Read Gideon's Fire by J.J. Marric Online


Commander George Gideon of the Scotland Yard is met at the office one morning with news of a sex maniac on the loose and a fire in an old tenement building south of the Thames. Two separate crimes of stunning savagery -- a fourteen-year-old girl raped and murdered, and a family of seven wiped out by an arsonist....

Title : Gideon's Fire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780786248780
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 299 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Gideon's Fire Reviews

  • Judy
    2018-08-15 15:03

    Another of the five books read from my 1962 list in August was this Scotland Yard mystery, winner of the 1962 Edgar Award. J J Marric was a pen name used by John Creasy, who was so prolific that he wrote under 18 different pseudonyms and published over 600 mysteries! Gideon's Fire is the eighth of 22 books in his Gideon Series.George Gideon is the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard. He has a wife and four children, all of whom he loves dearly and who also feature in the book, but it is his job that he devotes himself to and that defines him. Conscientious, honest, a good leader, but perhaps a bit overly hands-on with the cases.He arrives at work an unusual 30 minutes late to learn that a terrible fire the previous night had killed an entire family, leaving many other tenants burned and in shock after their whole tenement building was consumed. Adding in the rape/murder of a 14-year-old girl and two other time sensitive investigations, the man has his hands full.As the story progresses, the fire turns out to be one of many, probably set by a psychotic arsonist. One of the murder cases begins to look like the work of a serial killer. In fact, the plot blows up like a raging fire. By the third chapter the reader is living all the stress right along with Gideon.Though it is a rather standard police procedural, Gideon's Fire has a couple unusual features. The criminals in each case are included as characters with their own actions and thoughts covered by the same third person narrator. Thus the reader gets the story from both sides, adding even more tension.In the end the Yard's Criminal Investigation Department prevails but there are deaths and disasters along the way. Gideon feels bad about those, as any good law enforcement professional would. In fact, the author makes you feel bad too as he takes you into Gideon's mind.Another different feature though is that this man is not cynical, he is not being beaten down by his job or any of his superiors or even by the prevalence of crime in the vast city of London. He knows what the odds are, he knows he is competent, and he stays on top of the game. Refreshing I thought.

  • Nikki
    2018-07-19 13:54

    This was the first of the Edgar winners for Best Novel, reading in order, that I knew I had actually read before, as I went through the whole Gideon series back in the 1970s. Along with Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books, I think these were what started my love for police procedurals. In GIDEON'S FIRE, Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard must coordinate investigations into: a string of arson fires in slum housing; a case of stock fraud; a man who is suspected of killing two former mistresses and who now has a new mistress; the rape-murder of a young girl in her own home; and a bank robbery where the catspaw is in prison but the mastermind remains at large. There is also trouble at home with one of his six children. Marric masterfully weaves all these plot lines together and ties them up satisfyingly at the end. One thing that is unusual about this series is that the protagonist is of such high rank, and seems to get along well with both superiors and subordinates. At least, this is unusual in the current world of police procedurals. In all the cases, we see not only the investigation from the police viewpoint, but also from the viewpoints of the perpetrators and indeed of some of the victims and their families. I don't always care for this device but in this case, I believe it added a lot to the book.We noticed (my husband is reading along with me) that in the book, the 1962 Edgar winner, Londoners were still dealing with the aftermath of World War II in a way that Americans had left far behind by then. Not that we didn't have slums, but I think they were attributable mostly to greedy landlords and not to an actual inability to replace crumbling buildings fast enough.It's interesting to me to speculate what may have happened between 1961 and 1962 to make the winners so different. GIDEON'S FIRE is an excellent mystery but makes no pretensions to be other than what it is -- one of a series of novels with the same protagonist, with all the pluses and minuses that entails. No one would ever say it "transcends the genre" and that's fine with me.

  • Jim
    2018-08-01 19:59

    In 1959 while visiting London for the first time, I discovered John Creasey’s mystery series featuring “The Toff”. Recently, I read a review of GIDEON’S FIRE (ISBN 0755114043, trade paperback, $14.95) by Creasey and bought a copy through my local Indie bookstore. John Creasey published more than 600 books using 28 pseudonyms including J.J. Marric who was originally listed as the author of GIDEON’S FIRE (an Edgar Award winner). Creasey died in 1973 so no new titles will be coming (I think). He wrote many Britain based mystery series as well as westerns and romances.George Gideon works in New Scotland Yard as the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Department. In this book, there are several story lines to be followed – serial arson (murder included), stock fraud, a serial murderer and a rapist/murderer. Gideon does not solve the crimes himself but directs various members of his department in the investigations. For the most part, we know who the criminals are but watching how Gideon and his staff find them is intriguing.Gideon is human, too, having a wife and kids. He deals with family issues while doing his job as well. The characters are wonderful. The good guys could be your friends. The bad guys are really bad but not necessarily evil (some are). You get a great picture of London in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Gideon is using the technology available at that time – no computers, no cell phones (two-way car radios instead), telephones (including phone booths with working phones), newspapers, radio and television.The books may be hard to get but a your local independent bookstore will give it a good shot. Go! Buy! Read!

