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Firestorm [Paperback]

Iris Johansen
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 5 2005
For brilliant arson investigator Kerry Murphy the inferno is never far away. But only she knows why she and her sniffer dog Sam are so gifted at what they do. The flames of that long-ago night still burn in her nightmares: the heat, the choking smoke, the helplessness. She can never run fast enough ...but nightmares are just nightmares and Kerry's put the past behind her - hasn't she? All is about to change in the time it takes to strike a match. From the ashes of yet another tragedy a stranger appears, calling himself Silver. He wants Kerry's help to track down a psychopath who is leaving gruesome, fiery deaths in his charred wake - a human monster determined to bring his own private vision of hell to earth. But the killer Kerry is supposed to find has already found her ...and now his burning obsession threatens to ignite and destroy her world. Kerry's one hope is Silver, a man without allegiances, who answers to no-one - a dangerous man who seems to know Kerry's mind almost as well as she does. To have any chance of survival, Kerry will have to reach deep into the very past that has already nearly destroyed her and do what she hoped she'd never have to do ...fight fire with fire.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Two psychic firefighters confront a slew of dreadful deaths in this rip-roaring thriller by Johansen (Dead Aim, etc.). As a little girl, Kerry Murphy spent two years in a coma after losing her mother in a home fire. Kerry grows up to be a firefighter and then an arson specialist who uses her dog Sam as a cover for her remarkable psychic ability to telepathically sense fires. Kerry considers herself adjusted, at ease with her career and her talent, but she still suffers painful nightmares. Enter Brad Silver, who is also visited by terrible memories—he saw his older brother, a U.S. senator, and his brother's wife consumed by an explosion of fire as they stepped into their limousine. Like Kerry, Brad has psychic capabilities; in fact, he's known as a controller who can invade other people's minds. The president of the United States badly needs someone to locate and disarm a mad pyromaniac named James Trask, who was head of a scientific project funded by the Defense Department—until the project was scratched. Enraged, Trask disappeared and has begun to target his enemies with remote-controlled firestorms. Brad claims he can help Kerry come to terms with her mother's death if she will help him locate Trask. Fiercely independent Kerry demurs until the home of her beloved brother, Jason, is torched and his pregnant wife's longed-for baby dies. Trask himself blackmails Kerry into meeting him alone and her nascent relationship with Brad is sorely strained by her stubborn independence. Some of Johansen's plotting is far-fetched, but she ably captures the smell, the smoke and the terror of fire. This is a quick, easy read that just might increase the sale of fire extinguishers for the home.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"[A] rip-roaring thriller ... just might increase the sale of fire extinguishers."
--Publishers Weekly

"Terrific romantic suspense ... While there are sparks of romantic tension in FIRESTORM, it's the hunt itself that's so consuming."
--The Daily News (NY)

From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Firestorm SIZZLES! June 16 2006
I just finished this novel today as a reward to a grueling week and the first thing I have to say is that it is ironic that Iris Johansen and I were on the same 'wavelength' in 2004, with both of us publishing a novel about female psychics who investigate arsons or suspicious fires. I have been a longtime fan of Johansen--long before she branched out into the romantic suspense genre and this novel did not let me down.

In Firestorm, she takes a seemingly normal arson investigator, Kerry, with a trained arson dog who is given all the credit and throws her together with a mysterious and somewhat 'controlling' mystery man, Brad Silver. Add to this Trask, the evil genius who designed Firestorm, a secret government project that could annihilate an entire city with the press of a button.

At first, Kerry is resistant to helping Silver track down Trask. Until the madman targets her brother's house. With Silver's not-so-patient guidance, Kerry fine-tunes her 'gift' and the chase is on. With plot twists and subplots that involve a fire from Kerry's past and a flaming romance with Silver, this is a novel that sizzles. I read it last night. In one sitting.

If you enjoy this psychic suspense genre, please also check out Divine Intervention.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Author of Divine Intervention (1-4120-3591-0) available now,

