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review 2016-01-17 22:16
Great Novel!
Angels Burning - Tawni O'Dell
Chief Dove Carnahan is the main character of this story. She is a police chief in a small community in Pennsylvania. There is an abandoned mine just out of town where the body of a teenage girl is found, partly buried and partly burned. It is up to her and her team to figure out what happened to her and why. She is identified as Camio Truly, a member of the Truly family, notorious for being rednecks and petty criminals. Suspects abound, Camio's family and her boyfriend are among them.
Dove has issues of her own and her story is told along with the ongoing investigation of the girl's murder. Dove's mother was murdered when Dove was a teenager. Dove also has a sister Neely and a brother Champ. Their stories are also mingled in. Neely is a dog trainer with issues of her own, Champ left the family shortly after their mother was murdered and has not returned in 20 years, then suddenly turns up with a son. The man who was tried and convicted for the murder is out and he is not happy that he had to be imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
All of these stories combine to tell tale of dysfunctional families at their best, and worst. A suspenseful story that gets even more suspenseful as the story goes on. Definitely twists that I never saw coming. I love a good mystery/thriller type story and Angel's Burning is one of the better ones that I have read. All of Tawni O'Dell's books take place in Pennsylvania coal mining communities and she writes of the locality very well. This is the first book I have read by this author but I certainly will be reading more. I give this book 5 stars.
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review 2016-01-04 06:30
Angels Burning
Angels Burning - Tawni O'Dell

By: Tawni O'Dell 
ISBN:  9781501132544
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 1/5/2016
Format: Hardcover
My Rating:  3 Stars  

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Tawni O’Dell returns following One of Us (2014), with another haunting suspense mystery, set in the rural Pennsylvania area. Where secrets are buried— and the past threatens to roar its ugly head in the present.

Dove Carnahan a fifty-year-old tough police chief in the rural Pennsylvanian coal town. A mom’s murder has been hidden. Thirty-five years ago, the most heinous crime this town has ever seen—until today.

The crime has been forgotten by most, except her children, her mother, and the man who unfairly paid for it. Dove is loved by her community; however, beneath her badge lies a dark secret, she has kept since she was sixteen. Neely, Champ, and Dove—then they moved to Gil’s mansion when they were fourteen, twelve, and nine.

As the book opens, someone has stuffed a girl, beaten to death in a fiery hole in the ground. The top portion of her body had been badly burned. Her hair is gone and the damage to her skull is obvious. Hopefully she was dead before she was lit on fire.

One of the worst crimes she is faced with solving. Plus, one of the worst families. Dove and Nolan are on the case (they also have a little history). To further complicate her life, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother is released from prison, where he has spent the last thirty-give years.

Years ago, her mother’s only standard for men was that they could afford her. Young, old, handsome, homely, muscly, portly, blue-collar, white-collar, married, single, educated, and as dumb as dirt: she had watched all kinds come and go. Very few of them appealed to Neely and Dove. Lucky had been a jerk from the start.

Now she is dealing with the dead girl’s family – The Trulys. Camio Truly, only seventeen years old. The girl went missing and now they will need her dental records to identify her. Who would do such a horrific thing to a young girl?

During her twenty-seven years in law enforcement, each homicide was committed by a family member, spouse, or significant other.

At the moment, she has no idea why anyone would want Camino truly dead, but someone has to answer the question.” She wants Camio’s killer brought to justice as much as anyone—including her own family.

Told from Dove’s POV, readers get the down and dirty from all the rednecks, hillbillies, and dysfunction in town; mixed with wit and sass. Intertwined with the present day girl’s murder, Dove has an angry man out of prison on her trail, and demands answers why her family lied and sent him to prison.

Can you say, psychological damage? The two stories connect. The ties that bind---despair, family; and the lengths they will go to protect those they love, crossing moral lines of right and wrong (victim and survivor).  

For me, I would not classify the novel as a psychological thriller, as much as it is a mystery; family dysfunction, and character-driven, with a feisty protagonist.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Angels-Burning/cmoa/56250c140cf2c6c6437cf9da
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review 2015-12-19 23:21
Angels Burning - Tawni O'Dell

#AngelsBurning Tawni O'Dell  Available 1/5/16  4 Stars!  @GalleryBooks  

What a grisly way to find a body and a teenager, no less. This was a good book that definitely kept my attention throughout. While reading over my last review by Tawni O'Dell, I was surprised to read that it took me a while to get into her book. That did not happen on this one. This book grabbed me at the beginning and did not let go.

Of course, there were several subplots going on in the book. One including the murder of the main character, Dove Carnahan, when she was just 15 years old. She also happens to be the Chief of Police. While removing the body of the teenager, the death of her own mother is very strong in her mind. And, the person who murdered her mother just happens to be getting out of jail.

So, not only does she have the case of the dead teenager, she has to deal with the murderer of her mother who is hell bent on revenge. There are many more secrets that come out that will amaze and surprise you. This is one that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. And the motive for the teenagers death and the mother's death will leave you astounded.

Huge thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. A great book I definitely recommend!

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review 2015-03-28 16:57
One of Us, Tawni O'Dell
One of Us - Tawni O'Dell


Synopsis: Dr. Sheridan Doyle is the "go to", TV friendly forensic psychologist in Philadelphia. He makes sure his  personal image matches his professional one. Back in his hometown of Lost Creek, he is still known as Danny Doyle, the shy, bullied young boy from a blue collar family of coal miners. An image that Sheridan would be happy to never see again. He can't get that lucky when he is called back to Lost Creek to care for his grandfather. Unfortunately for him, the first thing he comes across is a body found at the now tourist place where four miners were hung over a hundred years ago. Danny partners with a detective from his youth to find the reason behind the murder. When the truth comes out, Danny finds that sometimes the past comes out to haunt in more ways than one.

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: Another new author has come across my radar. This book was a treat. It flowed well and was concise in its storyline. The author knew how to utilize the right amount of dramatic scenes without going overboard. I love when an author can do that. These are the types of books that I can read in one day and this book was no exception. This is definitely a series I will be continuing with.

Source: Simon and Schuster for review.

Would I recommend? : Yes

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: First in series

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review 2015-02-22 03:47
One of Us
One of Us - Tawni O'Dell

I have read other books by Tawni O’Dell, and am a fan of her ability to set the scene, particularly when she draws on her roots in the small coal-mining towns of western Pennsylvania. Her characters possess all the grit and determination I imagine it must take to face each day in such grim circumstances. Despite the depressed conditions of life inside the mines, the job continued to be a draw for workers, who came to fulfill what they imagined to be the American dream.


The protagonist of this story has successfully accomplished what so many of these men and women hoped for — a life of wealth and substance for their children far beyond the mines. Danny Doyle has lived his life in the spotlight; a life of privilege and ease that helps him forget the hardships of his youth. When he finally returns to the town of his birth, he must face all of his demons, some living, and some long since in the past.


This is an almost love story, a psychological thriller, and the portrait of an unconventional but loving family. There is a lot of dysfunction, and a lot of truly wonderful characters. There are a few that seem to border on stereotype — cold-hearted killer, surprisingly likable curmudgeons, kind-hearted cop — but O’Dell handles them all with surety and grace. And even though I knew all along who did it and why, I enjoyed the trip all the more because of the company I kept along the way.

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