An award winning thriller about one man's quest to discover the truth behind the deaths of fire fighters
The link between cancer related deaths and fire fighters has still not been fully investigated or acknowledged in Britain but it has been researched and acknowledged elsewhere for example in the USA Canada and Australia.
I decided to blend what I had overheard into a dramatic fictional plot, and thereby create a powerful novel, unaware at the time that a major International disaster on a massive scale would be the catalyst to spark studies in the USA into this controversial area.
Since writing IN COLD DAYLIGHT, after a three year study prompted by 9/11, research from the University of Cincinnati was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2006. The research analyzed information on 110,000 fire fighters from 32 previous studies. It found that rates of testicular cancer were a hundred per cent higher and prostate cancer twenty-eight percent higher among fire-fighters. In addition, the researchers also discovered a fifty percent increase in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. After analyzing statistics on 20 different kinds of cancer, University of Cincinnati researchers revealed that fire-fighters developed 10 of those deadly diseases more frequently than any other type of worker.
Researchers say fire-fighters are exposed to many compounds designated as carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents including benzene, chloroform, soot, styrene and formaldehyde. These can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin at the scene of a fire.
In the crime novel IN COLD DAYLIGHT instead of featuring a brave fire-fighter hero I chose to tell the story through the eyes of a man who is the opposite. This is marine artist, Adam Greene's journey through overcoming depression, a nervous breakdown and leaning on the prop of his strong-willed, ambitious wife as much as discovering why his best friend, fire-fighter, Jack Bartholomew, was killed in the line of duty before he can reveal the cause of his own – and his colleagues’ cancer.
In a cryptic message orchestrated before his untimely death, Jack has left a trail of clues that will lead Adam into a labyrinth of lies, secrets and government conspiracy exposing an environmental scandal that has resulted in the deaths of fire fighters.
The evidence is clear that fire-fighters suffer from certain cancers at a higher rate than others. Fire-fighters spend a career facing toxic dangers in the name of protecting the public. It is an occupational risk and should be recognised. When a fire-fighter dies from a cancer identified as occupational, their families need and deserve appropriate compensation.
Although IN COLD DAYLIGHT is fiction there is a strong central message in the novel and readers might like to ask can this really be happening? If IN COLD DAYLIGHT opens the debate then that’s all to the good.
I am pleased to say IN COLD DAYLIGHT was shortlisted for the World Book Day Prize 2008. It is available in paperback, as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle.
Fire fighters who were on Red Watch, Southsea when the novel was published with crime author Pauline Rowson
Where to buy
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Also available as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and for loan from UK, USA, Irish and Commonwealth libraries