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Burning Man (Gideon and Sirius #1)

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,828 ratings  ·  199 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
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Paperback, 328 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Thomas & Mercer
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Kathy No. I am sure the dog will be featured in future books.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Victoria
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
Pamela
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.

Cons

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-kno
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Nicole
Dec 13, 2012 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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Sharon
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
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A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
4.5

*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
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Michael Sherer
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
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Dev
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
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Jack
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
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Deb
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
Monnie
When I was offered the chance to get this book for 99 cents as an "earned credit" at Amazon.com, 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 (
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Suzanne
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
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
One star for the flimsy attempt at being a mystery, but three stars for good storytelling and developed characters.
Winter Rose
Intriguing, Funny, Interesting Characters & Complex! Loved It!
Sandy
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
Nancy Thomas
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.
Bkwyrm
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
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Elaine
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
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Jeannie Lemley
BURNING MAN

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'
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Arlene Starr
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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Daniel
To be fair this should probably be 3.5 stars. And I am debating if it should be 4. The thing is that I liked the book. It was a quick, simple book, and it was interesting. It cannot, however, be correctly labeled as a murder mystery. The murder and police work in the novel take second stage to the actual burning man, who is the main character. Which is why I am only giving this three stars. Michael Gideon is an OK character, but it is frustrating that every character is just like him in the enti ...more
Lynn
I started this book not knowing what to expect. It was one of four e-books that I got for 99 cents apiece from Amazon on a promo after buying one at full price. I had never heard of Alan Russell, but thought "What have I got to lose? A buck?"

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a great read! Michael Gideon is an LAPD officer who gained hero status after he and his partner Sirius (who happens to be of the four-legged persuasion) literally walked through fire to nab a serial killer. After r
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Betty
Two mysteries, both very solid although the resolution of one of them seemed a bit too pat. But the main story is Gideon's finding ways to cope with the tragedies of his life. Interesting character, one I'd like to spend more time with in subsequent books. I loved the interaction between Gideon and his partner and best friend and enjoyed his burgeoning relationship with Lisbet. But I hated -- and I mean detested with the heat or a thousand suns - the misuse if who/that. What is so ducking hard a ...more
Sarah
I could not find a single redeeming thing about this book and, really, I tried hard. Thankfully I didn't pay for it (lending library), otherwise I would have felt compelled to finish it (I only made it halfway) and this review would have been a full out rant.
Ami
TEN STARS!!!! what a PHENOMENAL READ...i just finished it and am going to start the second one as soon as i finish this.

i hope this series goes on forEVER! the story line is fantastic--interesting on an intellectual level and engaging on an emotional level. the story is greatly augmented by alan russell's obvious and innate talent as a master of words....the references - and humor - in the book are on a level much deeper than the great majority of what i've read lately - gideon and sirius are k
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Iliana
I had lots of issue with the "visions" the guy gets, and how they were used to resolve the mistery. Seems like a cheap trick to me. Additionally, a lot of the dialogs seem too forced.
Lauren Burns
Really interesting to read. A good sign about the book is that I was super pissed that there (as yet) are no sequels or prequels that involve the characters in this novel. The author created SUCH compelling characters (yes, I am the type of girl that roots for a K9) and two story lines that haunt me still: abandoned babies in their sweet cemetery (holy crap: tears well as I remember reading about The Saint cuddling Rose outside the morgue!) and the protagonist's relationship with the Weatherman. ...more
Mike Steinharter
Not a bad murder mystery, but dialogue gets on your nerves after a while..just too cute. The dog is the best.
Tertia R Armstrong
A psychological masterpiece

A psychological masterpiece

Every body has a story.even a dog. Why people do what they do is rife with speculation. Russell manages to delve into the heart and soul of all the characters in this book. From the Zen-like neighbor Seth to a serial killer to a teen-aged mother who abandons her newborn Rose, each one has his/her own emotional tale to tell. The theme of fire brings forth images of both Hell and purification; both apply. Well written and superbly paced, you ca
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Judy A. Kuhl
This is a book to read

I really want to thank Amazon for the interesting books I have had the pleasure of reading. This is not a book I would normally have chosen to read. I enjoy mysteries and suspense. This was well written with different murders and a great protagonist. I loved Detective Gideon and Sirius. What a great combination. I borrowed this one from the kindle library. I will buy the next one. I need to see what the next case is for this pair of crime fighters.
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Gideon and Sirius (2 books)
  • Guardians of the Night (Gideon and Sirius, #2)
Guardians of the Night (Gideon and Sirius, #2) St. Nick Shame Multiple Wounds The Hotel Detective

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