The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper


Chloe Hooper is a brilliant author. Her ability to transport you to a precise place and space in time, is unparalleled. In 'The Arsonist', she paints an incredibly terrifying image. You are immediately surrounded by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, which left 173 people dead.

The stories from surviving residents and emergency service men and women are haunting. As she weaves a timeline of catastrophic events you are left feeling horrified, wounded and furious at the unimaginable loss endured by all those who were effected. However, Hooper has a true gift for objective writing. Through uncovering more about ‘the arson’ himself, it is easy to also find yourself feeling hurt and angered by his painful story.

A book I had to pause from to collect myself many times – as it can be terribly overwhelming, yet remains so important and such a fine piece of non-fiction work.

- Bella