Cover Image: Burning Guilt

Burning Guilt

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Member Reviews

When I saw the blurb for this book, it really piqued my interest. The concept for the book is strong but I think I struggled with the fact it has been translated from Danish. It made the language very simplistic and therefore didn't flow well. I found myself having to constantly go back and re-read chapters as the viewpoint kept changing, which is usually fine, but because it had been translated I found that hard to keep up with. I also think it made some of the characters seem a little unrealistic and the storyline predictable.

I've given it three stars as I do think in Danish, this would be a great read. But the translated version couldn't keep me hooked.
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A short story with a good plot and suspense. The translation is also quite good without losing the flavour of Scandinavian noir. The different threads are brought together to a satisfactory conclusion.
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Burning Guilt is a Scandi-noir crime procedural thriller from Inger Gammelgaard Madsen. Originally released in Danish, this English language translation was released 30th March 2021 by Saga Egmont. It's a compact 141 pages and available in ebook format. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

This is a very fast paced procedural novel with a police/investigative reporter duo digging into a deadly accidental fire which might have led to the death of another policeman who was investigating it.  The characters are archetypal but well rendered. The dialogue is sometimes a trifle stilted but I am fluent in Norwegian and Danish (they're very similar, at least the written languages are), and I believe that's more to do with fidelity in translation than that the dialogue is awkward. 

There are several subplots which entwine and culminate in a generally satisfactory (if a bit over the top) denouement and resolution.  The language is PG/R rated and there is some graphic violence. The author is talented and competent, however I wasn't entirely satisfied with the depiction of mental illness in the book which I felt was inaccurate, and frankly, lazy writing. 

Three and a half stars. Probably worth a look for procedural fans. Additionally, the author is worth watching for further works in translation. I'm tempted to find this book in Danish to read it in the original edition. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Johan Boje, a police assistant for Mid- and Western Jutland dies after being hit by a speeding car outside his home one late night in March. His boss, Alex Borg, is one of the firsts to arrive at the scene of the crime. It quickly dawns on him that this is not a simple case of hit-and-run, but rather a very brutal murder.

Boje's nine-year-old son claims he saw the car, and that it was a police officer behind the wheel. Is it the just the traumatized boy's imagination playing tricks? A gas station's surveillance camera confirms the son's story – someone in a police uniform was driving the car that fatal night.

Rolando Benito, an investigator at the Police Complaints Authority, is put on the case. Which one of Johan Boje's colleagues had a motive to go to such extremes? Rolando Benito teams up with Anne Larsen, a local television journalist and together, they follow the tracks back to a fire, that had major consequences for a local family.

Maybe the fire was not an accident? It seems to Anne and Rolando that the motive might be quite different than they had first expected. The hunt is now on to find the perpetrator before he strikes again.
A short read but gripping nonetheless
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Saga Egmont for a review copy of Burning Guilt, a police thriller featuring Danish investigator Rolando Benito.

The Police Complaints Authority is called in when Detective Johan Boje is run over in front of his house and CCTV suggests the driver is a police officer. Meanwhile reporter Anne Larsen is working her own angle, an accidental fire that she suspects Boje was re-investigating.

I quite enjoyed Burning Guilt as it has a bit of mystery attached, but I didn’t really like the format with its shifting perspective and apparently random voices. I would have preferred a straightforward investigation, but as it stands this is more a psychological thriller than police procedural and it’s a bit of a misnomer to label the series Rolando Benito, as he has very little to do with unfolding events and it’s more the Anne Larsen show.

It is a short read, more novella than novel, so there is little room for character development or much depth. Nevertheless it packs a fair amount in with some neat twists and an action packed final showdown.

Burning Guilt is a good read for those who like a psychological thriller.
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Burning Guilt is a new crime novel by Danish author Inger Gammelgaard Madsen. A car accident outside a policeman’s house one night appears more than a simple hit and run, especially as his nine-year old son is an eye witness. As the hunt for the perpetrator begins, all aspects of the victim’s life are investigated and many other lives undergo scrutiny as well. This is a worthy whodunnit with layers of interconnection and enjoyable Nordic noir with a three-star rating. With much thanks to Saga Egmont Publishers and the author for an uncorrected proof for review purposes.
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