Burntown

Jennifer McMahon. Doubleday, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-54136-7
Fans of McMahon’s eight earlier novels (The Winter People, etc) will be intrigued by this complex and quirky mystery set in a rundown Vermont mill town, where orphaned teenage Eva (street name Necco) lives in an abandoned car with her boyfriend, Hermes. Her grandparents have been murdered, her parents also died suspiciously, and her brother is missing. Necco recalls a mysterious machine, built by her father from plans stolen from Thomas Edison, that can talk with the dead; a killer now wants those plans and thinks Necco has them. Through a series of strange events, Necco is befriended by the Fire Eaters, a group of outcast nomadic women; Theo, a female student drug dealer; and Pru, the school cafeteria worker. There might be two killers after Necco and the plans, and as her memory of earlier family deaths returns, she realizes she does know enough about her father’s strange machine to be in danger. This is a well-crafted story with plenty of suspense to keep readers engrossed. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/08/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-5247-8026-5
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-101-97185-7
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-385-68705-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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