Life through my myopic eyes.

The Fireman by Stephen Leather…Vintage Leather


Published in 1989, The Fireman by Stephen Leather is his second book. Leather was still working as a journalist at the time so it is no wonder that his protagonist and his story are set in the world of journalism.

Fireman is the term applied to a ‘high flyer’ in the news world. They are the journalists who are sent around the world at a moments notice to cover the big stories. They are the heavy hitters, the Babe Ruth’s of reporting and as such are on call twenty-four hours a day. It is an exhausting job, but one that pays well and you have a guaranteed by-line.

The main character is the fireman that the title refers to. Or was the fireman before he got jaded and his intake of alcohol required that he be “dried out.” The rehab was paid for by the newspaper he works for and he has slid down the professional ladder to second string crime reporter. One step below an overpaid youngster.

The paper is being taken over by computers and their workforce is dwindling. The fireman gets a call from Hong Kong where his sister Sally is working as a free-lance journalist. She has fallen from a tall building and the Hong Kong police are calling it suicide. He now needs fly to Hong Kong and sort her things out and explain to the police that Sally would never kill herself.

Set in the days before Hong Kong was “given” back to China, the colour and the pace of the place is brilliantly painted for the reader. The ex-pats and their comfort in a self-imposed exile from England are just as colourful and also sad. These are not life’s movers and shakers, rather they are the ‘also rans’ who have managed to find a place higher up on the social ladder.

That Stephen Leather has a solid background in journalism is apparent in how well he describes the setting of the newspaper’s working environment. I worked for a local rag in the early 90′s. Not as a journalist, but as a driver. As the paper was more localized I was privy to how a lot of things worked and got to see how every thing came together to produce the paper.

But, even if you haven’t worked in that arena, you can feel the authenticity of the characters and the pecking order as laid out by Leather in his book.

Written in the first person, you never learn the protagonists name. When I went to write this review I ‘skip read’ through the book repeatedly to find his name. Not there. This, I have been lead to understand, is a common device with Mr Leather in a few of his books. It does not detract from the story, if anything it helps give the impression that you are living the action right along with the hero.

And there is a lot of action to live through. You follow him every step of the way as he tries to find out who was behind his sister Sally’s murder. It is entertaining and very fast paced. As this was his second work to be published, it lacks a lot of the polish that his later books have. But the rough edges don’t detract from the story and it is still a good read.

In an interview, Leather has stated that he was not too happy about the family circumstances that his editor insist that he put into the story. I can empathise with him as that part of the story stuck out like a sore thumb and did feel “tacked on.” I won’t say what it is but I do believe that you’ll find the same when you read the book.

When the villain is finally tracked down and dealt with it is one of the best cases of poetic justice I’ve seen. I enjoyed my leisurely perusal  of vintage Stephen Leather and I am looking forward to reading some of his other earlier books.

While this book is not in the same league as Fair Game or Nightmare, Stephen still shows that splendid ear for dialogue that makes his books stand out so much from other authors.

I would highly recommend reading The Fireman. It will entertain you and hold your attention.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Book Review, Books, Writing

3 Responses »

Trackbacks

  1. The Birthday Girl by Stephen Leather: Not Just an Arms Race | MikesFilmTalk
  2. The Chinaman by Stephen Leather: A rose by any Other Name… | MikesFilmTalk
  3. Dead Men by Stephen Leather: Shepherd Number 5 | MikesFilmTalk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,787 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 120,329 hits

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Panda's Choice

Movie Reviews and Weekly Chronicles

tonybeig

Tony Beig - Promotional Clothing 2015

Kevin Taggart

Various excerpts From My Books, Blogs, 55 Worders and other interesting bits and bobs!

Despair to Deliverance

A True Story of Triumph Over Severe Mental Illness and How You Can Triumph Too

Mourgos' Book & Film Reviews!

Best Book & Movie Reviewer Ever!

I Am Not The Batman

You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a blogger.

Damian Thomas Films.. Etc

Film based randomness

thecoffeespirit!

Just a few thoughts, here and there.

Bibliophilopolis

This is a log of the author's reading activity, begun 1/1/2010

3D Fantasy Art Blog

3D Fantasy Art

THE AMAZING MOMENTS IN DAILY

"FVS" Alan Reynaldi Husain

The Venetian Vase

crime and detective fiction

Fabletechnologies (Fable Technology USA)

Web Development Company USA

Cutenesss

More than just beauty & looks

Lightningpen's Blog

Imagination becomes art when passion tricks insecurity

southern star wanderer

Because not all who wander are lost ~J.R. Tolkien

Cyan Attributes

Smile! You’re at the best. Change is good. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see the difference.

AddHorizon

A blog about anime, fun, life, humor and entertainment!

larondedelivres

On ne vit qu'une fois

Geek Is The New Black

A blog about movies, TV, art and whatever else I can come up with

The Newswatch Television Official Blog

Telling America's Story for Over 20 Years

Kate's Blog

Photography & Entrepreneur Daily Tips

Words

Sometimes words are enough

Luminous Yellow Corner

A site that captures attention, the color of hope and sunshine.

colombiancuties

As Cuties of Colombia we're lifting our great Nation.

MrHairyBrit - Hairy YouTube Man

Bloggy Home of the Vloggy YouTuber

OdesIsPro

Living the creative life as messy as I can.

Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Ad Burp

Where am I going? Who will i be? This is my self-discovery

Yacon Syrup

And other stops on my journey to "fit!"

My Blog

A fine WordPress.com site

Art Attack

Discovering art in everything

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

All Hands Drug Treatment

Addiction Resource & Sober Living Ideas

JoelMwakasege

Success Videos Cu-ration Site.

War, Conflict & Resolution

A collection of short stories commemorating WWI

The Riparian Times

The Riparian Times is a boutique publication with musings about life, travel, fashion and art.

successlabtv

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

7cliquemovement

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Small Business Management Tips

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Danescourt Camera Club

Teaching Camera Techniques for skill development. All the theory on our Blog to help understand Manual Settings on your Digital Camera

UPDAT MOVIE

watch hd full movie online free, download dh movie,watch hollywood movie, bollywood movie, tollywood movie, movie song, mp3 song, sports, online free game, online full movie, watch star plus episode,

frailbeach37pmi

Cutie pie baby!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,787 other followers

%d bloggers like this: