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Burning Man (Gideon and Sirius #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  3,395 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
LAPD cop Michael Gideon and his police dog partner Sirius became reluctant celebrities after capturing a notorious serial killer in the midst of an inferno. For their heroism, they were chosen to head up the newly formed Special Cases Unit. Now the duo tackles out-of-the-ordinary cases, anything deemed unusual or bizarre even by Hollyweird standards.

When a teenager is foun
Paperback, 328 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Thomas & Mercer
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Mary Ann No. I already read the second book in the series, "Guardians of the Night."
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Nov 08, 2012 Victoria rated it really liked it
Just a few pages into this mystery, I stumbled over the writing itself - inconsistent verb tenses, coupled with an over-reliance on passive verbs. It definitely distracted me more than a few times, but the never-failing charm of Detective Michael Gideon and his German Shepherd partner, Sirius, drew me right back in after each occurrence. This duo was likable from the very first page - and remained so until the very last page. Gideon’s narration included a lot of humour and wit, which sped up the ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Pamela rated it did not like it
Since the average rating on this book is over 3.5 stars, many of those who read/reviewed/rated it must have enjoyed it. My experience has been different.

This review may contain some spoilers, but really, who cares? When a book is this bad it doesn't matter.


Dialog: To say the dialog was sophomoric would be an insult to sophomores the world over. Imagine if you will, adults who speak and, in the case of the main character, think in adolescent wise-cracks that are barely better than "knock-kn
Dec 13, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery, thriller fans
I have received an ARC of this book through a GoodReads FirstReads giveaway.
This book is by far one of the best I've read in awhile. From page one I was sucked in, and when I wasn't reading, I couldn't wait to get back to it.
You can't help but like, and root for the main character in this story who, despite a tragic past, has a sense of humor through it all. Being a huge animal lover, I enjoyed how well Sirius (the dog) was written. (It's a pet peeve of mine to read a story with a dog that has
Nov 01, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Police detective Michael Gideon, and his K-9 partner, Sirius, have literally been through the fires of Hell. After surviving serious burns, the two are put on a Special Cases assignment. Even having Sirius on the force is unusual after his injuries, but Gideon refuses to be separated from him.

One of the first cases they catch is a crucifixion, which leads to all manner of complications and subplots. The victim, on the surface, is the typical Big Man on Campus ... but obviously he has some enemie
Maureen DeLuca
Jun 08, 2016 Maureen DeLuca rated it really liked it
LAPD cop Michael Gideon and his police dog partner Sirius became famous for capturing a serial killer in the midst of an inferno. Both suffering burns and then they did rehab together. When they were both able to come back to work a new unit was designed for them- to tackle out even the most bizarre cases - Gideon’s narration included a lot of humor and wit keeping the story flowing quite nicely. The police procedural/mystery is good, the trauma/PTSD the main character battles is handled well an ...more
Sharon Michael
Apr 16, 2015 Sharon Michael rated it really liked it
Almost anything with a realistic dog/handler connection works for me and this is a very good example. The police procedural/mystery is good, the trauma/PTSD the main character battles is handled well and the interaction between the main character and the dog are excellent.

Two things dropped this from 5 to 4 stars for me. The flashbacks seemed more intrusive than necessary, I felt they could have been fewer in number and introduced somewhat more smoothly. I also found myself somewhat uncomfortabl
Michael Sherer
Mar 03, 2013 Michael Sherer rated it really liked it
Alan Russell may be the most underrated, least well-known best-selling thriller writer around. I met Alan at Bouchercon in Pasadena in 1992, and he’s been turning out books ever since. I hadn’t read one of his for a long time until picking up BURNING MAN, recently released by Thomas & Mercer.

A police procedural as much as it is a thriller, BURNING MAN quickly establishes a terrific character in LAPD K-9 cop Michael Gideon, and masterfully provides back story by walking its hero and sidekick
John Devlin
Jul 03, 2013 John Devlin rated it it was ok
Starts out promising with an effective if sentimental tale of a cop and his dog. The murder that follows and the illogic of the suspects begins to grate, the snappy repartee, the ripped off Hannibal Lecter trope, and the romance all are more of the same.

Specifically, his romance with the woman who furnishes a cemetery for discarded babies shows promise, but the character is as normal as apple pie w/no glitches or even goth sensibility to make her interests in dead babies anything more than just
Feb 13, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing
Burning Man, by Alan Russell, ignited my attention from the beginning prologue chapter and smoldered in my consciousness throughout my reading experience.

