The Burning Girl is the second in a set of three novella’s featuring Eloise a psychic medium who only realised she had this power following a car accident in which caused the death of her husband and one of her daughters. This was the basis of the first book in this series, The Whispers.
The Burning Girl starts ten years on from the end of The Whispers, a device that allows the author to introduce some new characters most notably Agatha a commercial psychic who listens to, and advises Eloise when the visions she sees and the voices she hears gets too much for her. When Eloise notices the smell of burning in her house the vision that becomes clear is particularly horrifying but the scene is from many years ago so what is this ghost trying to tell her? Eloise isn’t after fame or fortune. Far from it, her psychic powers have made her neighbours wary of her and her remaining daughter has moved far away. Eloise sees the visions to help solve crimes and since her power is elusive and can’t be summoned up she alone must find the link between the past and the present in this episode.
For a novella there is a lot packed into this story which is pleasingly backed up with authentic characterisation. I’ve said before that I’m not a big fan of the supernatural but I think the fact that Eloise is a reluctant psychic has helped me get over this aversion and allowed me to thoroughly enjoy this series. Lisa Unger is a master storyteller which means that the pace and the plot work in harmony to give an unusually satisfying read considering the length of the book; I didn’t feel cheated by the brevity at all.
I’m not entirely sure that this was quite as satisfying as the first book in the series as there were far more loose ends in this one which I hope will be tidied up in the third and final part due to be published in 2015; The Three Sisters. Lisa Unger has chosen to set The Three Sisters some ten years on from The Burning Girl and I will definitely have to read this part to see what happens to Eloise next.
I’d like to say a big thank you to the publishers Gallery, Threshold Pocket Books for giving me a copy of this book in return for this honest review. The Burning Girl will be published on 25 November 2014 in the US and is due for release in the UK in February 2015.