Someone is trying to burn down the South End and Back Bay sections of Boston. And people are dying. The Boston Fire Department knows who the homicidal torch is. They know it’s Kenny Harlet— known to every Boston jake as Kenny the Whore. They just have to catch him— which is exactly what Captain Billy Simpson of Ladder 17 in District Four and his pal Oakie O’Connor, a BFD arson investigator, plan to do.
The chase is on from Boston to San Francisco where Billy’s friend Fred Strauss, with whom he served in the US Navy during World War II, is a member of the SFFD Arson Squad. As Kenny’s MO surfaces in San Francisco, Fred joins forces with Billy and Oakie in their relentless pursuit to catch Kenny the Whore. Stapleton intertwines compelling reflection of Billy’s days as a young seaman with Fred on a supply ship in the Pacific.
Fire & Water is vintage Stapleton. Written with the same meticulous attention to detail and with the same sense of humor he brought to Thirty Years on the Line and Commish.