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Mortal Fire (The Secret of the Journal) [Paperback]

C.F. Dunn
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 8.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

18 May 2012 The Secret of the Journal
When Emma D'Eresby - a 29 year-old, self-contained Professor of History - leaves her Cambridge college for a post in an exclusive university in Maine, USA, she hopes to learn more about a curious 17th-century journal in the College library. Instead, it leads her to a secret that should never have been uncovered. In the States, Emma meets the enigmatic 33-year-old surgeon, Matthew Lynes, a quiet and thoughtful widower. Driven to learn more about him, Emma takes the unique journal from the College library in which she believes there are clues to his family's English past. Meanwhile, the sinister Professor Koort Staahl mounts a psychotic attack on her. Matthew's courageous intervention saves her, but as he nurses her back to health, his unusual attributes raise questions he is unwilling to answer. As Part One ends, she returns to her claustrophobic family, avoiding her domineering father and wrestling with despair.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Monarch Books (18 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857212028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857212023
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 645,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born near Lincoln, Claire Dunn took a degree in History and made a career of literacy development, returning to her academic roots to incorporate elements of history into her stories of romance, mystery and suspense. Launching 'The Secret Of The Journal' series with 'Mortal Fire', her debut novel has been nominated for several awards and won Gold (Adult Romance) in the ForeWord Book Of The Year Awards, 2012. The second book in the series - 'Death Be Not Proud' - followed in 2013, and the third book - 'Rope Of Sand' - is scheduled for release in April 2014.

Literacy and communication remain an abiding interest, and she divides her time between writing in the South West and running the specialist school she founded - dedicated to the needs of children with Dyslexia, Autism and related language difficulties - in Kent.

Product Description

Review

If I could say one thing...Read this! --Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse

About the Author

C F Dunn runs a special school in North Kent for children with dyslexia, autism and other difficulties.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing Fire 29 July 2012
Format:Paperback
C. F. Dunn writes well. She makes a strong plot and keeps up the excitement and tension. She draws character well, and is especially strong on writing confrontation and disagreement convincingly. For my taste, there is far too much detail about what foodstuff is on the end of each person's fork or spoon as they speak, but I believe this is an established convention.

Mortal Fire is partly a mystery story, and the `McGuffin' of the plot is a seventeenth century diary that the protagonist wants to investigate. So far so good, but I found the unconscionable time that the protagonist waits before starting the investigation she is so keen to make (and for which she has so little time) difficult to believe in, and her subsequent theft of the diary from the library and hiding of it completely unlikely. Others might disagree: if in the end it contributes to the plot, perhaps it's OK.

My real quarrel with Mortal Fire is in a different area. The book's also partly a romance, and the unwelcome advances of the local Don Juan are brilliantly described. In the midst of them, the protagonist makes a spirited stand, and she doesn't simply choose as a free human being not to have an affair with him, nice though he is, which would have fitted the story well. No, she declares that she's sticking to her guns because a while back she chose to follow Christ. In itself, the speech is commendable, but in the context of the novel as written it sticks out like a sore thumb. Why? Because though here the protagonist claims to be a committed Christian, in the rest of the book, not only does she never go to church, read her Bible, or say prayers, but more than this, she never has a recognizably Christian thought. We never see her wrestling with temptation before God.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A difficult book to put down. 27 Jun 2012
By Edward
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written and absorbing thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, despite getting to sleep rather too late during the few days on which it served as my bedtime "wind-down" reading.
Written in the first person, and set mostly within the USA, the story opens as Emma, a Cambridge academic, is travelling to take up a temporary post at an American university. However, a disturbing air of sadistic sexual menace seems to pervade this particular institution - or does she just have too vivid an imagination?
There are good people too of course, and new friendships are made, one of which comes to seem firmly destined towards the obvious. There is a problem though, leading eventually to a hurried return to her family in England. The story ends unfinished - just for the time being we hope.
Among the minor details that I particularly liked about this book were the author's place descriptions. Aside from the air of menace, the American university setting rang true from my limited experience, while for the relatively short section of the story that's set in England, geographical facts are detailed and accurate. In this respect I am reminded of another brilliant thriller writer, Robert Goddard, who always does his homework.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and compelling 20 May 2012
Format:Paperback
Beautifully written - more than a romance - completely absorbing - PD James readers will find it sits comfortably on the same shelf.Definitely the one to watch and keep your first editions safe!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Fire Romantic Thriller 19 May 2012
By Gordon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just read Mortal Fire and am totally hooked! The story keeps you engaged from the very first page, and an accompanying coffee is almost bound to be cold by the time you return to it.