  • Kathy
    2018-08-04 16:43

    Two things I loved about this book: it wasn't just one crime, there were five, and they way the author made his characters so very three dimensional. Reading this was feeling as though these are real people, and for a few days I was walking beside them, working the cases, seeing the process. You don't just know that Gideon is married and a father. You're involved in his life. You learn details about his staff that make them more than just background characters. I didn't feel that having more than one crime became hard to follow or that the investigation details were lacking. Only a 160 page story, but I really got a great return for time spent. I'm looking forward to reading more about Gideon!

  • C. John Kerry
    2018-07-18 19:03

    The main focus of this books is a series of fires that are plaguing the city of London, some of which may be the work of an arsonist. Add to that the rape and murder of a fourteen year old, a potential stock swindle, someone who has gotten in the habit of murdering problem mistresses and a bank job which is connected to one a few years ago and Gideon certainly has a plateful at work. Add to this a domestic crisis in Gideon's family. Not all the loose ends are tied up at end of the book just happens in real life, All in all a decent read.

  • Gary
    2018-07-28 18:07

    Good Scotland Yard melodrama, like an ensemble television show.

  • Masayuki Arai
    2018-08-04 17:50

    busy police

  • Cameron
    2018-08-07 18:52

    I enjoyed this multi-tasking police procedural. It is well written and accessible. This is the 7th book in the series, but I was able to jump right into it and go with characters. It is a crime story without being a mystery, though not without surprises. Its only notable short fall is in the rather pat, flippant way it dispatches with what are really some quite shocking crimes and serious issues. I don't know I would active track down anymore of the books in this series - it was a nice diversion from my normal reading, but has not left any lasting impressions despite the scope it had from the nature of the crimes.

  • Joy
    2018-07-16 14:05

    A rash of slum fires only gains attention when a family dies along with the policeman who was trying to save them. The arsonist, who was trying to avoid taking lives, realizes that it is the deaths that catches the attention of the newspapers, so he makes the decision to kill people in order to achieve his ends. He can manipulate the press by causing the greatest damage and death count possible.Commander Gideon, trying to anticipate the firebug, is also dealing with a serial killer of seven-year-old girls, and a disgrace in his own family.

  • Matt Kuhns
    2018-07-29 17:42

    I have read a few of the Gideon's novels, now, and this is one of the best I've read. The storytelling seemed very cinematic; every scene was used efficiently to develop character or advance the fast-moving plot. At the same time, a number of competing plots run in parallel, which would be challenging to pull off in a typical film. With Gideon's Fire one gets a bit of the best elements of both.I can readily recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good cop story.

  • Tria
    2018-07-23 14:04

    Narrated by Hugh Kermode. I've averaged this edition out to a 4-star rating, though the original book I rate 5 stars. This particular installment in the "Gideon of Scotland Yard" series has always been a favourite of mine, and I enjoy Kermode's reading of it, though he slips up here and there, hence the lost star. Still, it makes for a good listen nonetheless.

  • Lbaker
    2018-07-31 19:42

    It's been years since I read a GG - George Gideon mystery and had forgot how well crafted they are. I enjoy the fact that people are people, not infallible, that GG's family is an integral part of his life and the story. I am going to try to find and re-read many of this series.

  • Julia Holloway
    2018-07-29 15:45

    I am so glad my local bookseller (Gwenyfar) recommended this book. George Gideon is a wonderful character - a Scotland Yard detective with a family - a fairly normal existence. I am glad that J. J. Marric seemed to write about one of these a year - many more to enjoy.

  • Elley
    2018-07-30 21:56

    I prefer more of a mystery, however enjoyed how action packed the book was. I found the emotional side stories didn't distract too much from the central plot.

  • Margareth8537
    2018-07-16 17:39

    Usual enjoyable read. Never very demanding but always interesting

  • Delores Alger
    2018-07-31 18:39

    creasey's gideon

  • rabbitprincess
    2018-07-26 18:53

    * * 1/2