Categorized | Features

Fireproof, by Alex Kava 2012

HERB JOHNSON, GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
Ms. Kava has written nine previous novels featuring FBI Special Agent Maggie O’Dell and Maggie is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. It doesn’t help that in her last adventure she was shot in the head. Not right in the middle, but just off to the side . . . enough to cause pain, fierce headaches and frayed nerves.
But agent O’ Dell is spunky and feisty and fights through the various afflictions to achieve her goal, which is to catch the bad guy. Possibly bad guys (plural) in this case. Someone is setting a whole lot of fires and he’s an obvious evil fiend, but there are murders cropping up here and there and when two dead bodies are found in conjunction with a fire one has to ask if the events might be related. Maybe, maybe not.
Much of the action centres on hotshot TV reporter Jeffrey Cole and his menial and much-abused camera woman Samantha Ramirez. They show up at fires with amazing speed and regularity, sometimes getting there before the firemen. This eventually becomes a cause for suspicion. Perhaps unwarranted, but who knows?
Then there’s Cornell Stamoran, former high-flying business guy who let his fondness for Jack and Coke get the better of him and who lives in a cardboard box in which one of the bodies is found. He is somewhat elusive when authority figures (cops) are around and may be the person who lured Maggie into the maze of sewer tunnels, from which she escaped only with the help of a fellow police person.
Maggie’s half-brother Patrick is a fireman so he has to show up from time to time, but mostly just helps find the family dogs when they dig under the fence, and casts longing glances at Ms. Ramirez.
Another peripheral character is Benjamin Platt, a military man and a doctor who has gone from being Maggie’s doctor to her friend. They’re just friends, although when Maggie’s headaches aren’t bothering her, she thinks about moving to the next level.
But the guy to watch out for is the mystery guy, who does a great deal of lurking and, while lurking, keeps up a running commentary in his head . . . mostly about Maggie. He could be central to the plot, but one never knows, do one?

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