Author: Margaret Mizushima
Title: “Burning Ridge”
“Burning Ridge” by Margaret Mizushima is a compelling thriller that will captivate the reader from beginning to end. The story is set in Timber Creek, Colo., a small town surrounded by miles of forest, including the breathtaking Redstone Ridge. In Timber Creek, Detective Mattie Cobb is content, working alongside Robo, her police K-9. However, her world is soon thrown into chaos by a case involving a burned body buried in the wilderness. Soon, the entire station is on the hunt for a serial killer with a mysterious vendetta whose killing spree is far from over. The deeper Cobb goes into the case, the more gruesome and personal it becomes. Soon Cobb finds herself a target and has to rely on those closest to her and her own strength to solve — and survive — the case.
“Burning Ridge’s” plot combines both mystery and a character journey that draw the reader into the story. As the case unfolds, suspense, surprising revelations and action keep readers immersed in the story. Through these events, the reader also relates more to the lives and struggles of Cobb and Robo. Cobb’s composed exterior hides a painful childhood of abuse by her father and abandonment by her mother. Though she has learned to hide her pain her whole life, the emotional and personal nature of the case forces her to confront demons from her past that she had suppressed. In her struggle to deal with her past, Cobb finds herself relying more and more on those who care about her, including her K9 Robo.
Robo the German shepherd begins with a relatively minor role, but, as the story progresses, Mizushima emphasizes the bond between Cobb and Robo. By the end of the story, readers are rooting for both Cobb and Robo.
Though “Burning Ridge” is part of a larger series, the book is written to function as a standalone novel as well. Mizushima’s writing style is descriptive, but also moves along the plot at a satisfying pace. Even readers unfamiliar with the region will enjoy the small town of Timber Creek and the beauty of its surrounding forests, and share in the suspense as Cobb and Robo investigate in the wilderness.
In conclusion, a well-developed plot, a strong character focus and a descriptive writing style make Margaret Mizushima’s “Burning Ridge” an enjoyable thriller.