Summary (from Goodreads):
“Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of What the Dead Know, The Most Dangerous Thing, and most recently, After I’m Gone, delivers a suspenseful short story with an unexpected twist in her Byliner Original, Five Fires.
Everyone in small-town Bellville is talking about a series of mysterious fires disrupting the typically tranquil summer. The authorities attribute them to heat lightning, but some Belleville residents are not so sure…
High-school student Beth, like everyone else in Belleville, has been following the fires – she has plenty of time between her monotonous day job at the deli and solitary nights at home while her mom works late. The fires aren’t the only unusual occurrence – Beth’s old friend Tara, who left town the year before after a mysterious incident, returns with no real explanation. Circumstances only get stranger when Beth unwittingly discovers clues as to what – or who – is the cause of the fires.”
This is the other Laura Lippman story I didn’t know about…which means that now, unfortunately, I have read every possible Laura Lippman work you can read. :(
I absolutely loved this story, too. It’s incredibly smart and Beth is what can best be described as an unreliable narrator.
What we know first is the fact that there are fires going on, and they may or may not be linked to a rape accusation against the most prominent family in town (specifically the teen son) and it galvanized the entire town…and, probably not surprisingly against the victim/accuser, not the teen son).
Reading this so close to reading All the Rage by Courtney Summers was a really interesting experience. (And by “interesting,” I mean “rage-inducing.”)
This story is just incredibly well done and one of the rare experiences where I don’t wish it was longer. It’s perfect the way it is. Highly recommended.