The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns

The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns ©2013, Blue Rider Press

A baby stolen from a hospital (replaced with a snake) in sleepy Brewster, Rhode Island ignites parallel stories of policemen, doctors, nurses, reporters, EMTs, telekinetic children, and even a shepherd.  Police investigating the missing baby uncover more crimes and dark forces afoot, thereby spurring the perpetrators into more mayhem imperiling the various main characters.  Thus the individual story lines begin to intertwine.  Think a Criminal Minds episode with a Halloween theme.

Dobyns has pleasant, clear writing style, although the story lines did take a bit longer than I thought necessary to coalesce.  Once they did, however, I couldn’t put the book down.  It was worth sticking with it to reach the turning point.

If you don’t mind a meandering stroll from Point A to Point B, then Burn Palace’s length won’t bother you.  Overall, Dobyns’ story works, tying up nicely almost every loose end (never did find out who put that snake in the bassinette).  It was good enough to stay on my shelf. 


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