Monica Hesse's book American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land is one I've been hearing about for a while. I love good non-fiction writing and this is certainly one of the best non-fiction reads of 2017 for me.
Hesse is a journalist, and this book is easy to read as the things unfold at a natural pace. In late 2012 fires were being started in Accomack County Virginia in abandoned buildings. Eventually the arsons numbered more than seventy and law enforcement officials raced to uncover who was responsible. Firemen were on duty nearly every night, busily putting out fires. What Hesse shares is the story of the fires and also of the couple responsible for setting them. She provides background information about this area in Virginia, which was a well-to-do county at one point and what went into the investigation to stop the arsonists.
Although this book is suspenseful, I appreciated Hesse's portrayal of this small rural Virginia area and it's residents as she shared the good and bad honestly and fairly. I had a hard time putting this book down and read it in one sitting.