The Burning Girl Series
By Christopher Rice
|If you've read the book, |
do you agree with these potential characters?
Normally the transcript focuses him, which is why he picked it up after the plate of steak and eggs in front of him failed to ignite his appetite. He thought it would collect his scattered thoughts, channel his anxiety and doubt into action.
It’s been seven years since he showed up on the doorstep of her grandmother’s house in California, even longer since he mailed her those letters explaining how her birth father and her so-called rescue by the authorities had averted her true destiny. Her soul was being starved. Together, the two of them could reawaken that exceptional and enlightened young girl Daniel and Abigail Banning had coaxed into being.
But today the transcript hasn’t worked its usual magic. Reading it has left him angry and confused. He’s gripped now by the humiliating memory of what happened to him that fateful night at Burnham College. He’s feeling the vise grip of the two blazer-clad security guards who’d appeared out of nowhere right after he entered the auditorium. The ones who’d threatened to call the cops as they carried him out so quickly he could practically feel the wind in his hair.
A hopeful, perhaps foolish part of him had been convinced that someone in Trina’s inner circle would have seen the wisdom in his letters. Abigail Banning certainly had.
Unlike Trina, who responded to his attempts at honest communication with a restraining order, Abigail replied in great detail to every single letter Jason mailed her at Haddock Penitentiary. She recognized Jason as the vehicle for her adopted daughter’s restoration, a daughter who’d been divinely gifted to her and then cruelly removed by a world that did not understand the spiritual necessity of life taking. Abigail blessed Jason with words he’d been desperate to hear since he’d first laid eyes on Trina. You will be the Daniel to her Abigail, she’d written. And in so doing, you will become become my son, too. Why hadn’t he read that letter instead of this transcript? He’s brought it with him, along with several others. They’re at the bottom of his backpack, along with the coil of rope, the rolls of duct tape, and the Ziploc bags in which he plans to put the bullets he’s going to strip from the three different guns she keeps in her house.
Should he read it now? No, there’s no telling what effect it might have on him. Instead he searches the diner for corrupters. There’s one sitting a few tables away: pretty and young, with a blonde ponytail and a halter top that reveals just enough suntanned skin to corrupt. She taps at the screen of her smartphone. The mustached man sitting across from her gazes out at the passing eighteen-wheelers with a vacant stare that reveals all the damage she’s done to his soul. She ignores the man on purpose. Jason knows this. That morning, or possibly the night before, she denied the man sex and took great, silent, delight in the pain this caused him. Right now she’s texting a girlfriend, or maybe several, and they’re reveling in the power she lords over the man, in the pain her withholding creates in him. And she does this because she is a corrupter, one of many. And once Jason has awakened Trina to their combined destiny, she will give herself entirely to their union and help him remove women like this blonde whore from the earth. Trina will burn away the evidence of his work, just like she burned away the detritus of Abigail and Daniel’s victims. But first he has to break down her walls, show her there’s no escape. From her true calling. From her real mother. From him. These thoughts, these plans—this vision—finally give him the confidence he’s been seeking since he stopped off at this diner. He has only a few hours left in his drive, a few hours until he’ll reach the isolated parcel of Arizona desert she now calls home.
One of the first things she did when she was finally on her own was to choose and legally change her name.
Charlotte soon became Charley, a name she liked and enjoyed using. It was entirely different from her real name, Trina, and its association with The Burning Girl...
Trina's mother had been gruesomely murdered while Trina was in the car. The couple who had acted together to fulfill their thirst for violence had taken the baby...to raise as their own. Trina never knew that her "parents" were serial rape/ murderers. Until she was 7 and they started her out by giving her the responsibility to burn all that had been worn and owned by those murdered. The Burning Girl soon became what she was best known as...
And, it wasn't surprising that a stalker had started following her after seeing all of those false representative books and movies of her formative years... He had tried to talk to Charlie and she quickly put a restraining order on him...Then he talked to her adoptive mother, who was in jail. She quickly realized the potential of getting her daughter to again "work" to fulfill her earlier role in...murder...And Jason wanted to be her partner just as her adoptive father had been to Abigail, her mother...
When her birth father found her and freed her--only to then use her as the basis for books and movies about the years she lived as the child of serial killers, she was harassed and forced to say what she was told. When she had been old enough to act on her own, she sued her father and escaped from a life she was now trying to put behind her. To do so, she had built an extremely secured home which, initially, was totally away from everybody...She hibernated, not wanting or needing to be with any people. But she had started going to local AA meetings. That's where she met Dylan...
He told her that he knew she didn't belong in AA meetings, but he did provide the opportunity she needed to talk out what had happened. They had met routinely thereafter and Charlie had shared more than she would have ever thought she could...She had begun to trust again... but was still very afraid... Dylan suggested she take medication to help...
“The world is full of bad men, Charlotte. Go find some.
Show them what you can do.”
And that's when the major plot begins! And it breaks into an unbelievable, fantasy thriller where Charlie becomes "close" but not the same as Bionic Woman. She is a much more fascinating woman which is suited to be responsive to her special needs based on her past and what happened since then... Think, perhaps, PTSD meds with a "kick..."
I loved the way one character was brought into the story. You see, he was a bully in the same school after Trina had been freed...and he was the one who started calling her Burn Girl. But Luke Prescott is a changed man who has an interesting FBI background and also an interesting hacker brother, both of whom greatly enhance the story. Charlie and Luke slowly begin coming acquainted with the new people they now are... as do the team that is slowly developing and surrounding her with care...
That is, when her stalker is already in her home one day when she returns...and attacks!
The psychological suspense of the story is what drew me in the most... While I would normally move quickly through a thriller, I found there were so many brilliant gems in paragraphs that kept coming, that I slowed the pace of my reading in order to dwell on significant issues that were woven within the story that I found relevant to both my own and, I am sure, other lives who have been traumatized in some way. The writing related to Charlie's various experiences was sensitively done, and showed the breadth of knowledge and thought of the author in both character development as well as his story telling. Rice's writing is intellectually stimulating, relevant and compelling.
While loving both the previous novels by this author, the "concept" of the medication and the reason for its trial and error approach, provided much to ponder...and a wonderful goal should anybody ever develop such a medication... I am so looking forward to the next in series, having pre-ordered even if it doesn't come out until next year! Charlie's a woman who has gone through trauma like no other... But will she be able to continue to keep the "potential" of the drug under control??! I loved this book and is easily added as a personal favorite! For women, this just might be a must-read for several reasons, at least in my opinion...