Michael Gideon, an LAPD detective, and Sirius, his canine partner, were very nearly killed in a fire set by a serial killer they apprehended. To be fair, the serial killer was nearly killed, too, which would have been sweet charred poetic justice, but alas, he survived. Gideon, a widower, and Sirius form a new special cases unit to investigate
Dec 19, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it
I may have found a new author! This is the first book of a series, and I purchased it because I received the second book free as part of my Kindle Prime subscription. I enjoyed it quite a bit. LA police detective Michael Gideon and his canine partner Sirius are trapped in a California wildfire with a serial killer, and all three are badly burned. After a long period of convalescence, Gideon and Sirius return to active duty as investigators in a new special unit. Gideon's job is to investigate un ...more
May 20, 2016 Jonathan rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Another solid if unspectacular detective novel, the first of the novels featuring LAPD detective Michael Gideon and his police dog Sirius. They are both recovering from a horrific burning, as they brought a serial murderer out of a flaming canyon. In a Hannibal / Clarissa like twist, he gets to visit the serial murderer on death's row in San Quentin to probe his psyche. And in a very The Following kind of way, the serial killer seems to be manipulating folks on the outside to mess with Gideon.

A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

*Book source ~ Purchased on Amazon

Michael Gideon and his K-9 partner Sirius are everyday LAPD cops. Until the day they became famous for capturing the Santa Ana Strangler while in the middle of an inferno and getting severely burned in the process. All three made it out alive. After a year of skin grafts and physical therapy, Gideon wants to go back to work even though Sirius’s injuries put him in early retirement. Lucky for him & Sirius, the new Chief has just the job for them. Though he
Mar 24, 2014 Monnie rated it it was amazing
When I was offered the chance to get this book for 99 cents as an "earned credit" at, I read the synopsis, checked customer reviews and learned that author Alan Russell, the author of 10 books, has won several writing awards. Satisfied that my almost-dollar probably wouldn't be wasted (and any event it wasn't much to lose), I downloaded it. When I ran out of other things I wanted to read a couple of months later, I decided to find out if I'd won or lost.

And wow! This, my friends, is (
Jan 03, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
After a long dry spell, it was great to have another book by Alan Russell. He has created an interesting protagonist in Michael Gideon, an LAPD officer who, along with his K-9 partner Sirius, became a hero, although both of them suffered major burns. He is now mostly recovered and assigned to work on Special Cases. He still suffers from PTSD and has dreams about fire, but these dreams give him insights to the cases he is working. In this book he works two very different cases. In one he is searc ...more
Lori Budd
Dec 14, 2013 Lori Budd rated it it was ok
The book was just ok. ****SPOILERS*****As I was reading, I kept trying to find a way to get the two deaths to connect. And I guess, I just wanted them to be connected. I get there is meaning behind the "moments" after the burning, but to solve the murder because of hyphenated names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Olivia Newton-John, was just annoying. I never truly "felt" for Gideon. He wasn't a character that I became enamored with. I read the book, but didn't really ever get into it. I was disapp ...more
Laura Cowan
Dec 11, 2014 Laura Cowan rated it liked it
One star for the flimsy attempt at being a mystery, but three stars for good storytelling and developed characters.
Feb 02, 2014 Anne rated it did not like it
This book... I TRIED to like it, I really did. I read all the way to the end, hoping it would get better. I endured the quippy cops who spoke so unlike any human being in real life. I made it through the tired cliches. I even tried to ignore one of the most annoying narrators in any book I've ever read. But then came the ending which, I won't spoil it, is unsatisfying. Seriously. I don't recommend this book. I'm hoping that another book by the same author that I've started reading (I impulse bou ...more
Winter Sophia Rose
Jan 01, 2015 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Intriguing, Funny, Interesting Characters & Complex! Loved It!
Jun 19, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#1 in the Gideon and Sirius series. After being badly burned in the line of duty, K-9 officer Gideon is promised his choice of assignments when he is returned to active duty. With K-9 partner Sirius retired from active duty, Gideon opts for the elite Robbery Homicide Division. Police Chief Ehrlich dissuades him and says he will put Gideon's name on the active list for RHD is he will take on the job of trouble shooter for the chief in the one-man Special Cases Unit. Allowing Gideon to keep Sirius ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 26, 2015 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing
The marked man dates to the ancient Greeks who believed the gods marked certain people for greatness with a visible scar. Today we know a scar is just a scar, but literature has continued to set aside her heroes - those destined for greatness with a mark.
In this novel both the detective Michael Gideon and his police dog Sirius are marked. They followed a serial killer into a wild fire, and came out with the felon under arrest, but Gideon and Sirius suffered third degree burns.
Both dog and man
I just got the Kindle subscription and I started reading A Burning Man and Guardians of the Night. Both books are by Alan Russell.

