What Burns Within by Sandra Ruttan marks the debut of a police procedural series, one that is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the genre. The reader follows RCMP Constables Tain, Hart and Nolan through the investigation of three difficult cases, until the officers discover their cases converge.
Tain, Hart and Nolan are three officers who "share a common tendency toward insubordination and independence." They were split up due to fall-out from a difficult case. Now, the Vancouver officers have tough new cases. Tain is dealing with child abduction cases in which young girls have been snatched off the street. Ashlyn Hart works arson fires, until the body of one of the abducted girls is discovered in a fire. And, Craig Nolan is handling the investigation into a serial rapist. Despite their supervisor's attempt to keep them apart, the three investigators discover common links in the cases. Suddenly, they're in the middle of a case that could blow up for the Vancouver RCMP.
Ruttan has created three strong-willed characters, strong officers with a dedication to their job, and an unwillingness to deal with fools. They may share that trait, but Ruttan has given them distinct personalities and backgrounds. She skillfully handles the minor characters as well, from Sergeant Daly to key witnesses, and the abducted girls. The cases are fascinating in this excellent police procedural. What Burns Within is an outstanding debut for a new series. Fans will be waiting for the November release of the follow-up, The Frailty of Flesh.
Sandra Ruttan's website is www.sandraruttan.com
What Burns Within by Sandra Ruttan. Dorchester Publishing Company, Incorporated, ©2008. ISBN 9780843960747 (paperback), 384p.