I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Burning Heat on January 20, 2016
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As darkness blankets the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina, Brack Pelton, an Afghanistan War veteran, steps out of a rundown bar after a long night. Before he gets to his truck, he finds himself in the middle of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman on the sidewalk. When a little girl joins the couple and gets hit by the man, Brack intervenes and takes him down. But the abuser isn’t finished. He pulls a gun and shoots the woman. Brack saves the little girl, but his world has just been rocked. Again.
The next day, while sitting on a barstool in the Pirate’s Cove on the Isle of Palms, his own bar, Brack scans the local paper. The news headline reads: Burned Body of Unidentified Hispanic Man Found at Construction Site. Nothing about a dead woman in the poor section of town. Brack feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to see an eight-year-old girl standing behind him. She’s the little girl he rescued the night before, and she wants him to look into her sister’s shooting.
Violence and danger make up Brack’s not-too-distant past. Part of him craves it–needs it. And that part has just been fed. Things are about to heat up again in the lowcountry. May God have mercy on the souls who get in the way.
by David Burnsworth
Brack Pelton, my protagonist, is an amateur sleuth who lives on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. And sometimes he has to drive very fast.
My personal driving habits have been tamed by one-too-many lengthy discussions with the local constables. In fact, I have another year to go before the points from the last violation drop off the map, or more specifically, off my record. That incident had the added bonus of being in a company vehicle with four other colleagues. And it taught me a valuable lesson—speeding isn’t really worth it.
Brack is an ex-stock car racer and was on the verge of going all the way with it when his life fell apart. His wife of five years passed away from aggressive cancer. Because of her role as his solid foundation, he had no other coping mechanism. So instead, he turned his back on everything and joined the Marines to fight in Afghanistan. His motive may have been to distract himself, but more likely it was to die.
Except he didn’t die and came back a decorated war veteran. And on top of the sadness of losing his wife, he now had a slight taste of PTSD. Or maybe it’s just withdrawal from becoming an action junkie. Either way, when he goes about trying to reacclimate himself to civilian society by moving to Charleston and helping his uncle run a bar on the Isle of Palms, his uncle gets murdered. And that begins the tale of the series with the first book, SOUTHERN HEAT. As if reminiscing his stock car days, Brack bombs around in a new Mustang with the hot V-8 engine, as well as a few other cars. And he drives fast.
With BURNING HEAT, the second in the Brack Pelton series, Brack is a year older, and maybe a year wiser. He now owns the bar he used to help his uncle run and he is responsible for those who work for him. Thanks to his friends, he is in a much better spot in life, but when a woman is murdered in front of him, the action junkie comes to life again. He is seemingly always on the verge of losing everything all over again.
This time, Brack spends a lot of time in his company car, a Ram pickup. With almost four-hundred horsepower, it is no slouch. But it isn’t a sports car, either. For the speed fix, Brack has restored his uncle’s classic Shelby Mustang. Its big-block engine is a screamer and whisks Brack and friends away from the ever-too-present danger that lurks in the underbelly of Brack’s life. If that isn’t enough, he and his sidekick, Mutt, steal a Ferrari as a vendetta and leave it in Myrtle Beach.
Why does Brack spend so much time speeding around? Well, part of the reason is because I can’t, or won’t, any more. Envisioning Brack hitting a hundred miles an hour on paper is just as thrilling as when I was stupid enough to do it in real life. Only now, it is a lot safer for everyone. Have there been situations in your life when time was of the essence, when you had to get someplace fast, and had no other choice?
The other reason is because innocence needs to be protected and justice needs to be served. Brack will do whatever it takes to make sure both needs are met. The third book in the series will, of course, continue with hot cars and aggressive driving. Brack may think his days of violence and mayhem are over, but when his friend gets in trouble, he is back on the case.
Burning Heat by David Burnsworth is the second book in the Brack Pelton series. I quickly found myself drawn into Brack Pelton’s world again. In this installment, Brack finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. When a woman steps in front a bullet, protecting her sister and Brack. No body is found, and Brother Thomas asks Brack to look into it. Brack agrees and becomes embroiled in a crime that goes beyond whatever he expected.
Burnsworth once again weaves a mystery through the South Carolina lowcountry that kept me guessing. I love the characters and the setting. The author’s writing style is authentic. I didn’t want to put this one down once I started it. This is a wonderful second book in a series and it is a series that I look forward to reading more in.