This is a series titled Gideon and Sirius on Amazon, and it's a story of a LA detective and his K9 companion serious. It started out where he apprehends a serial killer, and all three are caught in a fire.

Though seriously burnt, Gideon decides to reenter the force, with his K9 partner Sirius who has been officially retired. He is assigned a special cases unit, where h
Jan 11, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Michael Gideon and his K-9 partner Sirius are seriously injured by bullets and flame from fire set by a fleeing serial killer in the Benedict Canyon. When they recover, the Chief offers the pair an assignment in the Special Cases Unit, a unit designed to handle cases that no one else wants or have special significance. Gideon's glad to take the assignment. In fact, he's glad to have any assignment because if the brass knew how much he was still suffering from PTSD, he would have been medically r ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Nancy rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in the overall book and would not recommend it. It started out well but the author tried to take on too many topics - what it's like to be a burn victim, losing someone close to you that you love, bullying, new love, and even threw in a few lectures every now and then about things that must interest him. I finished it but the end was predictable. I am glad that I checked it out of the Kindle library rather than purchasing it.
Feb 09, 2015 Bkwyrm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I get annoyed a lot with crime books that have a damaged (physical, mental, emotional) protagonist. The damage always seems to overshadow who they are, and the character becomes the damage.
Not in this book. I was concerned that this guy's tragic past was going to be the focus of the book, but it's not. The past has shaped him, spurs him to act, has left a mark on him in numerous ways, but it's not HIM. Detective Gideon and his "retired" K9 partner are moving forward. This is as much ab
Aug 22, 2016 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-paced crime drama

Having grown up near much of the area described in this book, I really liked the descriptions of the settings. They were spot on and brought back lots of memories of living in the LA vicinity. Russell develops each character thoroughly, revealing things at just the right times without slowing the pace of the action. I like Detective Gideon, but his "punny" humor does seem a bit over the top at times. The romantic scenes are not very detailed, but that just leaves more to th
Dinah Hardy
Jun 03, 2015 Dinah Hardy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Great Book

This is the first one of the series; "Burning Man" ( A Gideon and Sirius Novel). There is three books in the series. I read the second one first; Guardians of the Night" which I enjoy immensely. Boy am I glad I went back and got the second one. This is the best series I believe that I have read so far. It's a cop mystery, which is one of my favorite gentry. Then the plus of having a partner that happens to be a Dog! I Love, Love, Love this series. It's also a story of a man that lov
Apr 08, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Russell is a new author for me. I read one of his later books, and decided to dive in and get this first book about Michael Gideon, and his great dog, Sirius (love the name for the dog). I have always had a very close relationship with my dogs, and I love reading about the relationship that exists between these two. I know that most cops who do K-9 work are unusually close to their animals, The need for not only respect but also trust is paramount to keeping both partners safe. Just recently in ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the narrated Kindle version and I found the narration forced and robotic at times; Unnatural. I'm guessing it's the same narrator as in one of my Spanish programs.

As soon as the person was introduced, I had guessed correctly at who the perp probably was in one of the cases; I just hadn't known the why. The other case didn't seem to be as mysterious.

Just as much time was spent on Gideon's social life as in his solving the mysteries. While I laughed at some of the humor, I would never b
Jeannie Lemley
Dec 12, 2014 Jeannie Lemley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I bought this book because it was the first 'Gideon and Sirius Novel', I wanted to read it before I began 'Guardians of the Night'. I'm not certain that this was necessary, but that's how I am! And with all that happens in the 'Burning Man', a lot of life-changing events that most likely define the two main characters, I'm glad I read it first.
Those two main characters are; Gideon the cop, and Sirius the canine cop, who is retired from K-9 duties, but very much still on the force! It'
Arlene Starr
Feb 02, 2015 Arlene Starr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Burning Man by Alan Russell
This book is about a man named Gideon and his dog Sirius who work with the LA's K-9 unit out of the Metropolitan Division. The book begins with a description of a case Gideon was sent on involving a serial killer and a fire the suspect had started to help in his escape. The remainder of the book deals with Gideon and his dog and their experiences after recovering from burns of the fire while trying to apprehend the suspect. The author does a good job at describing Gide
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In 1990 Walker & Company published Alan Russell's first book, "No Sign of Murder," which received positive reviews, including a standalone rave from The New York Times. The work was followed up by "The Forest Prime Evil" and comedic mysteries "The Hotel Detective" and "The Fat Innkeeper," which won him The Lefty award, given to the
More about Alan Russell...

Other Books in the Series

Gideon and Sirius (3 books)
  • Guardians of the Night (Gideon and Sirius, #2)
  • Lost Dog (Gideon and Sirius #3)

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