Fire Lover: A True Story

Joseph Wambaugh


John Orr wanted to be a cop so bad, but he was turned down. He became the next best thing— an arson investigator. He was so good at his job, he gave seminars to teach other investigators how to do it. In fact he was so good at his job, people began to wonder if he wasn’t a little too good. This book is the account of years of investigative work to tie Orr to multiple fires in southern California, including one in a retail store that resulted in multiple fatalities.

When it is detailing the account of the investigators who first began to suspect Orr, it is fascinating. When it follows them into the courtroom, the story bogs down. I skipped much of the courtroom drama because it became tedious and repetitive. Finally Orr is convicted and called to bear responsibility for his crimes.


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