Title: The Man Burned By Winter
(Rooker Lindström #1)

Author: Pete Zacharias
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: June 1st 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: June 6th 2022
Pages: 335

“That was the problem with being sent on a wild fucking goose chase. You never know what’s truly important and what’s insignificant.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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It’s no secret that I can’t resist a good serial killer thriller, so I admit that I was sold as soon as I read the blurb of The Man Burned By Winter. I mean, having a main character with a serial killer father AND him going after another serial killer years after his father was caught? How can I resist that?! I fully expected to have a fantastic time with this one, and more so because of what sounded like the perfect backdrop with the brutal Minnesota winter. Sadly, the story didn’t exactly live up to the expecations for me. I’ll try to explain briefly below.

First of all, I do have to say that I still love the premise of the story. Having not one, not two, but THREE different serial killers featured definitely came as a shock, but in a good way. Having one of them have a father-son relationship with the main character only makes things more fascinating… And that same main character being suspect of the newest murders adds even more suspense. I also loved the idea of the setting with the harsh Minnesota winter weather; although I do have to say that it sometimes sounded more like a Nordic noir setting with the locations switched out at the last minute.

Now to what didn’t work for me… I’m keeping things short to avoid a full rant, but let’s just say that the execution of this story lacked considerably. The writing was all over the place, and both writing style and flow simply didn’t work for me. The pace was likewise not consistent at all, and certain parts dragged considerably. Most of the dialogues felt forced, and then I’m not even talking about the super awkward sexy scenes that had no business appearing in this story at all. There were a lot of plot holes as well; certain things are never explained and other things simply didn’t make sense.

Let’s continue with the characters. I have to be honest and say that I REALLY didn’t like the main character Rooker nor any of the cast for that matter. The characters felt mostly flat and basically like cardboard copies of ‘real’ people. Rooker was particularly detestable and his behavior was both all over the place and extremely off-putting.  I don’t think it was particularly credible to have him joining the investigation, and then I’m not even talking about the fact that even though he disobeys orders constantly he is kept on anyway. Quite a few of the twists were not credible or at least over the top as well, and then I’m not even talking about the final part of the book which both felt rushed and read more like a bad action movie.

As you might have guessed, The Man Burned By Winter and me definitely didn’t get along… It’s such a shame, because the story had such a fantastic promise, but in this case the execution just didn’t do it for me.


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