What the publisher says:
Life for the firefighters of Red Watch, East Brighton, is already complicated due to the imminent closure of their fire station. But this is soon to be the least of their worries.
When the team stumble upon a car in a ditch, they discover the driver is dead and a bag containing five hundred thousand pounds in cash. Before anyone arrives, the crew decide to take money, believing it to be a victimless crime.
When they later learn that the driver was killed by a bullet wound to the head their world is turned upside down.
Then a stranger appears at the station claiming the money belongs to him.
Soon the firefighters are drawn into a dangerous underworld and find themselves at the mercy of violent criminals.
But is this stranger who he claims to be?
And can Red Watch escape with the money and their lives intact?
What I say:
From the start this book is different. The author has a unique style of storytelling which brings you in and describes what is happening in an almost factual way. Explanations of brigade procedure and rules are interspersed in the story meaning you have a real understanding of the characters’ actions and reactions.
The story starts slowly, what seems to be a routine night is interrupted when they discover a car down and embankment. When they discover that the now dead driver was carrying a huge amount of cash they decide no one would know if they kept it. They are unaware however that their discussion has been overheard by the real owner of the money.
When the real owner gets in touch they are dragged into the criminal underworld as he blackmails and threatens them to carry out “jobs” for him. The threats and actions gradually get worse and eventually the crew realise that one way or another they need to extricate themselves from this situation.
As I said before, this is a very unusual book. There is not really one main character to concentrate on as the story revolves around the whole watch. It should be difficult to keep track of all these characters but somehow it works well and provides interesting variety. The snippets of procedure add to the realism, especially when you know the author’s background as a serving firefighter.
All in all a good read with entertaining twists, many of which I did not see coming.
Rating 4 out of 5
Steve has been an operational firefighter for the past seventeen years and it was his job that led to him writing his latest novel Dead Watch. He is based at Preston Circus Fire Station in Brighton, one of the busiest in the South East. Originally from Swansea, Steve now lives in Worthing with his wife Angela and children, Buddy and Sylvie.
Steve has always been an active sports person, competing in rugby, amateur boxing, rock climbing and many other pursuits. For the past ten years, he has run his own old-school outdoor fitness classes using kettlebells, tyres, sledgehammers and various other instruments of torture.
Steve’s first novel This Machine Kills was released in 2012. It is a violent dystopian tale where the country is run by a businessman who wants to build walls around his cities to protect the residents from the poor people outside. As if that would ever happen…
You can follow him on Twitter @SteveLiszka and Facebook fb.me/steveliszka76