This is a novel with writing that dazzles and have you enthralled from the first chapter. In this second, magical novel from Jan Carson she tells the story of Dr Jonathan Murray and Sammy Agnew, two troubled fathers. Dr Murray who is a GP, stuck in a job he doesn’t like and when his new-born daughter arrives fears she is not as harmless as she seems. Whereas Sammy Agnew, a former paramilitary with his own violent past now trying to cope with civilian life fears the violence in his blood lurks in his son, too.

The story is set against the backdrop of loyalist East Belfast, in a city burning where the authorities are losing control. As matters fall into frenzy, and as the lines between fantasy and truth, right and wrong, begin to blur, who will these two fathers choose to protect? Should they save the world from their children or their children from the world…

I loved the writing style, you feel the tension as it zings off the pages, you fear for everyone involved and know this is a story that cannot end well. I thought that the voice of both fathers was captured well, the characters perfectly developed and although I am not sure I like any of them I was still enthralled with the story and the writing to thoroughly enjoy reading The Fire Starters.

I appreciate that the word original is often used in novels, but I cannot recall reading anything so amazing as this. It is a dark, yet humorous novel that is a tale of family love buzzing with magic and wonder. Give it a go for something different.

Transworld Ireland/ 9780857525741/£14.99

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