Book Review: “American Fire” by Monica Hesse

american fireBeginning in late 2012, the residents of rural Accomack County on the Virginia coast began to be terrorized by a serial arsonist. Over the course of 5 months, someone was roaming around the area and setting fire to (mostly) abandoned buildings, often igniting multiple structures in the same night. This book chronicles the crime-spree, the investigation, and the effects it had on the surrounding community, most notably the volunteer firefighters who were being run ragged trying to deal with blazes night after night. Additionally, it provides a look into life on the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, which had seen it’s once thriving farming industry dwindle away, and doesn’t have the same sort of tourism business as other shore areas to support it, giving an interesting look into the lives of Americans who are just doing their best to get by. Anyone with an interest in true-crime will find this case particularly interesting, though there were some stretches that felt a little less so. Not exactly the best in the genre, but still a worthwhile read. ★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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