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Steely Blue

Steely Blue


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Description for STEELY BLUE by Dennis Smith:

The best-selling author of REPORT FROM ENGINE CO. 82, THE FINAL FIRE and GLITTER AND ASH has written a story so powerful, passionate, intense and authentic that it is unquestionably Dennis Smith's most important novel. Steely Byrnes and Jack Haggerty grew up together in the slums of Manhattan's East Side, both with the dream of becoming firefighters. The charming and ruthless Haggerty, whose nickname even as a kid was "Johnnie Gimmee," has risen rapidly in the ranks and is plotting, whatever the price, to become New York City's next Fire commissioner. Gutsy, rowdy, rebellious Steely is still on the bottom rung of the ladder, putting his life on the line every day battling blazes in tenements and abandoned buildings. Haggerty has it all together. But Steely---separated from his wife and kids, hitting the bottle, snatching passing pleasure from singles bars and street corners---finds his job in jeopardy and his life falling apart. Yet both men remain best friends, tied together by the bonds of the old neighborhood, until a crisis develops that will threaten the loyalties and destinies of both.

It begins when firefighter Kathy Ryan Angelli is assigned to Steely's company, and unwelcome intrusion into the rough, all-male camaraderie of the firehouse. For Steely, it is the final outrage---compounded when Kathy is implicated in a tragic accident that sens another firefighter plunging to his death. It is Steely's involvement with Kathy and the accident that leads him to a bitter confrontation with his old friend, and puts his own honor and integrity to the ultimate test.

Dennis Smith, himself a former firefighter, has written a gripping drama of character, friendship and courage. His descriptions of the exhilaration and danger of fighting a raging fire, of the eccentric assortment of men to populate a New York City firehouse, of the church rectories and back rooms where deals with priests and politicians are made, and of the sad and hollow pomp of a department funeral are vivid undeniably real. The creation of Steely Byrnes, his mind, his heart, and his world, is a tour de force.

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