Post Script: Angels Burn – Tawni O’Dell

“We are what we know. Not what the world tells us we should be. Not even what our own heart wants us to be.”

Cover Angels Burning

Angels Burning

Tawni O’Dell

Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books

Gallery Books

ISBN: 9781476755953



From the New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club pick Back Roads comes this fast-paced literary thriller about a small town police chief who’s forced to dig into her own shadowy past as she investigates the murder of a teenage girl.


On the surface, Chief Dove Carnahan is a true trailblazer who would do anything to protect the rural Pennsylvanian countryside where she has lived all fifty of her years. Traditional and proud of her blue-collar sensibilities, Dove is loved by her community. But beneath her badge lies a dark and self-destructive streak, fed by a secret she has kept since she was sixteen.


When a girl is beaten to death, her body tossed down a fiery sinkhole in an abandoned coal town, Dove is faced with solving the worst crime of her law enforcement career. She identifies the girl as a daughter of the Truly family, a notoriously irascible dynasty of rednecks and petty criminals.


During her investigation, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother years earlier is released from prison. Still proclaiming his innocence, he approaches Dove with a startling accusation and a chilling threat that forces her to face the parallels between her own family’s trauma and that of the Trulys.


With countless accolades to her credit, author Tawni O’Dell writes with the “fearless insights” (The New York Times Book Review) she brought to the page in Back Roads and One of Us. In this new, masterfully told psychological thriller, the past and present collide to reveal the extent some will go to escape their fate, and in turn, the crimes committed to push them back to where they began.



My View:

“We are what we know. Not what the world tells us we should be. Not even what our own heart wants us to be.”

Let’s just cut to the chase – after reading this book I already know this is going to be on my “Top Reads of 2016” list! Yes it is that good!

This is a very deceptive narrative – the outward appearance, the style is relaxed, personal and the brutal murder is almost a sub story…this an intriguing look at communities, abuse, relationships and secrets and in the end, a murder is solved.


Tawni O’Dell manages to somehow hood wink you into a state of false security, of ease, of almost thinking this is a story of inconsequence, just another story about a senseless crime – but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Quietly narrated by the Chief of Police – Dove (named after the soap) Caranhan, we share the Chief’s thoughts, black humour, wit and sarcasm and her down to earth approach to life and policing. The parts I loved most of this narrative are where The Chief acts as a person not as a police officer whilst on duty- she is smart mouthed, honest, responsive and humane in her approach. She doesn’t always play by the rules and mostly that is ok. And what a life she has to share with us. (And did I mention we have a protagonist who is female and fifty and flawed? Perfect. About time.)


There is a twist here that you just won’t see coming, well probably a few of them….as you read you are thrown little hints, little tastes of what is to come…as you read you say to yourself, ok yes I get this but what is the author holding back? What is the bigger picture? And the bigger pictures are surprising, sad and illuminating. This book has such depth; the characters, communities, the families…so interesting and yet so sad. I feel like I am looking into the gold fish bowl of society; at the complex and integrate social structures that makes families unique and communities strong – regardless of their moral code. What an amazing read. Outstanding!


Add this to your library – you won’t be disappointed.








12 thoughts on “Post Script: Angels Burn – Tawni O’Dell

  1. That certainly does sound suspenseful, Carol! And I respect an author who can do parallel stories like that… I may have to investigate that one!

  2. I’ve had Back Roads in my tbr pile since Oprah recommended it. It scary to think that I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. Well you have certainly sold me on this new one too!

  3. Pingback: Best Crime Fiction/Mystery/Thrillers Reads of 2017 – Reading, Writing and Riesling

  4. Pingback: Best Crime Fiction/Mystery/Thrillers Reads of 2016 – Reading, Writing and Riesling

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