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Through the Fire

Through the Fire



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Excerpt from Through the Fire by Shawn Grady, published by Bethany House Publishers

A Scorching Debut of Arson, Murder and Second Chances

Firefighter Aidan O'Neil has an innate gift for reading flames. But when his overconfidence causes a horrible accident, he's left reeling just as an arsonist descends on Reno. But his gift goes silent when he needs it most, and he is left to confront his fears and discover where his trust lies as the flames burn ever closer.
Excerpt from Through the Fire by Shawn Grady, published by Bethany House Publishers

A Scorching Debut of Arson, Murder and Second Chances

Firefighter Aidan O'Neil has an innate gift for reading flames. But when his overconfidence causes a horrible accident, he's left reeling just as an arsonist descends on Reno. But his gift goes silent when he needs it most, and he is left to confront his fears and discover where his trust lies as the flames burn ever closer.

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Publish date: Jul 1, 2009
Added to Scribd: Jun 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ven smoke runs rom the re.But I nd mysel compelled to enter hell’s havoc and the
swirling chasm, to take or my own the taming o the element,
screwing my courage to the sticking place. When blackness billowsheaven-bent rom hallways, and ame tips lick lintels like a serpent’s
tongue, the Sirens stand singing. Mast ties won’t hold ast.Enter the cloud.Enveloped by heat.Vanquish the destroyer.I come rom a amily o remen. And borne into my blood
 was a git. It arrives at times in whispers, other times more subtle.
But beyond the beckon o skeptical sensibilities I’ve become
convinced.Te re speaks to me.
I know where it is going. I know what it will do. Some call
it heightened intuition. Others credit Irish luck. But I know thatit’s more.
 And it was this very thing, this brash sel-condence, that
propelled me down a ateul course one thirty-rst o October.
Captain Butcher slammed his palm on the clipboard sliding
o the dash. He cursed. “We ain’t doing nobody no good i we
don’t get there alive, Aidan.”I winked at him, tightening and relaxing my grip on the steer-ing wheel. His silver-laced moustache rowed back and orth like aset o oars. Our normal driver had taken the day o, so lucky orButcher, I stepped up as acting operator.I hung a hard right and the clipboard ell again. Tis time hemissed. He grabbed the side o his door and slung my name witha slew o expletives.I couldn’t help but grin. “Nice alliteration, Cap.”“Nice
? Watch out. Slow down.” We threaded through the glowing Reno arch, under its main-
stay mantra,
Te Biggest Little City in the World 
. South Virginia
Street stretched out beore our blaring Pierce Quantum pumper. Ilaid on the air horn through intersections and wound the grinderinto a high wail. Te burgundy hues o the autumn sunset ltered
through the oothills, bathing building sides with amber tones and
glinting windows. A pillar o black cloud rose rom the south.
Deep into District Tree. We’d be third engine in, comingrom downtown. I hated being anything but rst in. But third
 was better than second. At least we wouldn’t be stuck hooking up water supply.Static crackled rom the radio, “All units, be advised, we havereports o occupants trapped.I pushed the pedal to the oor. Te rig surged like an elephant

