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Behind the Fire

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  64 reviews
What if all that stood between us and hell was a match?
An ordinary couple stand accused of a heinous crime. They're the last people you'd expect to save the world. Are they criminals, heroes or completely insane? Or maybe all three?

Emily and Bobby Jessup are just a sweet, ordinary couple, except they stand accused of multiple counts of first-degree arson. The small c
Paperback, First edition, 113 pages
Published September 2nd 2013 by Author Publisher
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  503 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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I did not realise until I was reading this that it was a novella and it seemed to finish almost as soon as it started! It was a rather unusual story too, described as a thriller, but tending also towards science fiction. There were certainly aliens in there as well as a court scene with a delightful conclusion. Remembering it still makes me smile - I love it when a smarmy lawyer gets his comeuppance:)
In the manner of a short story, a lot was packed into a few pages and a lot was also left up to
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was my Susan May's second book started the same day I finished The troubles keeper. what is there to say? I loved this one too...all though it was shorter, the story was again very interesting and well written...near the end, when I realised I was almost finished, I got scared because I thought there wasn't enough time for a gran finale...but guess what? there was... ...more
Another solid short story that captured me from the first sentence to the last.
Perfectly creepy and ghoulish, just in time for Halloween!

**There is a bonus shortie included if you haven't already had the pleasure of experiencing 'Gone'**

I have loved everything this author has penned...keep 'em coming please!!!
David Brian
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid 4.5 stars.
Emily Jessup has always believed she has the perfect marriage. A mother of two young children, she acts as chief carer while Bobby, the husband she considers her soulmate, works hard covering variable hours at a rental depot on the outskirts of their hometown of Kalgarin - a red dust mining community in Western Australia.
However, over the course of these last several weeks, something has seemed 'off' with Bobby. Late night sojourns away from home, and not being at the places he
Thomas Strömquist
I just passed what I thought was the halfway mark, when the title story ended. Oh, well, not the first and probably not the last time I jumped into a book without much checking beforehand. And actually, I did like the story better for it. Even in the short format I did have a few too many questions for comfort nagging in the back of my head. The actions and ludicrous theories of the main protagonist did not help in this respect. But it is a neat idea and one that - thanks to the exemplary built ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my Kindle is off, there’s always an ad on the screen advertising some inanity or other. Seriously, most of the time there are some terrible looking romances or random crap no one should be reading. And one of the names that pops up most often is Susan May, who is apparently an Amazon best selling author. So when a freebie of hers ended up on my Kindle, I figured I’d check it out, if only to confirm a bias. Mind you, May is being compared to some first rate authors, albeit by readers reviews ...more
Linda Strong
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I am not normally a huge fan of horror. BUT ... this author's short stories are so well-written that I get deeply involved in the reading before I realize it. And one of my big enjoyments of her writing is that she also writes a story on how she came up with this particular idea.

In Behind The Fire, she took a story out of a newspaper headline and turned it into a fascinating story.

It starts with Emily and Bobby on trial for serial arson. As Emily testifies, she decides to tell the complete trut
Another great book

I am really enjoying reading more of this author as I find her books. Each book is like opening up a box of chocolates you never know what you will get but each one is just as good as the one before and after...
Justin Bog
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror/science fiction fans
I discovered this first novella by Susan May by chance, stumbling around Amazon's kindle store. (Though I must confess I do interact with Susan through social media, she was not the one to even tell me she published her first book. I don't think she's told many readers or friends that she even published a book, and I hope more and more readers discover Behind the Fire.) It's a wonderful debut in the supernatural/horror genre. It has parts of Machen, Lovecraft, and even Koontz, but updated to a c ...more
I would like to thank Susan May for giving me a free copy of this short story in exchange of an honest review.

3.5 Stars.

This short story was quite interesting and intriguing. Bobby and Emily, a very ordinary couple, face trial for serial arson. They both had a terrifying secret behind all these actions, a secret that may have terrible consequences.
I enjoyed following Bobby and Em, and it was very hard not to like them. It would be really great if this short story would be turned into a novel. I
Beverly Laude
First of all, I have to say that I am a huge fan of Susan May's books and stories. I know that when I start reading one of her books, I might as well just set aside plenty of time to finish it quickly. Her books really draw the reader into the story and you just have to keep reading in order to see what happens next.

Emily and Bobby Jessup are an ordinary couple with two young children. That is, until they are arrested for being serial arsonists. What would cause them to set fire to seemingly ar
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to the author, Susan May, for the digital copy of this novella. I've read most of her books and have enjoyed all of them. Behind the Fire is no exception. It's suspenseful and the pacing is perfect. Here characters are always developed enough to make me feel as though they could be someone I might know. But this novella is not all mysterious, scary, serious stuff like "black things" and arson. I thought the portrayal of the prosecuting attorney was hilarious and wanted to cheer when he re ...more
Diane Lynch
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great short storie. Everyone is a little odd right? Define little. This woman figured it out when she was running around in the dark rainy streets looking for her husband. She was sorry she didn't pay more attention to what he would drone on about. Maybe she would be with him. He said it happens when the weather changes. But what is it? ...more
Karen B.
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophie David
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say I’ve never read a book like this before and how refreshing it is to be able to say that! Susan May has managed to invent creatures/beings of a whole new kind which must be incredibly hard seeing as so many people are writing fantasy books nowadays. They didn’t have a name but they struck fear into Bobbie Jessup and his wife Emily. Where these things came from they didn’t know but they knew that it was vitally important they didn’t get out into our world and there seemed to be ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
This is one of Susan May's short stories. Long or short Susan's stories are always a fabulous reading experience. In Behind the Fire you get suspense, supernatural elements, and wonderful easy to relate to characters. A thrilling read with an ending that is creepy perfect! ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** I Received this book via a LibraryThing Giveaway***

