book cover of Dark Fires Shall Burn

Dark Fires Shall Burn

A novel by

Inspired by the true events of an unsolved murder

Sydney, 1946. Eleven-year-old Frances and her best friend, Nancy, are growing up in the doglegged streets of Newtown and into a world they do not understand. It is the aftermath of World War II, and thousands of damaged soldiers have returned to their homes, bearing the psychological scars of battle with them.

Meanwhile, in the seediest part of the city, fifteen-year-old Templeton lives amid bootleggers, gangs, and prostitutes with his sister Annie and her friends. Threatened by Annie's abusive lover, the nefarious Jack Tooth, they are forced to seek protection from a Darlinghurst madam: the once-powerful grog runner Dolly Jenkins. Soon, Templeton is drawn into an enigmatic underbelly of violence, sexuality, and secrets.

When Frances witnesses a shooting one night, these two worlds become inevitably intertwined. Templeton and the girls must grow up quickly and confront the darkness in the lives of those around them.

Dark Fires Shall Burn is a superbly atmospheric, powerful debut about justice, vengeance, and the power of grief.


'Anna Westbrook delves into Sydney's seedy underbelly for this story, based on a real crime, set in 1946 ... Westbrook has created an atmospheric tale of post-war life, full of sly grog, war-damaged soldiers and prostitutes ... Verdict: dark and gripping.' The Herald Sun

'a richly textured, entertaining caper ... convincing.' The Saturday Paper

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"I could not put this book down...enthralling, and crackles with tension." - Hannah Kent

Used availability for Anna Westbrook's Dark Fires Shall Burn

Paperback Editions

June 2016 : Canada Paperback

Title: Dark Fires Shall Burn (Large Print 16pt)
Author(s): Anna Westbrook
ISBN: 1-5252-2545-6 / 978-1-5252-2545-1 (Canada edition)
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

May 2016 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Dark Fires Shall Burn
Author(s): Anna Westbrook
Publisher: Scribe
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU