Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Sizzling Read

No, you haven't landed on My ADHD Me's blog, but the subject today is a novel written by a firefighter and paramedic! Through the Fire, the debut novel from Shawn Grady, really should come with protective gear as the flames practically leap off the pages! As a third-generation firefighter, Aidan is battling fires on all fronts. The dying embers of his engagement. The mocking flames that caused his father's death on the job --flames which Aidan is determined to fan until their source is uncovered. The raging blazes of the city's serial arsonist, whose fires seem to be getting intensely personal. And the sparks flickering between him and the new fire investigator, who suddenly appears to be investigating him! In the midst of it all, Aidan fights to maintain control after his bad judgment leaves a new firefighter battling for his life and causes Aidan to lose his confidence and ability to "read" the fires. Will the fires overtake him or will he find the strength to walk through them and come out on the other side before they extinguish him?

This book grabbed my attention from page one and wouldn't let go. The pace is fast and unrelenting. The skillfully descriptive prose brings each scene to life, from picturesque settings ("The sky melded monochromatic gray, the ocean beneath mirroring its brooding brow." p. 37) to heart-pounding fire battles ("Flame edges whipped down the walls, forming a sickle in the air, swinging in a slow arc down toward my sternum." p. 77). And the suspense of wondering "Who is the arsonist?" made me suspicious of almost everyone. But the most satisfying part is the fact that this is more than just a good read. For Aidan's struggles with the physical fires are only a representation of the spiritual inferno raging within him, and the process by which he allows God to give him strength to face and quench that which would consume him is a lesson we can all take to heart. I've had the chorus of this old hymn going through my mind since reading the book:

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

I highly recommend this book. Just keep a glass of water nearby!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Through The Fire

Bethany House (July 1, 2009)


Shawn Grady

Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. Through the Fire is his debut novel.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locales, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador. Find out more at his website.


Firefighting burns in Aidan O'Neill's blood. The son of a fireman, O'Neill has a sixth sense about fire and often takes dangerous risks. When one act of disobedience nearly gets a rookie killed, O'Neill is suspended. His weeks off are supposed to be a time to reflect but instead he escapes to Mexico, where another rash act of bravery actually kills him. But only for a few minutes.

Called back to Reno, he's now haunted by visions of hell and paralyzed in the face of fire. And at the worst time, because an arsonist is targeting Reno. With a growing love interest with one of the investigators complicating everything, Aidan must discover where his trust rests as the fires creep ever closer.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Through The Fire, go HERE


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My ADHD Me said...

OK, You're right. You really got my attention. I've read a few novels about firefighters, danger, etc but this, by far, looks like one of the better ones!

Kim said...

WOW Linda! This is one awesome review! You go, girl!! I mean wonderful!!

Beverlydru said...

Sounds terrific! Riveting review.