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permaswooned reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I really enjoyed this book, mostly because of the descriptions of the firefighting scenes. Really, it has the best description of how step by step the firefighters coordinate and fight a fire. This was the author's first book, so I'll be looking for future writing to see how he's progressed.
exlibrismcp reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Following an injury to a rookie firefighter caused by his misjudgment, Aidan O'Neill is suspended by his commander only to be quickly called back when the city is struck by a rash of intentionally set fires. Along with battling the constant fires and helping search for the arsonist, he must struggle to regain his confidence, deal with the abrupt departure of his girlfriend all while still hunted by the death of his father in a fire-fight several years earlier. Although the book offers an interesting glimpse into the world of fire-fighting, the multi-directional angst bombarding the main character is a little much for a short novel of only 191 pages. The story line has just enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested in staying around long enough to learn the final outcome. As for character development, Grady does a fair job with the major players, but some of the minor ones were dwelt upon just long enough to make them seen important yet not fleshed out enough to remain readily distinguishable from one another. All in all, I regard this as a decent, but not out-standing book. Written by a veteran fire-fighter the scenes describing the actions and behaviors of a fire are quite poetic in nature. This unfortunately leaves other scenes in the book bland in comparison.
passionknitly reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I loved the vivid imagery that Grady was able to bring with his experience as a firefighter; I wish that there could have been that depth throughout the entire story. It seemed at times that the story skipped a beat occasionally or lapsed into an excess of descriptive prose, but these were exceptions rather than the rule. I really did enjoy the energy and action in the telling and look forward to Shawn Grady's next book.
cyderry reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Aidan O'Neill is a fireman, his father was a fireman, he comes from a family of firemen and they all believed that they had gift - a gift of understanding the fire - where it was going to go, who it was going to harm, what it was going to devour. Aidan was sure of that gift until his father was killed in an arson fire. Then he began to question that gift. For seven years he searched for the arsonist even after the fire department had put the search to bed. The arsonist had gone back to the shadows and was quiet. But now the arsonist was back, endangering Aidan's colleagues, his friends. This is the story of a fireman who searches for the truth, trying to find the person who killed his father, who damaged these buildings, who frightened the people of the city that was his home. The conclusion is a bit shocking.It's an interesting story but I wouldn't say that is always well-written. There are times when the writing appears to go off on a tangent and you wonder what's going on, and then it's back. You wonder why but it isn't cleared up for over 100 pages. The structure needs to be tightened up but overall an interesting read.
yesvirginia_1 reviewed this
Through The Fire by Shawn Grady, strikes me as a series of snapshots more than as a smoothly unfolding tale. I felt rushed, as though reading in shorthand.Its' plot is sound, packed with action and suspense, but it feels hurried, and somewhat unsatisfying. The elements of romance and "Christian" fiction appear to be added onto the story rather than natural components springing from it. In contrast, the hero’s personal battle with anthropomorphized fire is well woven into the book. It works surprisingly well with gritty realism created by a high level of authentic-sounding firefighter terminology. If you like extra caffeine in your coffee, and watching videos in fast forward, you’ll probably like the author’s pacing more than I did.
debavp reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Rescue Me this isn't!!The story starts out fairly well, even if a bit a lax on the salient details, only to come to a screeching halt mid-way through. Suddenly I felt like I was on a bad trip episode of Emergency.While it is certainly believeable to expect O'Neill to have a conflict with his faith, it would have been much more interesting to address that issue subtly, interweaving it with O'Neill's strengths and weaknesses, instead of applying the over-bearing religious aspect of trying to wrap it all up in a saccharin blanket.I would presume to believe that Grady has a wealth of both real-life and imaginative stories that he willl come up with a much higher caliber of work his next time out.
futurebestseller reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Having a few firefighters in my family I was a little impartial to the book. Grady uses his experience to paint a vivid picture of firefighters and the fire itself. The main plot keeps you guessing until the end and the sub plots keep you turning the page. The characters are well written and likable. I did feel some parts were a little rushed or perhaps Grady could have added some detail. Despite that, this is a great book about redemption and forgiveness. Through the Fire is a book for everyone!
brendaholmes reviewed this
Rated 3/5
When Aiden O'Neill's belief in himself, justice, and what's right is shaken he must search himself to find the answers. Although the book has a slow start, by the midway point you become quite engrossed in his search for himself and the truth. The ending is a surprise you don't see coming.
crazybatcow reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The author obviously knows a lot about fire-fighting, and the entire novel is filled with fire-fighting details - many of which would be (and were) unfamiliar to a lay-person. I assume they are correct, but who would know other than other fire-fighters?There is a sense in the novel that a lot of things are happening "outside" the story, things that the reader doesn't get to see because the author didn't put them in the novel, and yet there is a feeling that it would be a much better novel if these things were put in there. It's a short, fast novel and I suspect the addition of 50 pages to flesh it out would not go amiss.For example, in a period of a week, the main character drives from Reno to Mexico (nothing happens en route), ends up in a coma there, and then returns (assuming by car but again, no details) to full active duty as a fire-fighter. All of these events should have been more fully fleshed out. People don't get up from a coma and 2 days later start fighting fires - this "rushing" feeling is persistent throughout the story.It is published by a Christian publisher and there is some religion as part of the story line, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, nor does it end up as a polarizing belief (Douglas Preston's Blasphemy, for example, uses religion to create opposition and advance the story, but this novel does not.)It's an average mystery/thriller written in a poetic/flowery style (dream-like sequences) which actually are not unpleasant - sometimes the similes were a bit much, but actually, the story had a decent, albeit "compact" flow to it. I'll rate it 3 stars which I consider an average rating, but if you're a fire-fighter, it'd be closer to a 4 star.
stefany_6 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Through the Fire is a decent thriller and a solid debut novel for Shawn Grady. Grady obviously knows his subject matter well and this adds a depth of realism that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. That realism combined with Grady's colorful descriptions and his broad and varying use of the English language set this book apart from a standard run-of-the-mill thriller and earned an extra half of a star on my rating. Mr. Grady excels at painting the scene with vivid strokes and I appreciate that he has chosen to write in a way that is very descriptive while still managing to keep the plot moving. The only weaknesses that I observed in the novel were a few plot points that were fairly predictable. I won't ruin anything for any future readers, but it's fairly easy at times to figure out where the plot is going. That being said however, I didn't find myself board at any time while reading the novel and it was a very fast paced and quick (at only 191 pages) read. This is a well-written exiting novel centered on a very believable fire-fighting theme. I look forward to Shawn Grady's next effort and would recommend this book to those who enjoy adventure/thriller novels. The book does also have a Christian theme to it, but it is used more as a background element and doesn't take over the rest of the storyline which I appreciated.

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