Heat: The Fire Investigators and Their War on Arson and Murder

Peter Micheels, Author, Peter A. Michaels, Author Thunder's Mouth Press $14.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-312-04848-8
This introduction to the careers of eight New York City fire marshals, the men who dig through ``the slop and the slime and the ashes,'' rings with authenticity. The reader can almost smell the gasoline or other accelerants as Micheels ( Braving the Flames ) records the reminiscences of those who try to discover the causes of arson fires and to find the criminals who set them. Just as striking are the impressions of life in slum areas, where jealous boyfriends and girlfriends set fires as revenge for having been jilted, where fatherless children with crack-addicted mothers play with matches to relieve boredom, or where lonely neurotics know that flames will bring people and attention. Often fire marshals venture into buildings which daunt the police and, on occasion, the marshals become involved in shootouts. Their stories as related here are tense and inspiring. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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