartime flashbacks become too much for him.

One of the cops sent to interview the two men can't help but notice their lack of upward mobility, and he no longer feels so bad about having to share a small house with his girlfriend and her two kids. Reflecting, he asks himself the question, "Why be envious of people far above you…when you [are] envied by people struggling below you."

He even develops a sense of empathy for the two suspects when he sees how they can't even afford things like a cell phone, Internet service or even a place to live. One is dependent on the social services his alcoholic father receives from the government while the other is forced to crash indefinitely in his brother's basement. The cop realizes how good he has it, and why similar men in his position turn to a life of crime in order to relieve their frustration or just to make ends meet.

As a law man, he doesn't condone their behavior, but he understands it, which is what good fiction does—it paints a picture of how the other half lives.


Burn Country can be purchased at:

Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $24.99 paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781927884096
Publisher: Plaid Raccoon Press
Release: March 17, 2017
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael J. McCann was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned degrees in English from Trent University and Queen's University in Kingston, ON.

He is the author of Sorrow Lake, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best crime novel in North America.

He is also the author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel Series, including Blood Passage, Marcie's Murder, and The Fregoli Delusion. The Rainy Day Killer, the most recent in the series, was longlisted for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel in Canada.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog (mystery)
Blog (paranormal)
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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