Book Review: Southern Heat by David Burnsworth

Blog content has become limited to mostly book reviews and promos. Sorry about that. I have been performing surgical excision on Alliances and editing. This is meticulous and time consuming. Also, I’m reading…a lot. Some classics and some new stuff. I don’t recall where I was introduced to this author, a blog interview or twitter.

I’ve read a few times that authors should not review books in their genre. I apologize in advance if people might feel I am violating some code of ethics or author etiquette. I haven’t published in this genre…yet, so the rebel in me sees an exemption. Besides, this is a slightly different region, though somewhat similar.

Book Review:

Southern Heat is a perfect example of what makes regional fiction so appealing. A Georgia girl transplanted to Florida, when I was reading this book, I felt right at home. The theme centers on an environmental issue close to my heart. The setting is the low country of the South Carolina coastline in Charleston. Southern Heat has all of the elements of an excellent contemporary southern crime fiction novel.

What sets this book apart is Burnsworth’s unique voice and style. Southern Heat has a gritty, noir feel to it with rough, edgy characters while keeping a traditionally southern charm.

The mystery begins when Brack Pelton’s Uncle Reggie dies in his arms in an alley after uttering the name of the person who shot him. Even though he’s gone from the very beginning, I felt like I knew Uncle Reggie, owner of the Pirate’s Cove bar and grill and Vietnam vet, from my hippie days. Brack, tainted by the loss of his late wife and PTSD from his own service time in Afghanistan, earned my respect early on. I fell in love with his dog, Shelby. The women in this book made me proud.

Burnsworth’s cast of supporting characters are a determined, though somewhat disturbed, motley crew in keeping with that southern tradition. The string of bad guys is just as well drawn as the good. There are even a few you can’t tell are good or bad. That always makes things interesting. The descriptions provided just enough realism to set the place and mood without being overly detailed or distracting. Though the plot is well-focused, there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone who likes reading books set in the south or along the coastline, a good mystery, noir crime fiction, or a real page turner that will have you rooting for your favorites from the get-go to the end.

5 of 5 Stars

19 thoughts on “Book Review: Southern Heat by David Burnsworth

  1. Personally, I’m not a fan of any “rule” that says writer “shouldn’t” do something, anyway. 🙂

    This review definitely caught my attention, too. Even though I’m from the North, I think a part of my heart belongs to the South because I can’t get enough Southern fiction. You’ve gotten me really curious about this one, so I might have to check it out!


  2. Never heard of that rule. Sounds like something created to prevent authors from ‘teaming up’ with reviews or attacking ‘rivals’. Either way, it sounds more like a preference that someone tried to turn into a rule.

    Excellent review.


    1. I felt that when I read it. I’ve seen it on a few blogs. I think all authors should read lots in their own genre, and if they like to review, go for it. I reserve not to issue bad reviews, so I only post reviews on books I feel I can recommend, so it’s not like I devote any time to trashing folk. I think that’s where authors can get into a bad situation. I had fun with it. Thanks.


  3. Wait… You write in your genre because (presumably) that’s what you like to read. So how could a rule that you don’t review there even be a thing?

    Loved this review! The book sounds great.


    1. Thanks Tess. I love coastline stories and am especially intrigued by those that cover environmental issues. There is so much beauty and such a strong need to keep the ecosystems intact.


  4. Love when something catches my attention that is out of my regular reads – sounds like there’s a lot going on here. I’m always up for a page-turner! And I’m with the others on that rule thing. Who comes up with this stuff?? So, one should only review a genre they are NOT intimately familiar with?? Geesh!


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