Customer Reviews for

Dirty Fire

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004

    Dirty Fire

    Bribery charges brought against John Davey cause his resignation from the Chicago police force. A technicality keeps him out of jail. With his life in ruins around him, when he is asked to participate in an arson investigation/murder, he grabs at the second chance. But his previous boss and fellow police officers are not forgiving, and Davey has to has to deal with them as well as an investigation that becomes more and more complex. Why, after murdering a North Shore couple, did someone make sure their house burned the ground? Does the murder have its roots in the Holocaust and the artwork that disappeared afterwards? Is the Fire Chief the right person to be heading the investigation? Earl Merkel has written a police procedural/thriller that kept me up reading into the night. Plot twists and turns abound. Even tracking the good guys is complicated. When the Soviets and the State Department get involved, all bets are off. Completely engrosing - plan on losing sleep with this one! Webspinner - RAM

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2004

    Dirty Fire

    Finally, we have a new book from Chicagoan Earl Merkel (best-selling author of Final Epidemic). Dirty Fire is a straight-ahead mystery about an ex-cop who was set up on bribery charges and run off the force. Now he's back as an acting fire marshal, helping an old colleague investigate the suspicious death of a wealthy art collector who burned to death in his opulent North Shore mansion. Merkel isn't trying to do anything fancy here; he just tells a solid mystery story with interesting characters and an involving plot. What more could one ask for?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2004

    Dirty Fire

    The prologue to Earl Merkel's second book starts with a holocaust of flames and continues with the finding of two dead bodies-- prominent art lovers-- within their burned-out Chicago mansion. From there, Merkel proceeds with a gripping beginning to the mystery, flitting from one to another seemingly unconnected scene in the first few chapters. But he has the ability to add depth to his characters and make his readers quickly care about them.  His protagonist, ex-police officer John Davey, haunted by his father's dishonesty and then framed by his own crooked superiors, works his way through a maze of conflicting interests and international intrigue to uncover the truth, as the victims of grisly murders multiply. He gets a second chance to vindicate himself, acting on behalf of the fire department, to pursue the puzzle through a labyrinth of corrupt Chicago police, American criminals, and Russian agents. He uncovers crime upon crime, stemming from the original German holocaust and its plunder of Jewish art, in turn captured and hidden by the Russians, and now being 'liberated' again. All the while he battles his personal demons, within and without, dropping some interesting historical and philosophical tidbits along the way. Example: 'It is a fact of the human condition that as mortals we are subject to what the Greeks call hubris. Roughly translated, it means an overweening pride-- a frequently fatal flaw that blinds us to our own peril. The hunter is stalked, the biter bitten. Few of us ever consider the reality that we are not in control-- that someone else, a little more paranoid or maybe a little less sane, has turned the tables on us.'  Fans of Merkel's first book, 'Final Epidemic,' will enjoy this one, if they keep their wits about them while weaving their way through this convoluted tale's intricate plot, with its myriad characters, to a very satisfying conclusion. -J. Riley

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