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The Spark Paperback – October 3, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Winner Best Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, 2014 - Indie Reader Discovery Awards
The Spark combines all the elements of a good crime novel: intrigue, conflict, suspense, action, and a touch of romance. Highly recommended. - Richard Blake, ReaderViews.com
It is an exciting story that keeps you on the edge of your seat... If you like mystery, suspense, drama and action, you'll love The Spark. - Linda Young, MyShelf.com
The Spark is a well paced thriller, anchored in real-world firefighting. Just be careful if you plan to read it on the subway - you may miss your stop. - Andrew Hudson, Beach Metro News
It is an exciting story that keeps you on the edge of your seat... If you like mystery, suspense, drama and action, you'll love The Spark. - MyShelf.com
About the Author
John Kenny has been a firefighter since 1989. He lives outside Ottawa, Canada with his wife Liz . The Spark is his first novel. When not running into burning buildings, he is an avid sailor, enthusiastic traveler and a mediocre hockey player.
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Top customer reviews
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I was not disappointed. But The Spark gave me so much more than that. It gave me a very human main character - a man who does incredibly courageous things without being at all macho. This is a man who feels as well as acts. It also gave me a fantastic ensemble cast of 'extras', including two different, yet believable and scary 'bad guys'. Between them, they kept the plot moving at just the right pace to give me two nights with very little sleep. There was even a hint of romance that felt as authentic as everything else about the story.
I literally could not find a single thing to not like about The Spark. It is one hell of a novel. Whatever your genre, and whatever your reason for reading, I know you won't be disappointed. Most highly recommended.
By John Kenny
Incendiary Publications, 2013
Donny Robertson probably sees himself as an underdog even though he has risen within the Toronto Fire Department to the rank of Captain. Newly placed in charge of the crew in a historic fire station in downtown Toronto, he allows his more outgoing colleagues to make the small talk while he hangs back. He does, however, show a tenacious sense of duty and he keeps digging into the circumstances of a recent warehouse fire which killed his best friend and left him scarred.
So Kenny's character makes his way through The Spark. As he doggedly searches for the truth about the fire, he comes in for more unconventional injuries than a Dick Francis jockey, and he's no better with his fists than Bennie Cooperman. For example when Donny at one point trades pot-shots with the villain, his flare pistol's first blast glances harmlessly off a wall and gutters to darkness on the floor. The second sets the boat on fire. Donny's eclipsed in the reader's mind by the villain of the piece, a twisted killer-for-hire who goes to elaborate lengths to perform simple assassinations.
Perhaps Kenny became too fond of his villain in the writing of this first novel - it's an easy vice for a rookie. After all, the main character is pretty flat, driven by his knowledge of the world of fire fighting and his conviction that he's not good at marriage. Hardly sexy stuff. While Donny's courageous to a fault in fire fighting sequences - these are highly interesting, by the way -- he seems quite uncomfortable in the presence of his new probationary employee, Susan, and his backhoe-operator-girlfriend.
Kenny is careful to blame NSA for all of the spook stuff in the book, even though the "gausometer" was mentioned in Signals Intelligence retiree Mike Frost's 1990's Canadian tell-all The Spying Game. For why should a fire department procedural not take off into the spy genre in its second half? And why not on on water? Donny-the-failure-at-marriage has a good sailboat and Kenny uses a plot twist to send him up the Trent Canal to Tobermory in Georgian Bay for the climax of the novel.
Mysteries often degenerate into run-and-duck's by the middle chapter. Clive Cussler built a lucrative franchise on far-fetched plots, seafaring action in exotic boats, and the willing suspension of disbelief of his many readers. Kenny keeps the pages turning quickly with a combination of action sequences, semi-comic romance, detailed looks into the world of emergency services and toxic chemicals, and a very luxurious yacht.
I hope we see more of Donny Robertson and his crew in subsequent novels.
You can find The Spark on Amazon.com in Kindle or Hardcover.
The hero, Donny, is a real one, but there is no false glorification of a job in which men and women put their lives on the line to save others every day. John Kenny’s skill with words, knowledge, and insight combine to paint a vivid picture of a complex man thrust into a situation in which he is required to think deeply about himself and his values. I found myself caught up in the driven quality of Donny’s pursuit of justice and its unintended consequences.
The book is fast paced, a compelling read and I can’t wait for more from John Kenny!
Most recent customer reviews
The firefighting backdrop for dramas, be it on television, film or in books always appeals me.Read more