American fire : love, arson, and life in a vanishing land

by Hesse, Monica,

Format: Print Book 2017
Availability: Available at 29 Libraries 29 of 30 copies
Available (29)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Nonfiction 364.1642 Hess
Location  Andrew Bayne Memorial Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  364.1642 Hess
 
 
Andrew Carnegie Free Library Nonfiction 364.164 HESSE
Location  Andrew Carnegie Free Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  364.164 HESSE
 
 
Baldwin Borough Library History and Politics 364.16 HES
Location  Baldwin Borough Library
 
Collection  History and Politics
 
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Bethel Park Public Library Nonfiction 364.1642 HE
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Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  364.1642 HE
 
 
C.C. Mellor Memorial Library Non Fiction 364.16 Hes
Location  C.C. Mellor Memorial Library
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 Hes
 
 
C.C. Mellor Memorial Library - Forest Hills Non Fiction 364.16 Hes
Location  C.C. Mellor Memorial Library - Forest Hills
 
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Call Number  364.16 Hes
 
 
CLP - Downtown First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
Location  CLP - Downtown
 
Collection  First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection
 
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CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
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CLP - Homewood Non-Fiction Collection HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
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CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
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Call Number  HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
 
 
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
 
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
 
Call Number  HV6638.5.U6 H47 2017x
 
 
Carnegie Library of Homestead Non Fiction 364.16 Hess
Location  Carnegie Library of Homestead
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 Hess
 
 
Community Library of Castle Shannon Non Fiction 364.1642 Hesse
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  364.1642 Hesse
 
 
Coraopolis Memorial Library Non-Fiction 364.16 HES
Location  Coraopolis Memorial Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 HES
 
 
Crafton Public Library Adult - Non-Fiction 364.16 HESSE 2017 CRAFTON 8/17
Location  Crafton Public Library
 
Collection  Adult - Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 HESSE 2017 CRAFTON 8/17
 
 
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 364.164 HESSE
Location  Monroeville Public Library
 
Collection  Non-fiction
 
Call Number  364.164 HESSE
 
 
Moon Township Public Library Non-Fiction 364.16 HESSE
Location  Moon Township Public Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 HESSE
 
 
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 364.16 Hes
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 Hes
 
 
North Versailles Public Library Non-Fiction 364.16 HESS
Location  North Versailles Public Library
 
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Call Number  364.16 HESS
 
 
Northern Tier Regional Library Nonfiction 364.164209 HESSE
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
 
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Call Number  364.164209 HESSE
 
 
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 364.1642 H46
Location  Northland Public Library
 
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Call Number  364.1642 H46
 
 
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 364.164 H58
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  364.164 H58
 
 
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 364.1642 HES 2017
Location  Sewickley Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  364.1642 HES 2017
 
 
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 364.16 H
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 H
 
 
South Park Library Nonfiction 364.1642 HES
Location  South Park Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  364.1642 HES
 
 
Upper St. Clair Township Library Non-fiction 364.1642 HES
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
 
Collection  Non-fiction
 
Call Number  364.1642 HES
 
 
Western Allegheny Community Library Non-Fiction 364.16 HES
Location  Western Allegheny Community Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  364.16 HES
 
 
Whitehall Public Library Nonfiction Collection NF 364.1642 H463
Location  Whitehall Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction Collection
 
Call Number  NF 364.1642 H463
 
 
Wilkinsburg Public Library Nonfiction TRUE CRIME 364.16 HES 2017
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  TRUE CRIME 364.16 HES 2017
 
 
 
Unavailable (1)
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Brentwood Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Brentwood Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Status  CHECKED OUT
 
 
Summary

Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left a Virginia county reeling, reporter Monica Hesse drove to Accomack to cover the trial of Charlie Smith who pled guilty to 67 counts of arson. But Smith wasn't lighting fires alone: his crimes were galvanised by a twisted love story. Hesse uncovered the motives of this troubled addict and his accomplice, Tonya Bundick. In depicting the dangerous shift in their passionate relationship, Hesse brings to life the once-thriving coastal community and its distressed inhabitants, decimated by a punishing economy and increasingly terrified by a string of fires they could not explain. Incorporating this drama into the history of arson in the US, American Fire re-creates the anguished nights of this quiet county lit up in flames, evoking a microcosm of rural America--a land gutted before the fires began.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* In late 2012, an arsonist began plaguing Accomack County, Virginia. Located on the state's Eastern Shore, part of the Delmarva peninsula, Accomack was once booming farm country situated along the railroad that profitably connected the U.S. north and south beginning in the 1880s. By 2012, though, chicken corporations Perdue and Tyson had supplanted family farms as the county's largest employers, and the railroad went unused. Over 80 buildings, most already abandoned on one occasion, a coop was torched only after its resident chickens had clearly been made to exit would burn into 2013, baffling local law enforcement and far overextending the fire departments, all made up of volunteers, from surrounding communities. Washington Post staffer Hesse, also an Edgar-winning author of a YA mystery, introduces the man responsible, Charlie Smith, a ne'er-do-well with a heart of gold, in the first chapter. She generates suspense in describing Charlie's personal life and all-consuming romantic relationship; how he is finally caught; and, ultimately, his motivation. Hesse enters the compelling narrative with restraint in probing, essayistic analyses. She tells the story of the fires and of the Eastern Shore and the people she got to know there with an earned familiarity that, at the same time, speaks of the unknowability of a vast, rapidly changing nation.--Bostrom, Annie Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Washington Post reporter Hesse (Girl in the Blue Coat) leads readers on an extended tour of a bizarre five-month crime spree in rural Accomack County, Va.: a series of over 80 arsons, of predominantly abandoned buildings, committed by a local couple. It began one day in November 2012 with four fires in 24 hours and carried on for five months. As hysteria mounted, police camped out in tents near potential targets and a group of vigilantes set up their own operation. At the center of this narrative is the extremely compelling couple: Charlie Smith, a 38-year-old recovering drug addict, and Tonya Bundick, a 40-year-old partier described as the "queen" of the local nightclub, Shuckers. Hesse traces their romance from charming Facebook exchanges and plans of a Guns N' Roses themed wedding to passing notes in the prison yard after their arrest. Their love totally imploded under the pressure of their prosecution. Hesse offers sociological insight into a small town where "doors went unlocked, bake sales and brisket fund-raisers were well attended" despite its downward economic trajectory. There is something metaphorical, she notes, about a rural county suffering through a recession being literally burned to the ground. The metaphor becomes belabored by the time Hesse shoehorns in a comparison between small-town America and the aforementioned Shuckers, but otherwise this is a page-turning story of love gone off the rails. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Arson -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
Rural crimes -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
Accomack County (Va.) -- Rural conditions.
Accomack County (Va.) -- Economic conditions.
Accomack County (Va.) -- Social conditions.
Publisher New York, N.Y. :2017
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 255 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN 9781631494512 (pbk.)
9781631490514
1631490516
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