"Through the Fire" is a Christian suspense novel about firefighters and a serial arsonist. The fast-paced, non-stop action mainly involved fighting fires. The details about firefighting and firefighters were expertly woven into the story in a way that brought the job vividly alive in my imagination without slowing the action.
The characters were interesting, but I felt like we only "got to know" Aidan. Even him, we didn't get to know very well. I also never understood why anyone at the station would suspect Aidan of setting the fires since he was right there at the station when most of the fires were set. As to "whodunit," I had wondered if the person who turned out to be the arsonist was the arsonist, but it also could easily have been another character. The story was more about action than clues.
Aidan was a Christian who apparently rejected God for letting his father die and refused to listen when the other Christians in the story told him the same thing again and again. Then, suddenly, he listened, said a prayer, and started heavily using Church-speak. The change seemed abrupt to me, especially since I didn't quite understand what was different that time that made him listen--unless it was never God he was actually mad at.
There was a minor amount of "he cussed" style bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this book to Christians who enjoy action-packed firefighting stories.
I was surprised to find out this book was Shawn Grady's first novel. I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was well written. He did use a few words above my head that I didn't know the definitions for, but overall it was a great read.
I hadn't planned to be a firefighter when I picked up Shawn Grady's debut novel, Through the Fire. But that's what it felt like as I plunged into the action with firefighter, Aidan O'Neill. Wow! This guy can write. And are you serious? This is his first novel? I look forward to the next offering by Shawn Grady.
Through the Fire by Shawn Grady is a powerful debut novel about the power of redemption and letting go of the past. Aidan O'Neill has firefighting in his blood. His grandfather, father, and uncle all served the Reno Fire Department with honor, but he blames himself for the death of his father in a fire several years ago. A.O. has become almost self-destructive in his quest to find the truth about his father's death and to prove himself as worthy. His recklessness leads to his dismissal from the department, but they are forced to bring him back when a series of fires are started by an arsonist that are unpredictable and frightening in their intensity. Working with fire investigator Julianne, the two of them create their own sparks while trying to bring down arsonist. Grady writes every scene involving the fires with frightening intensity. The reader can practically breathe in the smoke and feel the heat of the flames. The mystery isn't as tautly rendered. While the culprit makes perfect sense when all is revealed, it felt like there were a few too many loose ends. That said, Grady is fantastic with his characterization of a man who goes from living like there's nothing to live for to understanding the true value and Giver of his life. I look forward to more of Grady's writing.