March 1, 2014

Summer of the Beast by Michael Burns

Two detectives get put on a case that involves a string of mind-boggling, gruesome murders.

Hidden up in the mountains on Arizona, these crime scenes are unlike anything these two men have seen. The bodies are ripped apart in a way that seem only a large animal can pull off. The thing is, there is no trail. There are no clues that anything disrupted the two campsites turned murder scenes.

Palmer and Rivera make a good detective partnership. Kino Rivera has a Native American background, and his father taught him from a young age to get in tune with his environment in order to search for animals and hunt. He brings the most unique aspect to the Police Department and to the case. When his special skills also fail in locating a trail to lead them towards a suspect, they know something really weird and unexplainable is going on up in the mountains.

Once Rivera finds a footprint, the case becomes even weirder. What type of animal leaves only one print?
They team up to try to bring this creature down themselves, but end up being rescued by the military and debriefed on what is actually going on.

They will never be the same.

One thing I really liked about this book all along is how it made me feel reading it. It legitimately freaked me out and even made me scared at times in the beginning because of how weird the case was. There aren’t many books that I have read that actually freaked me out to the degree of a well-made horror movie.

That being said, this book didn’t go in the direction I thought it was going to take.
I thought it was going to be more of a paranormal mystery than anything. I felt like that is how it was set up because it was so crazy.

The ending seemed like a movie to me. I could picture it in my mind while I was reading it, and it seems like something that would round out a movie.

It keeps you wondering after you have finished it though. There is one conclusion to the story, but then the ending blows it wide open again with so many more possibilities.

Even though it is kind of open-ended, I am glad that it was left this way. The story doesn’t need to be dragged out longer. The story that needed to be told was told, and a sequel wouldn’t be as good.

I really liked the characters in this book. They all worked really well together and the relationships didn’t seem to be forced. It was a nice added dimension to the book with all of the dialogue that it had.

4/5 stars. I thought the relationship story line was a little unnecessary, but it wasn’t a major distraction from the main story.

Memorable quotes:

“All the textbooks say that when a serial killer starts killing and gets a taste for blood, they don’t stop killing. They never stop until they get caught, or they die.”

“This part of the desert was absolutely surreal and as he looked out upon it, dozens of questions flooded his mind, but none of the questions had an answer.”

“This is a time of great danger and violence. This will be the summer of the beast.”

1 comment:

  1. I would love for you to review my mystery thriller, Anonymous (Blossom Publishing 12/12/13) about a young woman who confronts the fear of inheriting mental illness when her husband moves her into a hundred-year-old farmhouse where neighbors insinuate it’s haunted. Her new friend confronts the fear of a stalker when perverse anonymous letters arrive in the mail. Their stories merge as their friendship grows and their fears escalate.

    I creative writing at Baldwin Wallace Collage and Cleveland State University. My short stories have been finalists for Perigee Publication for the Arts and The Fish Short Story Prize. This is the book trailer: