5.0 out of 5 stars "Phenomally Exciting"
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...
Published on June 1 2004 by Katrina Carmack
3.0 out of 5 stars THE PROTAGONISTS ARE HOT ON THE TRAIL OF AN ARSONIST
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...
Published on July 5 2004 by BARBARA GERSHENABUM
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4.0 out of 5 stars Firestorm SIZZLES!,
This review is from: Firestorm (Paperback)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars THE PROTAGONISTS ARE HOT ON THE TRAIL OF AN ARSONIST,
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. He needs Kerry to help him find and stop "a monster that makes the man who killed [her] mother angelic in comparison." He tells Kerry that he can help her remember the face that she glimpsed that horrific night ... that their mutual therapist, Travis, had given him her name and that he knew she could help stop more deaths.
Kerry is not interested. She knows that often after a person wakes from a coma s/he has altered brain chemistry and may even be "rewired" but this information does nothing to soothe her rage or make her feel less like a whacko. After Silver makes his pitch ... "she said through her teeth, "I don't want anything to do with you ... you're a freak and you want to make me one too." In the years she had worked with Travis in an attempt to come to terms what she deeply considered an affliction, "he said [she] wasn't a freak, that the visions were telepathic, and that [she] had to learn to live with them. He said [she] wasn't alone and that there were others [with these extraordinary abilities as a result of childhood comas.] He and his wife were trying to reach out to find and help them ... because [they] went through it themselves."
But Silver realizes he has his work cut out for him if he is ever going to persuade Kerry to help him catch Trask, a truly "mad" scientist who is taking a scorched earth approach to those he perceives as his enemies. The project he had been working on for the government was shut down because the technology was so dangerous that it would be better for the United States not to develop it in order to keep it out of the hands of rogue nations. But, Trask has already sold his "baby" to the North Koreans and is perfecting it by using it to burn his nemeses to death. If their families or innocent people get in the way, tough!
FIRESTORM is a romantic tale of suspense whose plot is simple and linear which makes it very one-dimensional. The characters are never really fleshed out; their dialog is pedestrian and banal; and the story itself is riddled with soft spots ... too many to give much substance to what could have been a really suspenseful book. Iris Johansen is very popular and prolific writer. She has at least twenty-two previous novels in print all over the world ... thus one can only hope in her next endeavor she gives her readers a richer story populated with multi-dimensional characters.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Johansen,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Phenomally Exciting",
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. Brad finds her,enters her mind and takes her away from the vision. He takes her to a lake. Brad is a controller. He enters peoples mind and can help them get through rough times. When Kerry comes to, she is not happy with Brad. She does not want him intruding in her mind. Brad explains that he needs her help to find the guy who killed his brother. She wants no part of it. Until the killer unleashes Firestorm on her brothers house.
Now shes ready. Trask is a sick person. He enjoys fires. He thinks of it as his child. He loves the smell of burning flesh. He takes Kerry & Brad on fiery road. But in the end will Firestorm get Kerry or will they get Firestorm & Trask.
If you are a fan of Iris Johansen.You won't be disappointed. Another great book.
4.0 out of 5 stars arson investigator with psychic ability,
Kerry Murphy works as a fire investigator with her dog, Sam. No one knows the real reason Kerry is so good at her job, and it isn't Sam's superior evidence-sniffing ability. When Kerry was a little girl, her mother died in a fire. As Kerry was running out of the house to get help, an unknown man hit her in the head with a metallic object. She was in a coma for two years and when she awoke she possessed a psychic talent which is triggered by fire.
Brad Silver is also with psychic abilities. He is able to invade other people's minds and control their thoughts. Brad is after the man who created Firestorm, a method of spontaneous combustion, the same man who killed his brother and sister-in-law. Brad needs Kerry's psychic ability to sense where and when fires will happen to catch this psychopath.
I usually don't like books of paranormal nature, but I was really drawn into this story. While the plot is not realistic, it is suspenseful. The characters have rather unique traits and are very likable. If you like your thrillers of a more gritty and realistic nature then this book is not for you. If you don't mind some unbelievable plot twists, and a bit of romantic suspense, then you will like this installment from Iris Johansen.
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. Kerry acquired her psychic skills when she awakened from a coma following a dreadful fire in which her mother was killed and a stranger hit her over the head to keep her from trying to save her Mom.
People are dying all around Kerry as a psychopath seeks revenge on the everyone who has tried to stop him from using his extrordinary weapon. Brad Silver, another psychic with even greater skills than Kerry's seeks her out to help stop this man before he kills more innocent people. Brad convinces Kerry to return to the scene of her mother's death in order to learn who caused the fire that killed her mom.
The suspense is great, and Johansen has written a book as good as her other works. Keep them coming.
2.0 out of 5 stars The fire was put out even before it got started,
I don't know what it is with Iris Johansen lately. It seems as though her most recent books don't seem to be getting any better, and "Firestorm" is no different. It's getting to the point where her books are extremely predictable: the heroine has some sort of deep, dark secret that only the tall, mysterious "stranger" is able to get to the bottom of. Not surprisingly, those two beat the villian, go together, and live happily ever after. Not that I don't like a good ending, but a little variety is needed, don't you think. Besides, why is it every time there's a strong female character, she has to sleep with the everpresent "stranger"? Even if there aren't really any sparks like this time around? To say the least, I was deeply disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Leave your skepticism at the door,
I had a little trouble with the premise of comas inducing psychic powers. However, the book was fast paced, had some surprises, and was overall entertaining. If you want a fact based story, you can read non-fiction or the newspaper. For exciting, action-adventure with a good romance. I read Iris Johansen. I have to admit saving the world every time seems a little redundent. But again, I read for fun. This book filled an afternoon very well. Maybe it follows a similar scenerio as other books by her, I was so glad to get away from the rugged, handsome assassins in the last three books. Not that I did'nt love the books, or the men. Where do I find one? But reading is fun, and it is an escape from other worries. So go for it. For myself, I enjoyed this book!
1.0 out of 5 stars Taking all I have to get through it,
I am currently trying to finish this book. I figure I owe it to myself to find out who the killer is, since I suffered through it. I got this from the library, so luckily I did not pay to read this. I can usually read a book in a day, two at the most, if it is good and I have the time. This one is a hard to follow, very boring story. The characters are more a brother & sister than two people trying to start a relationship. No "sparks" what so ever. I could really care less if they get together or not. It would probably be better if they went their separate ways. I have read a lot of this author, and I don't know what went wrong, but this is really bad.
1.0 out of 5 stars A major disappointment,
By A Customer
I usually enjoy Iris Johansen but this book is at the bottom of the list for me. The plot is interesting which is why I stayed with the book but her characters never came to life for me at all. They weren't even vivid enough for me to see why they would fall in love with each other. When I closed the book I felt like I had indeed been looking at them through smoke. And for all the buildup toward the climax, the climax itself was....anti-climactic and unsatisfying. But most disappointing is that it didn't ring true when she reveals the nemesis from the main character's original nightmare.
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Firestorm by Iris Johansen (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 30 2005)
CDN$ 10.99 CDN$ 9.89