Genre: Fiction; Author: Iris Johansen

Johansen rarely strays far from her formula: (1) A tough, damaged woman has a special gift – in this case, it’s Kerry Murphy, a fire survivor who awakens from a coma with the bizarre ability to identify arson and sense when her friends are aflame; (2) a macho hero needs the heroine’s gift – thus we have Brad Silver, a mind-controlling undercover agent tracking down (3) a diabolical villain, here the inventor of a combustion thingie that he’s trying to sell to the North Koreans…after he kills off the techies who helped build it; (4) girl clashes with boy, boy says funny, un-dudelike dialogue (”You’re damn tooting”), and they find love, healing, and action. Firestorm isn’t as clever as Johansen’s Eve Duncan series, but it offers some cheesy fun.

Originally posted April 2 2004 — 12:00 AM EST

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