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Burn Patterns

Written by Ron Elliott


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To her clients and colleagues, Iris is a therapist in a city psychology practice. But to the police and fire services, she is the Fire Lady – a profiler of arsonists.

After a troubled young man burns down her office, Iris just wants a quiet life. But her peace is shattered when a bomb goes off at a local school. Called in to help, Iris meets James, delusional and dangerous, and Chuck, a lone investigator tracking a serial arsonist he calls Zorro.

As public attacks become more orchestrated and brazen, Iris is soon embroiled in the investigation – as a profiler and as a suspect, and in serious doubt about her own sanity.

'Momentum is sustained most of all by the voice of Iris: wry, witty, self-deprecating and one of the most original to sound in Australian fiction for a while. Fine as this novel is, one hopes that Elliott will bring Iris back for more.' Weekend Australian

'Burn Patterns keeps you guessing and you’ll need to resist the urge to skip ahead. The suspense-building will be worth the effort.' Courier Mail

'... This new book by the gifted and experienced Ron Elliott is a worthy addition to the collection. Elliott is a scriptwriter and director, and his skills and experience show in the complexity of the characters, the fast pace of the plot, and the cinematic quality of the writing.' Sydney Morning Herald


Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction (Shortlisted, 2017)

ISBN 9781925163452 (Paperback)
Formats C Format (234 x 153mm) (Paperback)
Categories Award Winning
Book Club Reads
Crime & Mystery
Publisher Fremantle Press
Edition 1st
Publication Year 2016
Pages 288
Rights World
  • Ron elliott

    Ron Elliott

    Ron Elliott is a scriptwriter, director and academic. His directorial credits include a feature film, Justice, and episodes of ABC programs such as Dancing Daze, Relative Merits and Studio 86. Ron has written for Home and Away, Minty, Wild Kat, Ship to Shore and many more children’s television series. In 2001 he wrote the AFI nominated telemovie Southern Cross. Ron also lectured in Film and Television at Curtin University. Read more