Thursday, December 31, 2009

Through The Fire

Author: Shawn Grady
Publisher: Bethany House
July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0595-8

Aidan O’Neill comes from a long line of firefighters, so it was natural for him to follow in the footprints of his fathers and grandfather. Aidan has an innate gift for reading flames, but it has made him overconfident, cocky, and causes him to sometimes endanger lives. When one call goes wrong, a rookie firefighter working with Aidan is hurt, Aidan ends up suspended for two weeks without pay.

An arsonist is targeting Reno, leaving a scorched path of destruction. As a result, the fire department needs Aidan back before his two weeks are up. But Aidan’s return is bitter sweet. His gift of reading the fires is gone…replaced by fear, causing Aidan to freeze on the job.

A fire investigator placed with the department is beguiling, and apparently knows more than she’s saying. As the flames burn closer…how can Aidan discover where his trust rests?

THROUGH THE FIRE is a debut novel from a veteran firefighter and paramedic in Reno, NV, making it obvious that Shawn Grady knows his topic very well. The whole story smacks of realism, making it very interesting reading.

Aidan is a very real, very flawed character, married to his job to the detriment of all his outside relationships. He is also fixated with his father’s cause of death from a yet unresolved fire accident, and searching for closure. I was a bit dismayed that the faith message was virtually nonexistent in the beginning of the book, but tiny little tidbits did begin to surface after awhile, leading to a very satisfactory close to the story.

Written in first person, I went through the heat of the fire with Aidan, experiencing his emotions and thoughts. I really think that his story is better for being told in first person—it would have lost it’s punch in third. THROUGH THE FIRE is a wonderful debut novel and I am going to look for more books by this talented author. If you are looking for a different sort of story, one that is not one of the run-of the mill stories about firefighters written by those who are obviously not familiar with the field, then you will not want to miss THROUGH THE FIRE. This book is authentic, and will make an excellent book for any suspense lovers on your gift list. $13.99. 328 pages.

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