The decay of civilisation has cropped up in several places, from Egypt to Rome. History has a habit of repeating itself and that’s the case with Firewalk by Chris Roberson. The supernatural thriller covers themes of decay and myth in the modern city of Recondito. It follows FBI agent Izzie Lefervre as she comes back to Recondito to deal with a case from her past. What starts off as an investigation into old evidence soon becomes a paranormal nightmare for Izzie. I was sent a free copy of Firewalk in exchange for an honest review.
The story begins with Izzie and local police detective Patrick Tevake stopping a serial killer called the Recondito Reaper. Five years later, Izzie is forced to return to Recondito to follow up on evidence surrounding one of the Reaper’s victims. She and Patrick team up again and look into a drug known as Ink which gradually wears away people’s memory and helps them forget.
Izzie is also joined by a young agent called Daphne and an attraction is hinted between the two. I enjoyed the diversity in the book and Roberson’s realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship. Izzie and Daphne enjoy one another’s company, but they’re forced to put aside their feelings to deal with the case.
The diversity is also present in the history of the characters. Izzie is from New Orleans and the voodoo background of her grandmother is explored. Patrick is of Polynesian descent and his heritage is treated in a respectful way. Heritage is a big part of the novel, with Recondito being a melting pot of different cultures.
Izzie is an interesting protagonist and her intelligence and detective skills are displayed in various situations. At the same time, she harbours a lot of doubt in herself, which is a trait that everyone can relate to. Roberson injects her with a plucky charm that helps her navigate Recondito’s seedy underworld.
The slow pacing of Firewalk ties into the supernatural theme. It begins as a thriller and builds into a horror that involves Mayan mythology. My only criticism is the ending is abrupt and may leave some readers disappointed, but that doesn’t take away from the strength of the characters. If you’re a fan of mythology then I’d definitely give this book a chance.