Book Review: Set the Night on Fire by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Set the Night On FireSet The Night On Fire
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Allium Press, 2010, 364 Pages
ISBN No. 978-0984067664
Hardcover (ARC)

Chicago in the turbulent world of 1960’s anti-war demonstrations fused with modern day times makes for an exciting book.   Dar Gantner has just been released from prison.  Dar was convicted and sentenced to serve 40 years for his participation in the 1970 bombing of a department store in Chicago.  Although Dar was not the only one involved in the bombing, he was the only one who was caught and prosecuted.  When Dar begins to touch base with his former friends things start going downhill.  It seems that there are people who don’t want Dar around and fear that he may have information that could bring disaster to at least one successful person who has his past well-hidden.

Meanwhile, Lila Hilliard is in Chicago to spend Christmas with her father, Casey, and her twin brother Daniel.  Tragedy struck when Lila made a short trip to the store only to return home to find that her childhood home had burned and her brother and father were killed in the fire.

Lila is in danger but has no idea why anyone would want to hurt her until she finally connects with Dar who fills her in on his background and that of her mother – the mother that Lila never knew.  Lila refuses to believe the story that Dar is telling but soon realizes that he is telling the truth.  She joins with Dar to track down their enemies and uncover the truth behind the bombing incident of the department store in Chicago.

This is no doubt the best novel that Libby Fischer Hellmann has written to date and will stand out in the minds of her readers.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, February 2011.