The hunt forthe most prolific American arsonist of the twentieth centuryâ€”in this Edgar Awardâ€“winning true crime story thatâ€™s â€śstranger than fictionâ€ť (The New York Times).
From Joseph Wambaugh, the #1 New York Timesâ€“bestselling author of such classics as The Onion Field and The Choirboys, comes the extraordinary story of the chase for the â€śPillow Pyro,â€ť led by one ambitious firefighter.
Growing up in Los Angeles, John Orr idolized law enforcement. However, after being rejected by both the LAPD and LAFD, he settled for a position with the Glendale Fire Department. There, he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a fire captain and one of Southern Californiaâ€™s best-known and most respected arson investigators. But Orr led another, unseen life, one that included womanizing and an insatiable thirst for recognition.
While Orr busted a slew of petty arsonists, there was one serial criminal he could not track down. Nothing was safe from the so-called Pillow Pyroâ€™s obsession. Homes, retail stores, and fields of dry brush all went up in flames. His handiwork led to millions of dollars worth of property damage and the deaths of four innocent bystanders. But after years of evading the police, he made a mistakeâ€”one that would turn Orrâ€™s life upside down.
The Washington Post raves, â€śWhen [Joseph Wambaugh] talks about the culture of cops versus the culture of firemen, we get no speculation, only hard-earned details.â€ť Based on meticulous research, interviews, case records, and thousands of pages of court transcripts, Fire Lover is Wambaugh at his best.