Title: Dead Watch by Steve Liszka
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Date Published: 28th March 2018
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 in tact?
A group of firefighters stumble across a dead man in car along with a pile of money. They assume that the driver is dead, it’s not going to make a difference if they take it but they were wrong.
I am always on the lookout for a different kind of thriller and I have to be honest I’ve never read one with firefighters as the main protagonists before! The story follows the Red Watch, Jo, Wesley, Jimmy, Bodhi, Harrison, Dylan and Lenny. I have a little soft spot for Wesley, at the beginning he’s not well liked and not all that commanding, even though he’s meant to be the boss, but as it goes along he becomes more of the leader that the group needs.
I found the book vivid, gritty and the characters really realistic. I enjoyed the sense of camaraderie and that dark sense of humour that comes across between the characters. There’s also some great action, some of which I found a little terrifying as anything being on fire scares the living daylights out of me.
But, whilst I appreciate the attention to detail that the author puts into the book, he is a real life firefighter after all, I felt that at times the details distracted me from the story and lessened the tension a bit. Also there were quite a few characters to keep track of and I have to be honest the only reason I remembered all of their names is because I wrote them down.
Overall a realistic story and perfect if you’re looking for something a bit different in a thriller.
About the Author:
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