THE RULES OF BURKEN by Traci Finlay is LIVE!

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“This book captured me from the start! The Rules of Burken reveals the chilling secrets behind a childhood game, and I’ve never been more disturbed by what the human mind can do.”

–Colleen Hoover, New York Times bestselling author

The Rules of Burken, an all-new thriller packed with secrets, lies and a dangerous game from Traci Finlay is available now!

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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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Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

This debut novel had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning of the story and by the time I finished reading it I felt like I just got off from a rollercoaster ride. This is an impressive first attempt by the author and I am hooked.

Charlotte and Ian are siblings and Ian has always looked after her. At the age of twenty-four, Charlotte is still very close to her older brother who has been her rock ever since their mother walked out on the family when she was only eleven-years-old. A few years later, their father was convicted of a horrific crime and Ian gave up his college scholarship to take care of his sister. He’s an over-protective but creepy older brother to Charlotte, and she is totally clueless of his scheming.

Nikka, Charlotte’s new friend, has also an older brother Jack. These siblings grew up in the foster care system, passed from one family to another and they learned how to trust only each other. Their relationship can’t be any far more opposite than Charlotte and Ian’s seemingly ordinary but messed up family tree.

“The truth will set you free, but sometimes… you have to set yourself free from the truth.” 

This psychological thriller is written in first person narrative and one that will screw with your head. Two pairs of siblings: one brother is a master manipulator and the other is caring but doesn’t know how to express it. Ian’s character is especially a very interesting study of human behaviour; the psychology of the twisted mind, he is amazingly sharp, fascinating and a master manipulator.

Fast-paced with a tightly woven plotline, I just couldn’t put this book down. I felt sorry for Charlotte for being the only normal one in the family, but it gets tiresome when she can’t see the forest for the trees. Her budding relationship with Jack gives her the push to grow a backbone and maybe just maybe clear the scales from her eyes.

From a young age, Ian and Charlotte had always played the Burken, a darker version of hide n’ seek, and it’s only when you read further along that you find out why Ian always pushed for it. This author successfully creates complicated characters, some are sympathetic, some are screwed-up and some are just pure evil. Ian and Charlotte’s childhood game becomes a deadly sport that will give your heart a complete workout. An adrenaline-pumping adventure with no need to go to the gym. Highly recommended!

About Traci Finlay

Traci Finlay grew up in the Midwest and transplanted to Florida for college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with a minor in English, met and married the love of her life and moved to Miami, where she currently lives with her husband, two sons, and two smart-mouthed dogs.

Growing up, she loved reading books, but had a particular passion for mysteries. Throughout her adulthood, she’s taken many writing courses and written three psychological thrillers she plans to publish soon.

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