Through the Fire (First Responders Book #1)

Through the Fire (First Responders Book #1)

by Shawn Grady

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441204448
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/2009
Series: First Responders , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 72,660
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Shawn Grady has served for more than a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, Nevada. The line of duty has taken him from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras. He now lives with his wife and three children in southern Reno. This is his debut novel.
Shawn Grady has served for more than a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, NV, where he lives with his wife and three children. Named the "Most Promising Writer" at the 2008 Mt. Hermon Writers Conference, he is the author of Through the Fire. Visit his website at

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Through the Fire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
Christine Ramirez More than 1 year ago
This was a very exciting novel. I am looking forward to reading his other books. It was hard to understand some of the fireman terminology but the story was so interesting, I would just skim over it. I was shocked to find out who the arsonist was! It was very well written. It opened my eyes to the bravery and selflessness of the fireman. May God keep them safe.
PreacherManRM More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that I haven't bought too many Christian fiction books because I think they could be too "preachy." That is not the case with this book. You know God is there, but the author does not force Him into the story (think the book of Esther in the Bible where God is not mentioned). I noticed the book because of it's cover and picked up. The description on the back cover hooked me and I was certainly not disappointed. Because of the author's writing style, I found myself reading "just a few more pages." Because of this, I finished it in 2 days. Not knowing anything about firefighters was not be a problem with this book. The author does a good job describing the day-to-day routines that goes on in a firehouse without being tedious. The action scenes were excellent. I felt as if I were there fighting the fires myself. The twist at the end with the revelation of who the mystery arsonist is was something I did not see coming and just made the book even better.
Lynn Gamble More than 1 year ago
Great Book. Kept you on your toes. Loved the essence of God with him throughout the book. So real to life Christian walk. Thank you Shawn Grady!
jakibookworm More than 1 year ago
Was on the edge of my seat till the last page....totally blindsided with the culprit
Maggie Stinson More than 1 year ago
Very good book... kept me interested the whole way through. Would definitely recommend this book and read this author again!
TBCN More than 1 year ago
Wow, I just finished reading Through the Fire. I'm thankful for the review copy of this fascinating, enlightening book. I realized how clueless I was as to what firefighters go through day-in and day-out to save peoples lives and risk their own! It's astounding! Only someone who's been in a firefighter's shoes could show the realistic side of this demanding, sacrificial job that most of us take for granted. Shawn Grady's been in the fire as a firefighter in Reno, for many years, which gives him a unique perspective. As I read, I felt as if I were in Aiden's skin and the enemy he faced. Shawn describes fire, "The fire danced. It mocked. It shot from the room with wicked lit fingers, clawing and scratching, curling around my air bottle. It tugged at me, pulling me to it. Flame edges whipped down the walls, forming a sickle in the air, swinging in a slow arc down toward my sternum." Now that's a perspective only a firefighter on the scene could write. Shawn gives you a glimpse of fire gone crazy; it's a horrifying, fascinating, terrible thing. The fire's sole desire is to consume everything in sight. It's surreal, chilling, and unbelievable. This author pens a suspenseful, action packed story filled with intrigue as Aiden tries to track down the Arsonist that killed his father. Aiden's obsession to right a wrong and his self-destructive lifestyle has everyone worried. His dad was good at what he did. He had to make sense of this tragedy. Aiden was angry at God letting his dad die. Aiden knew his father trusted God and now he was dead! Aiden wasn't going to go that route. He would stay far away from God. He would be in control of his own life, he didn't need anyone. It was just him and the fire. Firefighters are a strange breed. While anyone in their right mind runs from fires. Firefighters, on the other hand seem drawn into the flame. In Aiden's case, he got into the ring with the fire to win one more round. I learned how critical it was for a firefighter to be aware of his surroundings, use all of his senses and think quickly on his feet to save his life and the life of others. What a fascinating, suspenseful, captivating story, with complex believable characters. I found myself rooting for them to save the victims and for both to live another day. I couldn't put this book down until the mystery was solved. Can't wait to read his new book Tomorrow We Die. Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network Finding Hope Through Fiction
Retired_Chief More than 1 year ago
Shawn Grady writes using his experiences and combining them with a great imagination. He tells of the struggle of a firefighter dealing with the murder of his father and his own inability to deal with it. He pushes everyone out of his life and almost loses his in the process. An old friend is able to get Aiden to look toward God for direction. Like most everyone, he is not interested in spiritual guidance but how to make it on his own. The religous theme is not pushed throughout the whole book but is appropriately interjected into the story. In the end, Aiden realizes that God has been with him the time and has kept him safe even as he rejected God. Something we all should realize.
QueenofBlingEC More than 1 year ago
Through The Fire is a spell-binding, edge-of-your-seat read from page one to page 328. Written in first person from the view point of the main character, Aidan O'Neill, it is a book that you will not forget for a long time. This book is Shawn Grady's debut novel and he has "hit it out of the ballpark" on his first try. Mr. Grady is writing from experience - he has served over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, Nevada, the setting for Through the Fire. Here is the back cover summary: "Firefighting burns in Aidan O'Neill's blood, but his innate gift for reading flames has made him overconfident and sometimes puts lives in danger. When one call goes horribly wrong and a rookie is hurt, Aidan ends up suspended and finds himself questioning everything. It couldn't have happened at a worse time. An arsonist is targeting Reno, leaving a scorched path of destruction. The department needs Aidan back, but his return is troubled. The gift he relied on for so long has gone silent.and it's as though the fires are coming for him, hunting him down. Teaming with a beguiling fire investigator who may know more than she's saying, Aidan must discover where his trust rests as the flames burn ever closer." Ladies, you may think this sounds like a "guys" book - but I loved it! Enjoy!!
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
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.
Carlybird More than 1 year ago
In Through the Fire by Shawn Grady Aidan O'Neill is a firefighter in Reno, Nevada who is chasing a firebug who he suspects set the fire that killed his father five years ago. The closer Aidan gets to finding out who the arsonist is, the more it seems the fires are chasing him. With the help of fire investigator Julianne, Aidan hopes to find the arsonist before the fire finds him. Although, the basic storyline of this book is somewhat of a cliché - the overconfident firefighter seeking to avenge the death of his father - the story is very well told. The story moves very quickly and has a nice mix of action with the firefighting scenes, suspense and mystery as Aidan and Julianne search for clues, and a bit of romance. The Christian aspect of this book was very well done. Actually, I was quite impressed with how the author infused faith into the story without it feeling forced or out of place. They say you should write what you know, so it only makes sense that Shawn Grady, being a firefighter and paramedic himself, would write a book like this. It helps the story feel more real, but I found that in Through the Fire, the author's expertise might cause the layperson reading this book some confusion. I wouldn't know a Nederman exhaust tube from a Halligan bar and I found that there was a little too much technical jargon for my liking. Overall, this book is well written. There were some aspects of this book that did not suit my liking, but there were also many aspects that I really appreciate. Fans of action novels will enjoy this book and, I'm sure, future books by Shawn Grady.
Richard_Mabry More than 1 year ago
Shawn Grady, with more than a decade's experience as a firefighter and paramedic, brings authenticity to every page of this debut novel about a troubled firefighter, seeking to solve the puzzle of his father's death while battling his own personal demons. Grady has a great ability to paint word pictures, and although the technical language and details seem a bit daunting at first, I soon found myself caught up in the struggle between man and that most primitive and powerful of forces: fire. Unapologetically Christian in its viewpoint and message, the novel marks a promising start to a writing career for which I predict significant success. I'll certainly be waiting to read Grady's next book.
brendaholmes on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
IntrinsiclyMe on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The first chapter gave me chills, so off to a good start. A really fast read that kept me engaged. However, the end felt a little unsatisfying, didn't feel that the cause was explained enough.
StefanY on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
cyderry on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
passionknitly on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
FutureBestSeller on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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!
debavp on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
exlibrismcp on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
PermaSwooned on LibraryThing 5 months ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok read. DW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in a very long time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago