- published by Bantam 2010, Random House Australia
- 388 pages
- ISBN 978-1-74166-814-8
- source: borrowed
Miriam Caine, aged seventy, is dining with her son when she bursts into flames in the restaurant of a five-star hotel. The restaurant’s manager, Troy Berrigan, is first to her aid, but the woman later dies of her injuries. When investigators find accelerants on the victim’s face and clothing, the incident becomes a police matter, and attention is turned to Berrigan, a fallen hero cop, who fits the arsonist profile. Berrigan knows he’s not the killer, but he also knows that at the time of the incident, he was the only person close enough to have set her on fire. When he’s connected to another death, Troy must do all he can to discover what really happened to Miriam Caine.
Her death preludes a spate of apparently unconnected acid and arson attacks around Sydney. Is it the beginning of an orchestrated campaign of terror? And is Troy Berrigan the perpetrator or an innocent bystander caught up in a terrible train of events?
While on study leave, Detective Sergeant Jill Jackson becomes caught up in the investigation. Working with Federal Agent Gabriel Delahunt, she is determined to find out what happened to Miriam Caine, because this case for her is not only about murder and maiming in Sydney: this case will change Jill Jackson’s life forever.
WATCH THE WORLD BURN was one of those books that I enjoyed more, the more I read. The opening “hook” was great though – an elderly woman bursts into flame, just when the manager, aboriginal ex-cop Troy Berrigan, was standing right next to her, but not looking at her.
WATCH THE WORLD BURN is full of intriguing little stories, starting with the one about why Troy Berrigan is no longer a cop. Then there is also the continuing story of Jill Jackson, the thread that connects all Giarratano’s novels so far. And then the story of politician Erin Hart campaigning for the installation of CCTV in public places such as railway stations. Underpinning it all is the ongoing investigation into Miriam Caine’s not-so-spontaneous combustion, and questions that elude answers.
This is a book that keeps the reader on their toes, testing out hypotheses. For me the final answer came out of left field, but then I could see that the clues had been there all along.
My rating: 4.6
If you are new to Giarratano, then I agree with Bernadette that you could begin your reading here. There is enough back story from earlier novels.