ARC Review: The Rules of Burken by Traci Finlay

Title: The Rules of Burken
Author: Traci Finlay
Genre: Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Female
Expected Publication: April 11, 2019

 

Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game.

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back.

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?

 

ARC provided for an unbiased review.

Charlotte and Ian Stahl had been through a lot growing up. As kids, they played Burken, a modified game of hide-and-seek in the deep woods of Cadillac, Michigan. Now an adult, Charlotte agreed to play one more session for nostalgia. What she didn’t realize was the rules had changed, the goal turned deadly and it was certainly no longer an innocent child’s play.

This book intrigued me right from the beginning and got me clutching to the pages until the very end. I could feel Charlotte’s fear and desperation in anticipating Ian’s next move.

“And what about what I’ve been through, Charlotte? Everything’s always been about you. That’s what I’m trying to say! I’m dealing with the effects of everything that’s happened to us, too. Everything that’s happened to you has happened to me, too. You think you’re so alone in all your sorrows, well guess what? Hi! I know exactly what you’ve been through.”

I love the premise of the book and how things unraveled. However, it was more of a revelation to the characters instead of to the readers. I also wanted more answers regarding Ian.

I’ve been through too much to keep pretending things did and didn’t happen. I deserve closure, I deserve the truth.

The two of them had an interesting dynamic. My feelings for both of them were opposite and it evolved as the story progressed. I also liked how the supporting characters echoed the main one and opened up a different perspective.

The Rules of Burken is a chilling tale of family secrets. It would appeal to readers who enjoy delving into the complexity of human psyche.

Final Verdict:

This review is also available on Goodreads.

 

View this post on Instagram

.⁣⁣ 📖 #CurrentlyReading: The Rules of Burken by #TraciFinlay⁣ Coming April 11, 2019!⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ★ Book Details ★⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2X3TuuM⁣ Blurb:⁣⁣ Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.⁣ ⁣ He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.⁣ ⁣ He comforted her when their mom deserted them. ⁣ ⁣ He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.⁣ ⁣ To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …⁣ ⁣ …until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game. ⁣ ⁣ More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back. ⁣ ⁣ If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…⁣ ⁣ Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior? ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣

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