Spokane author Terry Hughes will present his first novel “Burning Paradise” at Auntie’s Bookstore on June 28.
According to the Auntie’s web site, Hughes used to be a fire chief in the Paradise Volunteer Fire Department. The group operated in an area near Santa Barbara, California. Hughes drew on these experiences when he wrote his action thriller/mystery about a serial arsonist in a community called Santa Marta.
On his blog, Hughes said “Burning Paradise” was inspired by radio dispatches he heard during the infamous Painted Cave Fire. In 1990, an arsonist destroyed over 500 houses in the hills above Santa Barbara, California. According to a Los Angeles Times article, the fire also destroyed 11 public buildings and killed a 37-year-old woman who was trapped by the flames.
Hughes added that, “‘Burning Paradise’… is a mystery about a serial wildland arsonist burning the hills and homes of the wealthy in an ocean-front community of Southern California. The arsonist calls himself Smoke, and because of his knowledge of fire behavior, many of the outraged citizens feel that Smoke is a fireman. After a particularly disastrous fire, the city is compelled to hire a private arson investigator, Monte Raleigh. A former firefighter himself, Monte investigates the city, federal and volunteer fire departments, stepping on a few toes along the way.”
“Burning Paradise” is the latest release from Spokane-based publisher Gray Dog Press.
According to the synopsis on their web site, “[Monte] has an arsenal of technology and education at his command, plus a generous contract from the city’s libertine mayor. But Smoke’s not above taunting Monte right along with the fire department, and not everyone in Santa Marta is eager to help the investigation.
“The beautiful city’s three fire departments are all pointing fingers at each other, suspects are everywhere, and the only person Monte can trust is a recovering Smokejumper who reminds him of his recurring nightmare. Unable to leave his past truly behind him, Monte is driven by his losses; the only question is whether he’ll be driven to success or madness.”
The book is available for pre-order from Gray Dog Press. The first 100 copies will be autographed by Hughes.
The release party begins at 7:00 p.m. Gray Dog Press will give away a gift basket that includes a signed copy of the book.
Auntie’s Bookstore is located at 402 West Main Avenue. For more information, call (509) 838-0206.