Living in Southern Alabama, I had never heard of the burning man festival until I picked up this novel. The descriptions so intrigued me I hopped on the internet and found that the author is actually quite conservative in his descriptions. Very good mystery in a new venue.
Well, I *have* been to Burning Man - twice. That's why I was extremely curious about this book, because, as "burners" say- there is no one way to describe it.
Given the (non)fictional environment - the author does a really good job. Both of embedding a believable mystery, and of making Black Rock City and its myriad denizens believable.
The multiple characters capture well several (obviously not *all*) views of the festival, and Dex - poor clueless Dex - is the perfect fish-out-of-water (HA!) "virgin burner."
The author does a good job describing realistically the extreme climate, the necessary safety, the communal spirit, the insanity and the joy of what it means to survive Burning Man. And several perennial theme camps/exhibitions/personalities are described, so any citizen of Black Rock will recognize "home" (Draca, Thunderdome, Bianca's, Dr. Megavolt.)
A tall figure stands alone, waiting to be engulfed in flames. It is the Burning Man, thegiant wooden centerpiece of Nevada's famous weeklong arts festival. Every year, thousands flock to the middle of the desert to push the limits of creativity and outrageousness. Dex Edden is not one of them. A computer programmer, Dex has come to the wild and wooly festival only to please his boss. Out of the blue he will be a witness to murder.