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Through the Fire (First Responders Book #1) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Adrian “A-O” O’Neill comes from a long line of Reno firefighters. A day before the 10-year anniversary of his dad’s death in a fire, A-O defies orders and attempts to rescue a child thought to be trapped in a burning house. His actions get him suspended, prompting a trip to Mexico to visit his uncle, yet another ex-fireman. While there, A-O puts his own life in peril once again to save a drowning boy. Will this successful rescue save him from his guilt over all that has gone wrong at home? Apparently not. Never completely recovering from the loss of his father caused him to lose his fiancée and possibly his nerve, for now the idea of entering a blaze terrifies him. Enter Julianne Caldwell, a fire-prevention analyst, who helps A-O find the faith to work through his demons, even as an arsonist terrorizes the town. This debut novel certainly shows that Grady has promise as an author of faith-based action adventures, especially if he overcomes a tendency to overwrite. --Mary Frances Wilkens


Relying on his experience as both firefighter and paramedic, first time novelist Shawn Grady pens a sizzling suspense thriller.... The story's protagonist, Aidan O'Neill, is cocky, confident, self-righteous, bitter and lonely and yet the reader will be able to identify with him. The supporting cast is well-rounded and easy to empathize with, in regard to their personalities and stories. The underlying romance adds to the redemptive flow and healing process as Julianne and Aidan wrestle with personal issues that affect their individual lives and their work together.

The author's descriptive, imaginative word pictures help recreate life and death situations in Through The Fire. Shawn Grady's debut novel is an exploding blend of extreme action, sweet romance, and constant danger, to say the least. --Dale Lewis,

Product Details

  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764205951
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Publication Date: July 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B5J50UA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,866 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Shawn Grady is author of the novels THROUGH THE FIRE, TOMORROW WE DIE, and FALLS LIKE LIGHTNING. He was named "Most Promising New Writer" at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference.

Shawn has served for over fifteen years as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.

Visit Shawn at or at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Jon E. Johnson on July 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
First off, full disclosure: I work with Shawn, and knew him as a Paramedic with the local ambulance service prior to him becoming a firefighter. While I have a great amount of respect for him as a firefighter and as a great guy, I will attempt to keep this review as objective and honest as I can.

I should also mention that this novel is definitely Christian fiction, and that I am an entrenched, militant agnostic.

That being said this is a wonderful book, & I enjoyed the hell out of it (no pun intended).

We have some of the most finely tuned BS detectors around in the fire service. Shawn knows that (and knows he'd be answering to his firepals if he was off base on anything) and I believe kept that in mind while writing this. As a result, he has, in my opinion, very accurately captured about as much of the spirit of the fire service (and RFD, in particular) as is possible in one book. In this respect I would say that it's a bit like "Report From Engine Company 82", Reno style. Forget the crap you see in "Backdraft" and "Third Watch", if you want to get an idea of what it's like inside, and why we go in, read Shawn's book.

About the only thing that even made the needle on my BS detector twitch a little was Aidan's perception and personification of the smoke and flames / fire behavior; but I think that can be excused under the cover of artistic license and personal perception on the part of the protagonist, and I also think it added an entertaining dramatic / mystic touch to the novel.

The narrative / Shawn's writing style is powerful and vivid. Shawn paints details that I didn't even think about until I read this book, like the sound of a pumper when you put it into pump gear, or the look of the firepoles at the old Station 1.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Rick Acker on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
THROUGH THE FIRE opens with Aidan O'Neill, a Reno firefighter, struggling with the loss of his father, who was also a Reno fireman. Then Aidan's reckless confidence nearly kills the rookie assigned to him. Then his fiancee leaves him. And then, to top it off, an expert arsonist begins terrorizing the city. That may sound like a paint-by-numbers summer read. But it isn't.

Shawn Grady takes several familiar plot elements and shapes them into a new and powerful story. This book earns five stars because of two things: (1) Shawn Grady's strong, lyrical writing and (2) his deep understanding of fire and the men and women who fight it. Look for Grady to have a long career in Christian fiction.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jeanette Hanscome on July 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Aiden O'Neill is haunted by his father's death, struggling to hold onto a fizzling relationship with his fiance, and fearing that he has lost his sixth sense for fighting fires. When a careless move almost causes a rookie's death, Aiden's life seems to crumble around him--until a series of fires terrorizes the city of Reno. Could there be a connection between the arson and his father's tragic end?

Reno firefighter and debut novelist Shawn Grady weaves a fast-paced story of dedication, courage, mystery, and God's ability to bring answers. As a citizen of Reno I enjoyed seeing familiar locations pop up on the page. But you need not be a local to enjoy this story. Most of all I got caught in the author's amazing gift for words, characters, and bringing the reality of fighting fires to life through a plot that often left me wondering if I could have my son make dinner just one more time. It's hard to belief this is a first novel.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Novel Teen on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Review by Jill Williamson

Firefighting is Aidan O'Neill's life, but his overconfidence puts a rookie's life in danger. Aidan is suspended and goes home to discover that his fiancé is leaving him. Life stinks. But an arsonist is keeping the Reno fire department busy and Aidan gets called back to work. He partners with fire investigator, Julianne, to get to the bottom of this arson case before people start to suspect him.

What an impressive book! It was one thing after another for poor Aidan. His life fascinated me. In the perfect example of "write what you know," former firefighter Shawn Grady's characters were flesh and blood. I felt like I was one of the firemen riding on that truck. Both character and plot sucked me in and I couldn't put the book down. (Love that!) Great cover too. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a great suspense story (girls, too, even though guys will love the action.)
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. K. Collins on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Since his father's death in a fire, firefighter Aiden O'Neill is determined to find out who the arsonist was in that fateful fire. Aiden has a gift of being able to read fires, but after he caused a fellow firefighter to be seriously injured during a fire, he seems to have lost his gift.

An arsonist is on the loose, causing major fires and death in his wake. Aiden and Julianne, a fire analyst, are teaming up to discover who is behind the fires. I guarantee the end will surprise you.

I enjoyed the story line, but some of the writing was out of character of the rest of the book. There were paragraphs that were almost poetic~ but forced and did not reflect the other parts of the book. I also got confused in several places as new characters were introduced. The parts about God and Christianity seemed forced and put in as an afterthought.
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