and Whale Song (978-1-60164-007-9) available 2007 from Kunati Books
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Some call it "mind reading," others perceive it as "psychic ability" or extrasensory perception. Iris Johansen doesn't give it a particular label, but, in her new book, FIRESTORM, the main characters have extraordinary sensibilities that allow them to do things ordinary men and women can't even dream of. When Kerry Murphy, was eight years old she emerged from two years in a coma. She had been hit on the head by the arsonist who torched her house and killed her mother. When she woke up, she "had a special psychic talent triggered by fire. If [she came] anywhere near the area of a fire ... [she] received vibes; sometimes [she could] actually see it being done." As an adult she started her career as a firefighter but the pain her visions imposed upon her forced her to quietly use her talent in a different way. She became an arson investigator with an amazingly accurate record.
Kerry Murphy is good at her job. But because she works with a canine "fire-sniffer" named Sam, and she gives him all the credit for her success rate in identifying arsons. Sam is a dopey looking gangly animal and "as an arson dog he's a complete washout." Kerry wants "everyone to believe [that Sam has the best nose] in the southeast. [She] didn't want [anyone] to know the truth; that the only way [she] knew where and how the fires were being set was [because she] saw it being done." Sometimes, she even felt the blistering heat on the skin and the smoke choking her lungs.
One day, Brad Silver barges into her life, and forever things change for them both. He had been comatose as a result of a serious car crash and emerged with a different kind of psychic power. He has the ability to enter the minds of others and not only read them but, if necessary, alter their thoughts for good or ill.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Johansen June 24 2004
By Cat
Kerry Murphy is one of Atlanta's best arson investigators, but most people think it's because of her evidence-sniffing dog, Sam, but this isn't the case. After surviving an attack by an arsonist who killed her mother and put her in a coma for two years, Murphy awoke with a new power. She has become a fire psychic, who has the ability to "see" the details of the fire and even get into the minds of the person who set them. Only a few know her secret so she was suprised when she is approached by Brad Silver to help catch a rather nasty arsonist. This arsonist, named Trask, formerly worked on a government-sponsored project called "Firestorm" where a fire can be started by transforming the molecules of a specific target causing them to burst into flames simply using a remote control. When the project was dismantled, Trask started on a killing spree, seeking not only revenge for ending his project, but to keep his former co-workers from sharing his "child." Also, Murphy discovers that Silver is a psychic as well, but his powers are more potent than even Murphy wants to imagine.
I've read a number of Johansen's books and this one is just as good as the rest. It's a good read, not too heavy, and a touch of romance as well. It's definitely a "chick book" but all of her books are.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Phenomally Exciting" June 1 2004
Kerry Murphy is 6 years old. Her and her mother are staying in Boston. At the Brownstone that her mother & father own. Kerry's parents are in the middle of divorce. Her father & brother went to Canada. A fire brakes out and Kerry and her mother are trapped. Her mother is able to get Kerry out and tells her to go for help. Kerry sees a figure standing under under a street light. She runs to it "Please Mama said I had to-"He turned and she stared up into his shadowy face only dimly lit by the flickering flames. She screamed. "Shh, be quite. There's nothing you can do." He raised his hand and she saw something glittering,metalic in his hand. A gun? He brought it down on her head. The night exploded. Kerry spent 2 years in a coma. When she came out, her father thought something was wrong with her. He sent her to an institution. That is where she met Michael Travis. He told her what to do and say to get released. Kerry came out of the coma with a special talent. She could see things. Michael wanted to teach her how to use it and control it. But Kerry wanted no part of it.
Now that Kerry's an adult.She has learned to use it to her advantage as a fire arson investigator. She could go to a scene and see how the fire was started. She kept her visions a secret. She had a arson dog for cover.
Brad Silver is visiting his brother. A US Senator. He stands on the porch to watch as his brother & sister-n-law leave for a dinner.Their limo is engulfed in fire. Brad learns about Kerry through Michael Travis. Brad is following Kerry trying to figure the best time to approach her.
Kerry is taking "SAM" her dog to the hospital,to see the sick kids when she starts getting this feeling. While she's reading to the kids, she gets this vision. She goes to hide. She knows her friend(a fireman)is dead.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Get the bad guy!!! He's just rotten!!!!
I haven't read a whole lot of Iris Johansen books, but if they are all like this one, I'll be looking for more of them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ladysown
1.0 out of 5 stars A BIG disappointment!!!
I've read several of Johansen's books and have considered her a pretty decent writer, enough so that I thought I was in for a treat when I saw this on the library shelf. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2005 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a must-have in hardcover
Johansen has never been stellar at developing plausible plots, but there is plausible, even in the realm of science fiction, and stoopid. Read more
Published on July 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars She does it Again!
I'm new to Johansen and love her books. It's fresh and different from a lot of other crime/thriller. Definately worth the time.
Published on June 29 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Faecesstorm
This was a waste of time and money unlike almost any other book- including pulp sci-fi I have ever read. At no time could I suspend disbelieve in reading this novel. Read more
Published on June 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Could it Really Happen
Kerry Murphy is an arson inspector with a super dog who is a fraud. Actually Kerry is the one who solves the arson mysteries because she "sees" the events when they are happening. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by Suzanne Vitale
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I have enjoyed Iris Johansen's books in the past but this one was totally second-rate. Unfortunately I purchased it. Read more
Published on May 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
By looking over the previous reviews, I assume this must be a book you loved or hated.
I loved it. In fact, I thought it was the best Iris Johansen book I have ever read.
Published on May 13 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I normally enjoy Iris Johansen's books, but this one was a major disappointment. The biggest problem was the childish, repetitive dialogue and total lack of character development. Read more
Published on May 10 2004
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