Jan Carson : The Fire Starters

The latest addition to my website is Jan Carson ‘s The Fire Starters. This novel is set in Belfast sixteen years after The Troubles. The local authorities have restricted the heights of the traditional Eleventh Night tall bonfires to below thirty feet. However an arsonist has been starting fires above thirty feet on public buildings, monuments and the like, encouraging others to do the same, which they do. Sammy Agnew, who committed violent acts during The Troubles, suspects his son Mark. Meanwhile, Sammy’s doctor, Jonathan Murray, a complete loner whose parents never had any time for him and soon emigrated without him has had a fling with an unbalanced woman. She produced a baby – Sophie – and then disappeared, leaving him holding the baby. He is worried that Sophie will be as unbalanced as her mother and this leads him to a group of parents of Unfortunate Children, including a girl with wings and a boy with wheels instead of feet. These plot strands all merge and produce a fine novel looking at the Troubles in a different way.

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