The Burning of Rachel Hayes Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Burning of Rachel Hayes

Five Star, Nov 2004, 25.95, 339 pp.
ISBN: 1410402029

Veterinarian Dr. David Westbrook relocates to Algoma, Michigan after two years in prison for hitting a cop. David had been drinking away his sorrows over the loss of his beloved child to leukemia and ultimately his marriage when he lost it. Now he plans to start over in this remote northern community.
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David hears a woman screaming for help;. He drives until he finds Brenda, whose eight year old son fell into a well. David convinces the much bigger and stronger Brenda to let him climb down while she anchors the tent nylon that he will use and eventually pull them up. He rescues Bobby, but sees a corpse in the well.

The official excavation at the well digs up the remains of a trapper and the skeletons of Rachel Hayes and her dog, who died in the Great Fire of 1871. The local sheriff suspects David did it. David makes inquiries into Rachel's death as unexplained happenings seem to surround him including falling in love with an older woman.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Burning of Rachel Hayes

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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