Burn by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy; 388 pages; 2010; Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN; 978-1-59554-471-1; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 3/23-25
I believe that it was in Stephen Kings’ book Danse Macabre that I first encountered the idea of getting someone to suspend their disbelief. Somehow making the fantastic so believable that the audience continues on with you. Most of the time I am able to do if the writer or filmmaker doesn’t go to far over the top. That said the central premise of this book was so far over the top and without reason or rationale that it ruined the story for me.
A drug lord and a community leader at each others throats combine to cause the massacre by fire and gunshot of the entire community, except for one. But wait there is another survivor also, but wait there is still another survivor. So initially we are told that there is only one survivor, then in a reveal that makes sense we are told of another, who has taken another identity and made a successful life for themselves. Then it is revealed that there is a third survivor, who though horribly scarred by the fire has devoted themselves to doing good for others. So far everything makes sense, even as the psychological aspects start to mount, and you are reminded of Thr3e by Dekker. The story then jumps the shark, how I am not going to tell you because you can suspend that much disbelief. Most of Dekkers’ books have elements of fantasy in them and are usually believable in themselves. However Burn is so firmly entrenched in reality, and there is no explanation offered, that makes sense to me, how the twist is even possible. If you ask me and really want to know I will tell you what the element that ruined the book for me. Grade-C-