An engaging short story filled with intense scenes and imminent danger. Good book for a road trip or just a quick read.
Heather Bennett
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great short story. The plot is great and I enjoyed the characters.I can not wait to read another of her stories.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Susan's best book to date! Absolutely exciting stuff!! ...more
Robert Franzoi
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked the style. I'll be reading more of her work. ...more
When Emily becomes concerned about her husband's mysterious reasons for being away from home she decides to follow him. Could he be having an affair? What she discovers is something she would never have expected in a million years. Her 'Mr Average' husband is battling strange alien beings, 'black things', that are threatening their community. At first she thinks that he is having some sort of mental breakdown, but then she goes with him and becomes ensnared in his tortuous quest. Lives are at ri ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Tales of the Unexpected and Stephen King novels
Shelves: horror, fantasy
Behind the Fire - a review by Rosemary Kenny

A short story but an intense one! Bobby has a 'close encounter' with an alien that seems malign in purpose and chooses to do what he can to thwart the inevitable invasion, [without his wife Emily's knowledge at first] in Queen of the Night Terrors, Susan May's book.

After a seemingly innocuous start, the book tells how Bobby develops his anti-alien defence system and causes mayhem in his home town as a result. When Em becomes involved matters take a mor
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I loved this story! It was original and engaging! A young couple in a mining town has been caught engaging in arson, have been put on trial, and admit to being guilty. But WHY? The reasoning is mind-boggling. The characters are well-written, but given in broad strokes, as this is a short story. As with all of Susan May’s story-telling, there is some tragedy, some romance, and even a touch of confusion about what makes one’s behavior “villainous”. I can’t wait to read the novel she has promised t ...more
Ava M Bartley
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Interesting!

I love this author's imagination. Susan lives in Australia. She read an article in a local newspaper that was the basis for this story. The article was about a married couple that went on an arson spree. The article was at the end of the book that she sent me in return for an honest review.
I love this author's imagination and creativity. Her books remind me so much of Stephen King. I would love for some of her books be turned into movies. Her storylines are very unique. The cha
Tina  Helzer
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a newer follower of Susan May's I have to say I really do love her imagination. She is truly a gifted author with an imagination that is close to that of Stephen King.

This was a great read, that had me drawn in from start to finish. It really makes one wonder what would happen if something like this were to really happen to us. Would there be anyone out there brave enough to do as Bobby and Emily did to save everyone? Well, I would really hope so, or who knows where the world would be.

If you
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great short story.
Emily and Bobby Jessup are just your average people who by accident find that it is on their shoulders to stop the dark things from taking over. Okay, this paranormal was so awesome. The author took a real event and turned it into a great short story. It will not take long to read or listen to but it is well worth the time. If you like the strange this is the book for you. Two thumbs up to Hollis McCarthy's excellent narration. I did receive a free copy of this book and volun
Dot Day
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supernatural events

I read this voluntarily to review it. I do not usually read books of horror. That said, if horror and the supernatural are your preference, then Beyond the Fire would be an excellent choice. It has memorable , ordinary characters who fight for their families, friends, and town. Unfortunately, they are arrested and charged with arson. What will happen without their sacrifice? It is well-written and interesting.
Candy Robosky
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Behind the Fire is a very odd book. You are never really sure if Bobby and Em are truly heroes or just misunderstood the circumstances that they saw and experienced. Even May says she has questions about what happened prior to this book as well as after this book. Why were they chosen? These hanging questions and sparks of unsuredness is why I gave it a 4.

She also had a short story after this one called Gone. I really enjoyed that story.

Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book had an interesting even Stephen King-like plot, but the ending had me feeling the book was not finished. Not one of those gasping endings that leaves the reader breathless. This, and many of this author's books had me turning the page to see if indeed there were pages that had been torn out.
I did read this entire book and enjoyed it but the ending left me feeling as though the author simply took the easiest way out.
I win this story in a competition, and I'm really happy I did, as it gave me the chance to check this book.

Intriguing and well-paced, this short story hooked me from the beginning. Darkness and mystery are all present, creating a compelling atmosphere.

If you're not bothered by stories which won't give you all the answers and left intriguing points open, you'll enjoy this.
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I was four when I decided I would be a writer, packed a bag, and marched down the road looking for a school. But for forty-six years, I suffered from life-gets-in-the-way-osis. Setting a goal to write just one page a day cured me in 2010. This discipline grew into an addictive habit that

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