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American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
by Monica Hesse

Published: 2017-07-11
Hardcover : 288 pages
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Combining the reportage of In Cold Blood with the eye-opening insights of Dreamland American Fire becomes a new American tragedy of our time Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left a rural Virginia county reeling Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse drove down to the desolate county of ...
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Introduction

Combining the reportage of In Cold Blood with the eye-opening insights of Dreamland American Fire becomes a new American tragedy of our time Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left a rural Virginia county reeling Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse drove down to the desolate county of Accomack to cover the trial of Charlie Smith who pled guilty to 67 counts of arson But Charlie wasnt lighting fires alone his crimes were galvanized by a twisted love story Over two years of reporting Hesse uncovered the motives of this troubled addict and his struggling accomplice girlfriend Tonya Bundick In depicting the dangerous shift in their passionate relationship Hesse brilliantly 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 long-overlooked history of arson in the United States American Fire re-creates the anguished nights this quiet county lit up in flames mesmerizingly evoking a microcosm of rural Americaa land half gutted before the fires even began 8 pages of illustrations

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