Behind the Fire (Large Print Edition) Paperback – Large Print, March 22, 2019
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- Publisher : Independently published (March 22, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 238 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1091234760
- ISBN-13 : 978-1091234765
- Item Weight : 12.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,960,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I usually don't care much for novellas and short stories as they always leave so many unanswered questions. This story left me with fun questions to speculate. Even though I had questions, I still enjoyed it and although I hope the author might use this a prequel it was still a satisfying read.
Bobby and his wife are on trial for being "serial arsonists". Bobby found a list of places and times and curious he discovered that at that place and time strange shadow "creatures" appeared and could cause destruction. The only way one can be stopped is by burning it.
I liked to wonder who was the man who made the list and how did he know. What were the creatures and what were they really trying to do. Could they be from another planet? Or maybe from the future coming to warn us. I found this story delightful.
I did not care for the short story "Gone" included with the novella, but it was okay.
She has been favorably compared to Gillian Flynn and called the new female Stephen King. Well, to me she is Susan May and soon other authors will be compared to her.
Crisp writing, twisting plots always keep you guessing. I find her more in the vein of Rod Serling and Richard Matheson. Any comparison just gives you a flavor of her craft.
Behind the Fire is a novella and quite a whirlwind. You really have no time to catch your breath as you follow Bobby as he discovers an alien crises that impacts all mankind and soon his loving wife, Em joins him in at first fighting, then understanding and developing empathy for the "vicious" creature that is causing a small town in Australia such havoc. If the creature(?) cannot be stopped what will happen to Australia and the rest of the world. Two normal, working, loving family members are somehow chosen to save the world. Or do they?
My only critique is the novella gets a bit bogged down about one-third into the fascinating story. But believe me this is minor criticism when we get totally enveloped by the story.
I admit to being an unabashed fan but not a zealot.I hope she thrills us for years to come. A true, unique talent in the suspense/supernatural/thriller genre. Get her books so you can be the cool kid on the block.
In Behind The Fire, she took a story out of a newspaper headline and turned it into a fascinating story.
It starts with Emily and Bobby on trial for serial arson. As Emily testifies, she decides to tell the complete truth, no matter if anyone believes her or not. The story bounces back and forth between what she's saying now and then the bigger details that she's remembering.
This is a complete novelette, less than 200 pages. It's a fast, enjoyable read. It begs to answer the question ... how far would you go to protect your family, your neighbors, your community?
Top reviews from other countries
However, over the course of these last several weeks, something has seemed 'off' with Bobby. Late night sojourns away from home, and not being at the places he claims to have been. As much as it pains her, Emily begins to suspect the worst. Is Bobby having an affair?
One evening, after Bobby is once again 'called away,' Emily decides to track her husband down and uncover the truth behind his actions. However, any relief at finding out her husband's loyalty to their relationship never wavered, it is quickly tempered by the revelation of what truly confronts their hometown. Fate has chosen Bobby to act as a savior to the people of Kalgarin. Their town, and maybe too the world, faces a threat of unknown proportions. Up until now he has chosen to fight alone, but the violence imparted upon these intruders was not without cost. Properties around Kalgarin lie in ruin, a result of Bobby's endeavors.
Now, even if Emily stands by her man, is there any chance of convincing their peers of the truth? An encroaching danger that may change their world forever.
Susan May knows how to write a page-turner. Behind the Fire is more of a mystery and suspense story (think Outer Limits), rather than outright horror (no torture porn here). But it is all the better for this. The novella is written with good pacing and nicely descriptive prose (without being over-flowery), and in many ways it is reminiscent of 80s Dean Koontz - by far his best years.
As I said this is a novella, and it should be noted there is a substantial amount of filler material following the conclusion of Behind the Fire, including another solidly written bonus story titled 'Gone.' There is also an interesting chapter where Susan May explains her thinking in creating Behind the Fire. This was a fascinating examination of how real-life lends itself towards creating fiction.
Overall, an original and nicely crafted novella from an author with good writing chops. If you enjoy programs such as The Twilight Zone, or fancy reading some mystery and suspense in a style reminiscent of early Dean Koontz, then you could do far worse than picking up a copy of Behind the Fire.