Ballantine, August 2004, 24.95, 283 pp.
Seattle firefighter Neil Wolf lost his life in a fire started by a serial arsonist a pyromaniac who was never caught even though he set several fires. Neal's wife couldn't cope with the loss of her husband and turned to alcohol and men to ease her pain. She took up with Alfred who abused her and her children until the day he knifed her to death several times on the kitchen floor. The two brothers shot him and thirteen year old Neil was sent to prison and Paul was bounced from one relative to another.
Nineteen years later Paul is a lieutenant in the Seattle fire department and a serial arsonist is plaguing the area. What nobody knows is that it is the same arsonist who started the fire that caused Paul's father's death. He was in a Portland jail all those years and now he's back, ready to kill Paul in a fire he set because he saw him having sex with his girlfriend and he wants revenge.
The ultimate cat and mouse game is being played out between a pyromaniac and a man who wants to kill him. The protagonist is a flawed human being who is totally disconnected from other people because he lets this anger overwhelm all other emotions. He knows he is an emotional time bomb waiting to explode but the advent of the PYRO into his life forces him to choose between revenge and redemption. This is a crime thriller that is told from the perspective of the protagonist and the antagonist.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner