Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Read: "Set the Night of Fire" by Libby Fischer Hellman

Read: Set the Night on Fire by Libby Fischer Hellmann, 2010, 9780984067664.

I was in an elevator at Bouchercon tucking in my shirt. The car stops with my hands in my pants and Hellmann walks in. "You caught me tucking in my shirt, I figured I should look more presentable." Hellmann said I look fine. So, I checked out one of her books.

A 1960s flashback novel also set in present day Chicago. A convicted killer, Dar, is released in present day Illinois and contacts some old colleagues. The colleagues are old hippie friends circa '68 convention and other uproars.

A modern day 40-year-old's, Lila, father is one of those friends. Lila's father and twin brother die in a house fire after the convict pays a visit. Lila thinks the fire is suspicious but has no proof and she may be mistaken. But, someone tries to gun her down on the street. Dar is following her and fearful for her safety.

Dar and Lila eventually meet after an explosive, literally, attempt on Lila's life. Flashback incurs to Dar and friends in late sixties into 1970 Chicago with Dar and two pals bombing a department store and accidentally killing Dar's girlfriend and Lila's mother.

Last 1/5 of 1/6 of story kinda peters out for me as Lila, Dar and others figure out who is to blame.

1. I picked this off the new shelf - I ordered it late - and was immediately drawn in by the writing and story. Hellmann uses a lot of short sentences mixed in with a few long ones. I liked that pacing.
2. After all is revealed about Lila's parentage and such I thought the tracking of the killers was a little boring. The hired killer was not scary to me.
3. Hellmann's books circ well here.

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