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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Burning Without Knowing is a work of fiction in the thriller and suspense subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Mike Mallow. In this book, a girl named Shawna sees her life descend into chaos after the death of a copper thief. This leads her down a road of crime, corruption, and violence the likes of which she never could have imagined. Weighed down at all times by the actions of her father, Shawna must decide whether to free herself from his shadow with sins of her own or to fight her way out of the darkness the hard way.
There’s an excellent display of worldbuilding on show in this book, with a complex web of characters whose true natures exist outside the perception of the general public. This web is disrupted when Shawna gets thrown into the center of it. Mike Mallow has created a wonderful counterbalance between the two-faced and overtly dark conspirators Shawna meets on her journey, and Shawna herself whose descent into her own personal darkness comes from a powerful sense of desperation for survival. This incentive makes Shawna’s struggle exciting, difficult to predict, and surprisingly relatable which is not a simple accomplishment. Overall, Burning Without Knowing is a dynamic and unpredictable rollercoaster of a thriller that constantly succeeds in catching both the lead character and reader off guard as the fight for Shawna’s survival gets harder and harder. An exciting read from start to finish, I absolutely recommend this book to fans of the thriller genre.