Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith – Blog Tour

Fire on the Island twitter

Thank you to Kelly from Love Books Groups for organising this blog tour and to Timothy Jay Smith for a copy of this novel in exchange for a honest review.

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Fire on the Island - Arcade book cover (1) (1)


FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.

Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.

A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of  Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.

My Thoughts

This novel really has a little bit of everything and all set on a traditional Greek Island – what more could anyone want?

Nick Damigos is an FBI agent stationed in Greece and has been sent to the island of Vourvoulos to investigate a series of fires that are threatening to destroy the livelihood and habitats.  What he doesn’t intend on is striking up a relationship with the main suspect and becoming invested in the life of the village and its inhabitants.  Can Nick fight his own past and solve the crime before it’s too late for everyone?

The book introduces many character in the early chapters and it took me a little concentration to link everyone – I guess I drew a map in my mind to link people and places.  However, each of these characters are integral to the plot of the novel and once you become tuned into each one, the plot flows easily and the pages turn themselves.  Each character is intricately developed and it’s so easy to get a wonderful overview of life on the island.  each character brings a different perspective and experience to the story which is why alongside the plot there are many other themes explored such as sexuality, sexism, the refugee crisis, racism and an interesting look at the role of religion.  Despite covering a lot of ground, this novel never really feels heavy or overdone.

The main plot involving the fires and the investigation is thrilling and intense at times.  Smith weaves so many potential suspects and motives into the plot that it becomes a great who dun it? style.

Overall I loved this crime mystery with a romantic sub-plot.  Recommended for those who like their crime with depth to the characters and setting.

Author Bio – Timothy Jay Smith

Timothy Jay Smith (S#1) (1)

Tim has traveled the world collecting stories and characters for his novels and screenplays which have received high praise. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. He won the Paris Prize for Fiction for his first book, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012. Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize for his short fiction, “Stolen Memories.” His recent novel, The Fourth Courier received tremendous reviews. His screenplays have won numerous international competitions. Tim is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater. He lives in France.


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