Burn Up: The Secrets of Mylin – Book II

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Joe Klingler is clever, witty, and shockingly realistic in his second installment of Secrets of Mylin.

During a wild assemblage at Burning Man, several of Mylin’s family members and friends are missing or dead. In fact, people all over town are found dead—some in compromising positions—buildings are exploding, and the connection between the Wu family and all of these goings-on are hard to ignore. Detectives, Kandy and Qigiq, are in hot pursuit—no thanks to the FBI, who attempt to block their investigation. The detectives ignore their orders and employ Ferd and Petr—the tech-savvy duo—to assist in their insubordination, but can the detectives and all their insolent friends take down this highly organized crime family?

I almost always enjoy mystery/thrillers for their action and intrigue, but I am fond of this one for different reasons. Klinger’s characterization of Mylin is a winner, in my opinion. He explores cultural gender norms and classic patriarchy through Mylin. While she is being abused by someone who should honor and respect her, Klinger grips the reader’s imagination with his words, “I am the eldest male in the family. You will obey me.” Mylin “[pulls] a black curtain across her mind to block out sight, sound and feeling.” In the age of the #metoo movement, women’s human rights and gender equality, where sexual assault and abuse of authority are being exposed, Klinger’s characters are right on time. Klinger’s unique craft is also notable. He uses first person for some chapters in the antagonist’s—Shen— point of view while allowing us to be omnipresent in the other chapters. In some ways, we bond with Shen as he prays to the dragon gods and channels the voices of his ancestors. On the contrary, we live through his depravity first-hand as he plots and schemes against his own blood. It is a truly engaging experience.

My only drawback—the subtle hints from the previous book ignites thought, more anticipation, more involvement in the text; however, if someone had not read the first book recently, they might need a short synopsis or an introduction that reminds the reader of what happened previously. Other than that, Klinger is winning in 2018—can’t wait for the next installment.

This page was created by an SFBR staff member.


Reviewed By:

Author Joe Klingler
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 367 pages
Publisher Cartosi LLC
Publish Date 2018-Jun-21
ISBN 9781941156087
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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