FIRE CHILD by Sally Emerson


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A pleasantly diverting if predictable British import by the competent Emerson (Second Sight, Listeners): here, a charming young pyromaniac finds the woman of his dreams--a languid Lolita who can kill men with her sexual power. Young Martin loves hiding from his life in a rotten old boardinghouse, working as a stock clerk in a grocery store. Red-haired, contemptuous, he's irresistible in spite of his Notes From the Underground life-style. Years before, Martin burned the family home to the ground. Only his homosexual uncle knew who caused the fire, but his domineering mother benefited from the flames--and Martin has a devilish sense of entitlement. In the five years since Martin has dropped out of sight, his mother has risen to the heights of British politics, and Martin is now toying with the idea of using her to launch a career. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Tessa has been hiding out in her own little patch in London. Five years ago, Tessa was a blindingly seductive Lolita. In fact, she seduced her father's best friend, a charming lout of a journalist. Her father caught the unlikely pair together in a hotel restaurant in Belfast, and his best friend killed Dad in the fistfight that followed. Tessa has been smoldering away ever since, spending her days working in a drab real-estate office. When Martin drops by (idly checking out houses to torch), it's love at first sight. Martin finds a love that matches his fiery obsessions. Nurtured by her amoral young lover, Tessa finds a devastatingly sexy way to destroy the man who destroyed her father. A detached, trifling little fantasy, perfect for a day in bed with the flu.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1989
Publisher: Michael Joseph/Viking