So it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and I thought it was long overdue! You can read my last bedtime book review, Three Things About Elsie, here.
Title: The Shout by Stephen Leather
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date Published: 12th July 2018
He hunts. He kills. He burns.
Vicky Lewis is a force to be reckoned with: not yet thirty and already crew manager in the London Fire Brigade, she’s destined for great things.
But when she enters a burning building to save a man’s life and leaves it with catastrophic injuries, all that changes. She’s shunted over to the Fire Investigation Unit, where she’s forced to team up with cantankerous veteran Des Farmer, aka the Grouch.
When Vicky stumbles across the Grouch’s off-the-books investigation into the fiery deaths of a series of young, blonde women, she decides to join him in his search for the truth.
The answer is close – perhaps too close. Vicky’s already been burnt once, and now she’s playing with fire..
I want to thank Hodder & Stoughton for my physical copy of this book, I received via BookBridgr in exchange for an honest review.
Vicky Lewis is called to what she thinks is an ordinary fire at an empty old hotel but it turns out there are squatters. Ignoring advice and going against protocol, she stays behind to save a man’s life when the ceiling gives way and she ends up with terrible burns.
Unable to sack her the fire brigade shift her to somewhere that nobody will see her, the Fire Investigation Unit. Her boss Des Farmer, otherwise known as the Grouch makes it clear that he doesn’t want her there and must prove herself.
After a drunken night out, Vicky stumbles across The Grouch’s off the books investigation into the deaths of several women. All blonde. Not too old, not too young. There’s a serial killer and he has a type. Can they stop him before he kills again?
It’s been a number of year since I read a Stephen Leather book and it’s nice to pick one up again. This is a complete stand-alone, so you don’t need to worry about any other books, I don’t know if it’s going to be turned into a series but I kind of hope so.
The Shout is a quite gritty and realistic novel, that does contain some graphic violence and exceptionally nerve racking scenes.
I liked Vicky. She’s bold, brave and takes no prisoners! Even though the side of her face is badly burned, as is her left hand, all she wants to do is be a fire fighter. She also still lives at home with her mum which I found quite endearing.
Then we have The Grouch, who at first with his sexist attitude (he thinks there’s no place in the fire brigade for women) and old fashioned ways annoyed me but he kind of grows on you as the novel goes on and you see he is a good fire investigator.
There seems to be a good attention to detail with the fire fighting and fire investigation aspects of the novel, obviously I’m not a fire fighter so I can’t say whether it’s completely accurate but it was certainly interesting. It also show some of the reality of living with burns which gave it a more authentic feel.
My only issue is the ending felt rushed. Everything was rounded off nicely but I mean I’d already read 400 pages, a few more wouldn’t have hurt, just to give it a more satisfying ending.
This book also reminded me of one I’d read earlier in the year called Dead Watch written by Steve Liszka (a real life fire fighter) and I’d recommend if you enjoy The Shout you should check that one out too.
About The Author:
Stephen Leather is one of the UK’s most successful thriller writers, an eBook and Sunday Times bestseller and author of the critically acclaimed Dan “Spider’ Shepherd series and the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective novels.
Before becoming a novelist he was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He is one of the country’s most successful eBook authors and his eBooks have topped the Amazon Kindle charts in the UK and the US. In 2011 alone he sold more than 500,000 eBooks and was voted by The Bookseller magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the UK publishing world.
Born in Manchester, he began writing full time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into fifteen languages. He has also written for television shows such as London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind series and two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, were filmed for TV. You can find out more from his website http://www.stephenleather.com and you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenleather