American Fire

The Book of the Month Curse is real! I have a ton of BOTM selections on my TBR shelves and with each one I attempt to read, my desire to read more decreases. The first two were “bails”. I couldn’t even finish them, I disliked them so much. This book, I had to finish because it was selected by a member of one of my postal book clubs.

This book has many elements with which I often struggle: dry historical background, small town politics, petty motivations. I liked the structure of the book – Hesse reveals the arsonist early on and intersperses the criminal’s story with chapters about Accomack County, the fires, and psychological profiles of arsonists. However, I didn’t care for her writing style, and the resolution to the crime, the guilty party, and the motive(s) just made me ill. It’s so petty and tawdry, I feel like I need a long, hot shower to wash the contamination away.

I confess that I switched to the audiobook version about a quarter of the way through because I was bored by the text. It was available through my library on Hoopla, so I didn’t have to waste an Audible credit, and for that I am grateful. Hooray for libraries! Sadly, I didn’t care for the narrator any more than I liked the text. I’d give this two stars out of five because it wasn’t horrible and does have some good points – I did enjoy the details on geoprofiling, for example – I just didn’t enjoy it as a whole.

~ by Rachel on December 30, 2018.

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