Firproof – Alex Kava

Fireproof is the tenth installment in the Maggie O’Dell series. It tells the story of a series of arsons that Maggie is tasked to profile and runs concurrently alongside the beginning of a case of a serial killer, killing people at rest stops along the highway.

If you’ve read the series before you’ll be glad to know that all our favourite characters are back. Agent Tully is joined with Maggie once again, to profile the arsonist and determine if he is causing the body count that seems out of place in the buildings being set fire to.

Detective Racine, the rough and ready, unlikely, friend of Maggie’s is also back and part of the investigation.

And we have Benjamin Platt. The romantic interest for our lead.

This book was good, it had all the usual things we find in Kava’s work. She writes well and consistently. Short sentences make for quicker and easier reading and the story flows well through both her writing style and the fully developed plot.

Our story starts with a warehouse fire. There is a body found in the alley nearby, and also the charred remains of a body in the actual warehouse.

A news crew are there suprisingly quickly and capture a secondary blast on camera. The reporter – Jeffery – is the kind of guy you’d expect to be in front of a camera. He’s obnoxious, arrogant and self centered. His camera woman, although slightly more pure at the core, does whatever he asks of her and doesn’t ask questions. She has an financial sense of loyalty to the guy, needing the job to support her son and Spanish mum.

Jeffery takes an unhealthy interest in Maggie – to the point where he airs a special report on her – and her carefully constructed privacy walls are thereby destroyed.

As the story continues, we have more fires, a couple more bodies, and we get to see Patrick, Maggie’s bro, again.

The story ended well for me. I understand some people think that one of the stories is unconcluded, but this is hopefully a pretext to what’s to come in the next installment?

The only problem I have with this book is Maggie’s relationship with Ben. They seem to never really go anywhere. It was so promising when they started out, but now Maggie seems to be withdrawing from him – due to commitment issues. She’s rationalising that she doesn’t want kids and he does, but she is still leading him on which is unfair and confusing – both for him and us! Either cut and run, or get on with it! 🙂

The recurring themes of Maggie’s suicidal mum, her emotional wellbeing due to past cases, her boss’s attempts to ‘punish’ her with political cases and her half brother born from paternal infidelity – are all present again in this one.

Overall, this was a good book, with a meaty plot, it kept me interested enough to read it quite quickly and I’m looking forward to starting the next in the series. You can definitely read this as a stand alone, you don’t need to have read the previous ones- but they are all pretty good, so I would 🙂

Happy reading.

Becca x