Like many of the leading police procedural writers such as Ian Rankin and Michael Connelly, Billingham has an easy but engaging writing style and a well developed, flawed, driven but sympathetic main character. The pages flip past without any real sense of the reader having do any work. This I think is a strong positive: clear, engaging, economical prose, with realistic scenes and dialogue. The Burning Girl is a solid piece of storytelling, but for me the book lacked the bite or spark that would have given it some needed suspense. The plot seemed a little aimless at times, as if Billingham wasn't quite sure where it was going, and there were a couple of plot devices I didn't really understand, such as the investigation being wrapped up and the team being disbanded even though the case was clearly not over. And the internal police tension amongst team members seemed staged. In contrast, the lives, politics and tactics of gang rivalry and prison life was more convincing. Overall, a solid, entertaining read, but not quite out of the top draw.