WHEN book readers think of the different parts that make a good mystery novel, Martians, Zorro and some cans of Passiona do not typically make the list.
But for Perth author Ron Elliott, these things are what make his new book Burn Patterns so engrossing.
“Clues are the map of a crime, with 20/20 hindsight, that is,” he said.
“The Martian, Zorro and some cans of Passiona may be random debris, or they might mean something.”
In Burn Patterns, main character Iris is a therapist by day, arsonist profiler by night.
However, she is unexpectedly caught up in an investigation as both a profiler and a suspect after a bomb goes off at a local school.
Elliott said as a West Australian, it was hard not to know the impact fire could have on the community.
“I’m very much aware of the devastation caused by fire, mainly in the bush,” he said.
“The term ‘fire bugs’, no longer favoured by fire fighters or police, has intrigued me since I was a boy also intrigued by fire.
“In Burn Patterns I take things a step further to investigate an arsonist using fire in a targeted way to hurt and kill.”
He said while the book was a work of fiction, a lot of research went into making sure the information behind arson, fires and the main character’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder were as accurate as possible.
“There is a lot of factual information in the Google-sphere concerning fire investigation as well as some fiction around arsonists,” he said.
“I also discovered the field of Narrative Therapy as a procedure for people mapping positive story trajectories in their own lives and this seemed like an interesting thing to have recovering Iris be doing when the police come calling for her help.”
Burn Patterns is available from www.fremantlepress.com.au