Book of the Day

20180130TheBurialSocietyNinaSadowsky 1

The Burial Society

By Nina Sadowsky

Ballantine Books
$26.00
ISBN 978-0425284377
Publication Date: January 30, 2018

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The Burial Society

Review by E.J. Boyd

People disappear.  Sometimes, they need help to disappear.  That is where The Burial Society comes in,  a sort of private, international, Witness Protection Plan.  Based in Paris, Catherine, (no last name is given, but that may be a story for another time), helps women trapped in abusive relationships find new lives–for a fee.  Her current client, Elena, a former Russian supermodel, is desperate to flee her husband, a Russian illegal arms dealer that has literally left his mark on her.  Catherine is happy to help and plans to utterly destroy the sadistic bastard to boot–but Elena has one of the most recognizable faces in the world and she may be more difficult to hide than Catherine and her crew had anticipated.  To complicate matters, the family of a former client (her one botched mission in America that left the client missing and presumed dead) have turned up in Paris.

Brian Burrows and his children, Natalie and Jake, are trying to make a new start following the disappearance of his wife 3 years ago.  But it is not going well.  Natalie is an obsessive-compulsive teen with serious impulse control issues.  She returns from a fling in Amsterdam to discover the dead body of her father.  Jake, who had also been out of town, returns to find his distraught sister and struggles to hold things together until their Uncle Frank (Brian’s brother) can make it across the Atlantic to take over.   But, Uncle Frank may not be the stabilizing force he was when their mother disappeared.  He has his own troubles and with so much going wrong at once–it would be a wonder if anyone could stabilize this family.

The Burial Society by Nina Sadowsky is a non-stop, run-away train, oh-dear-god-what-else-could-go-wrong, kind of thriller that speeds by faster than those wee hours between “I’ll just read a few chapters before I go to sleep” and “damn! Is that my alarm going off?”  This really is a fun read.  Sadowsky’s characters are, for the most part, wonderfully tragic, self-centered and self-destructive, yet they each want to so desperately to help each other.  They are extreme examples of most anyone going through a crisis,  acutely aware of their own pain and tired of feeling helpless, they become obsessed with solving the mystery at the heart of it all–what happened to Mallory Burrows?