(Release Date: 1-12-10)The past Janeal thought had burned away is rising from the ashes. Years ago, the Gypsy Kumpania where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend--at serious risk to her own life--or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered . . . But the past is quickly come back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There's a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there's an even greater debt she must face--and if the chaff isn't burned from her own heart, it will consume her.
Janeal is the manipulator, at first she denies what she is, and at first she telling the truth. But when circumstances spiral beyond her control, then she becomes what life forces to be. She learns quickly that looking out for herself needs to be her top priority. She believes that she's the only survivor from her father's Gypsy Kumpania.
Robert, Janeal's teen boyfriend, believes he is the only survivor from the massive fire and the destruction of their camp by the hands of drug lord Salazar Sanso. He has become the vengeance for the Kumpania. As a DEA agent, when he has the opportunity to capture Sanso, he'll go to any length to make it happen.
Katie, blinded by the fire that blazes for her everyday, has hidden herself away, thinking she too is the only survivor from the fall of the Gypsy camp. She's sightless and scarred, but far from helpless. She finds a place in the mountains and from there runs a halfway house for women, all the women who are in need help find Hope House.
Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy is an intriguing read, full of mystery, murder, and bad guys. Janeal (Jane/Janice) changes her name, educates herself (with Salazar's money) and becomes top dog at a major publishing house. She uses and abuses people to get where she's come to find to herself and she'll to almost anything to protect her new life and wealth. Money has become an important commodity her life. Robert gets a tip from the very man that destroyed his life that he's not the only survivor. Can Robert trust a murdering drug lord? When he stumbles upon Katie, the once unflawed beauty of the Kumpania, he believes this is the survivor that Sanso has alluded to. Little does he know that Janeal is orchestrating from depths in the background, determined to let nothing or no one disrupt the life she now leads. But there's something that no one knows, Katie may not be who she says she is, and who or what she is, is impossible to believe.
Burn was a fascinating read with twists, turns, manipulations, and misleading truths. Truthfully, at first I had trouble finding compassion for the characters. Janeal was a user, manipulator, and the only lesson from life she learned and kept true to is to look out for yourself. Robert, Janeal one time boyfriend, was falling out of love with her way back at the Kumpania, but refused to admit it, and I didn't know if he was afraid to quit wooing the leader's daughter or if he thought he could force her into becoming someone more like Katie who had no other ambitions other than the live in the camp the rest of her life. Of course all of his outlooks change after losing everyone and everything to the massive Kumpania fire. Katie was an innocent, I started out liking Katie, but even she had her faults. She was the redeeming character that saved the book for me, even if Robert was becoming fascinated with her while claiming to be there for Janeal. If you like mystery and intrigue, baffling twists of fate and faith, this is a must have book for you. It's exciting, fast paced, and even a little scary. I enjoyed the baffling mystery that the book turned out to be. It is a book that has to be read to believe.
I received this book from Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for review. All opinions I have expressed are my own.