Today, for your listening pleasure I bring you Set the Night on Fire by Libby Fischer Hellmann. Please read on for the review, all about where to find the book, and how to connect with the author.
Title: Set the Night on Fire
Author: Libby Fischer Hellmann
Narrator: Diane Pirone Gelman
Format: Paperback § eBook § AudioBook
Publisher: Allium Press
Length: 10 hours, 12 minutes
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
Stars Overall: 5 Story: 5 Narration: 5
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible § Barnes & Noble § Kobo § iTunes
About the Book:
Someone is trying to kill Lila Hilliard. During the Christmas holidays she returns from running errands to find her family home in flames, her father and brother trapped inside. Later, she is attacked by a mysterious man on a motorcycle. . . and the threats don’t end there. As Lila desperately tries to piece together who is after her and why, she uncovers information about her father’s past in Chicago during the volatile days of the late 1960s . . . information he never shared with her, but now threatens to destroy her.
Part thriller, part historical novel, and part love story, Set the Night on Fire paints an unforgettable portrait of Chicago during a turbulent time: the riots at the Democratic Convention . . . the struggle for power between the Black Panthers and SDS . . . and a group of young idealists who tried to change the world.
I’ll be thoroughly honest and say that I know I am hooked on romance in AudioBook format, but wasn’t sure that a thriller or suspense novel would strike me in the same way. After a one-sitting, never remove the headphones listen; I can gladly report that this could easily become my new obsession! What a terrific way to spend a few hours, or entertain yourself during a long commute. Although, be warned: you will be itching to get back to this story.
Libby Fischer Hellmann has managed to incorporate history into a current story, bringing the reader the feel of the late 60’s, and providing an interesting storyline that will have you on the edge of your seat as the past moves forward to influence the present. The late 60’s in Chicago was a volatile time, with various groups seeking to make change in the social fabric of the United States, protesting against the Vietnam war, the ‘man’ and most all things establishment. While I am familiar with the more radicalized writings and justifications of bad acts, Hellmann brought forward the immense sense of guilt, confusion and the ease with which some may have been caught up in actions that escalated beyond their control.
With a clever separation of the book, the author has divided it into 3 parts: first and last are dealing with the present, the middle section weaves in the history providing a unique opportunity to present a character that is caught up in events that quickly spiral out of control, and he is left taking all of the blame and punishment. Narration throughout the story manages to delineate the characters with a subtle variance in tone that is not distracting to the ear, but gives a distinct feel for each of them.
The villains are rather lackluster in both approach and feel: although the tension created by their never-ending appearance is palpable, if not wholly effective. This is a story that will catch you up in the first few minutes, and not release you completely even hours after you finish. A must-listen for fans of thrillers and characters who will grow on you in surprising ways, this is the best 10 hours you will spend, continually or broken up in sections. I will, however, defy you to not want to reach and push that play button.
I received an AudioBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word at I am, Indeed. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Libby Fischer Hellmann is the award-winning author of A Bitter Veil, Set the Night on Fire, the Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis crime fiction series, and Nice Girl Does Noir, a two volume short story collection. She has lived in Chicago over 35 years.