The endorsements,one of which is by Colin Dexter ( Of Inspector Morse fame), could not be more encouraging. His comment:-"If I could say one thing - read this!" I could not agree more!

I am now in the position of having to wait for the sequels; what agonies of expectation! My message to the publishers is:- "Please, please do not keep us in suspense!!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling debut 19 May 2012
Format:Paperback
C.F. Dunn's first mystery is a remarkably tense and engrossing story written with impressive assurance for a debut novel. The plot becomes progressively more sinister. Dunn weaves romance with the thriller, but the romantic partner is himself part of the mystery. I look forward eagerly to the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really liked it! 6 Jun 2012
By Tim Bo
Format:Paperback
I was very fortunate to be able to see a pre-publication copy of Mortal Fire, and was immediately engaged with the story. The characters are clearly and sensitively drawn, and in particular the reader cares intensely for what is happening to Emma . The sense of suspense and underlying threatening atmosphere is beautifully portrayed, and it is set against a brilliant description of the glorious countryside in Maine
I cannot speak highly enough of this book and look forward to reading any future volumes that continue Emma's story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Read 21 May 2012
Format:Paperback
A tense, gripping and emotive piece that combines sophisticated writing with an enthralling plot and highly believable characters. With a pace that pins the reader to the page and a manner of story-telling that subtly and deliberately reinforces doubts and challenges preconceptions, C. F. Dunn has crafted a truly unforgettable debut novel. `Mortal Fire' is guaranteed to render readers unreachable when engrossed, and yearning desperately for the next instalment upon completion.

Highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Fire
Emma takes up a temporary post as professor at a university in the US because she wants to read a journal which is housed in the library there. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Damaskcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I couldn't put this book down! Emma D'Eresby - an academic - moves from Cambridge, England to Maine USA to take up a new post, but also to pursue a more personal quest. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Grace Foster
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and unusual tale.
An intriguing and unusual tale set in New England at a university, where there are some odd characters and there appears to be danger at every corner! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Butterflylady
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
well written, exciting, made me care what happened, thank you!
Thoroughly recommend if you enjoy a bit of history, a touch of romance, mystery and maybe some crime too.
Published 10 months ago by Mrs Carolyn Hoyle-Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Fire
An absolute knock out, a tremendous book, gripping, thrilling, was in fact disappointed when the book came to an end, thank goodness there is a sequel out in April 2013 - a must... Read more
Published 16 months ago by MAG
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I approached this book with high hopes, but I felt that it was disappointing on all counts. I found the writing very stilted, the characters stereotypical, and the 'plot' virtually... Read more
Published 17 months ago by RachelH
5.0 out of 5 stars A First-Time Author in Control
For a first time author, C. F. Dunn is surprising in both the length and restraint with which she unfolds her story. Read more
Published 19 months ago by KATN
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
Not usually being a fan of romantic literature, I was uncertain as to how much I would enjoy this book. However, my fears were quickly assuaged with the opening chapter. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Egmont Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Fire, a gripping read
I was entranced by Moral Fire by CF Dunn. It brings together all my favourite themes: romance, murder-mystery-suspence, history and an elusive "extra" that has not been fully... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Susie
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible mixture of romance and mystery
Romance and mystery, a perfect combination in this page turner of a novel. I found myself totally absorbed in the plot, raced to the last page, and was left frantic for the next... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Moorky
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