Russ Thomas: Firewatching


One wrong move will ignite the city . . .

A body is found bricked into a wall of the Old Vicarage. From the state of the hands, it’s clear the dead man was buried alive. When the man is connected to an old missing person’s case, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is called.

After an ‘incident’, Tyler needs this case to go well in order to prove himself and get his career back on track. But he soon discovers that he has a connection to the case that hopelessly compromises him. He makes the snap decision not to tell his superiors, certain that he is the only one that can solve the crime. Now Tyler must move carefully to find out the truth, without destroying the case or himself.

Meanwhile, someone in the city knows exactly what happened to the body. Someone who is watching Tyler closely. Someone with an unhealthy obsession with fire . . .

A taut investigative thriller bursting with character and tension, introducing an enigmatic, fresh lead detective unlike any you have met before. Perfect for fans of Adrian McKinty, Tana French, Steve Cavanagh and Sharon Bolton.


I always enjoy meeting a new detective and Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler of Firewatching is no different! He’s quite an aloof character so it did take a while for me to feel like I was really under his skin but he does have the determination I love in a detective so I know he still has plenty to give! There are some aspects of Tyler’s past that are hinted at but not explored in detail so I’m looking forward to finding out more as the series continues.

It’s quite rare that fire is such a central symbol in a detective novel and I really enjoyed Thomas’ descriptions in both the blogs that form the beginning of each chapter and the scenes of the crimes. Thomas creates an oppressive atmosphere and I could feel this straight away and felt as though I was able to see these scenes for myself, which definitely increased the tension for me.

There are a lot of suspects in Firewatching and it does take some time for the reader to become familiar with them all. However, this does mean that there are plenty of people who are hiding secrets and lies and these are very intriguing to uncover. As we come to the ending, the tension is almost unbearable and I really wanted to get to the bottom of the situation. The novel is cleverly plotted and despite the many suspects to choose from, I was surprised by the final reveal!

Firewatching is available from Amazon.

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