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book cover of The Fire Fighter

The Fire Fighter

(2001)
A novel by

 
 
Set in WWII London, in the last months of 1940 when the Blitz and destruction and firebombing were at their worst and morale was at its lowest. A young man, Jack Finlay, is called back from the African front to mastermind the firefighting in a small but crucial area of the City of London, looking after 5 rather mysterious buildings in particular. In the pre-war period he was a legendary firefighter, though his past is rather murky - poor Liverpool Irish Catholic, sent to Borstal for fighting, and generally suspect because of his unnatural interest in fires, thought to be an arsonist. His father was a WWI hero - and one of the beautifully handled themes of the novel is the effect of that war on those who survived to fight another so soon after, and on their sons. Our hero finds himself a pawn in an Intelligence game, and in British Intelligence's attempts to feed false intelligence to the Germans at a crucial point in the war. He falls in love with a young woman who's the curator of one of the buildings which was built by her German (disgraced) architect father - she to is being manipulated (or is she?) and the crisis comes when she is caught in the burning building. With its brilliantly vivid evocation of London in the Blitz, an unusual love story, an emotional heart but a cynical eye, and devastatingly good descriptions of fire (how it moves and works and destroys), this unusual and assured first novel has real appeal for men and women alike.

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Used availability for Francis Cottam's The Fire Fighter

Hardback Editions

August 2002 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Fire Fighter: A Novel of War
Author(s): Francis Cottam
ISBN: 0-312-28679-1 / 978-0-312-28679-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2001 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Fire Fighter
Author(s): Francis Cottam
ISBN: 0-7011-6981-8 / 978-0-7011-6981-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2002 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Fire Fighter
Author(s): Francis Cottam
ISBN: 0-09-928640-8 / 978-0-09-928640-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

2001 : UK Audio Cassette
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Title: The Fire Fighter
Author(s): Francis Cottam
ISBN: 1-84197-308-4 / 978-1-84197-308-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Clipper Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

December 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Fire Fighter
Author(s): Francis Cottam
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA