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  • Writer's pictureBernard Jan

Harry Dennison

I am glad that Kaye Bewley asked me if I wanted to get a free copy to review Harry Dennison by Steve Kemp. At first I was a bit skeptical and reluctant to say yes because I had 90 books on my to-read-list (now I have them 106) and had no idea what the book was about. But the word firefighters triggered my curiosity and lit a green light in me. Yes!

I wish there were more stories and novels about firefighters; I do not remember if I read any real firefighters story before Harry Dennison (Fahrenheit 451 is something different and it cannot fit into this category we are talking about here).

Being a firefighter is one of the noblest jobs, one of the bravest callings. Firefighters deserve our boundless gratitude and admiration because they are the invisible keepers of our lives and everything we posses. We are glad we do not have to get in touch with them but we are comforted by the thought that they are here when we need them. Always ready to jump into their trucks on the first siren call, rushing to put out the fire and save someone's life and property. Even if it is only a call to put out someone's burning meal.

One thing we must never forget: Each time the invisible companion death is riding with them, they will never know what they are going to face in the clash with the snake-like flames of destruction and whether lives will be saved or lost.

Harry Dennison is one of those firefighters, a member of the Milwaukee Fire Department, who answers every siren call even after he agreed with his wife about his retirement. He is torn by his guilty feeling about losing his best friend Mike in the line of duty, who appears and talks to him in his nightmares and visions, and by responsibility and need to save Mike's son Coleman from the similar faith after he joins Milwaukee firefighters. Harry is Coleman's father figure after losing his dad, he is his flash-and-blood guardian angel and role model.

A heart-warming humane story about an aging firefighter, who is the link between a dead father and a living son, is warmed to the point of heart break with the story of a cancer stricken nine-year-old child Trevor, who's favorite toy is a kid's fire engine and in whose dying chests beats the heart of a firefighter.

Being himself an Indianapolis firefighter, Steve Kemp used eighteen years of his career and experience in putting out fires and saving people and their homes to give us a precious gift of Harry Dennison novel—based on true events—and set our hearts on fire.

Steve Kemp is a firefighter with a hose and a pen, and the least we can do to thank him for his service to our society is to seize after Harry Dennison and read his story. Maybe some of us will be motivated to realize our childhood dreams and join forces with these noble men.


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