In Oslo, Norway, Henning Juul is a crime reporter, returning to work after a fire killed his six-year-old son and left him scarred. It also ended his marriage.
Henning is in the image of financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist from Steig Larrsen's "The Millenium Series, both men are quiet, determined and total professionals..
On his first day back, a young woman's body is found at a local park. The woman, Henriette Hagerup had the marks of a stun gun and was stoned to death.
Authorities consider this could have been a ritual killing but Juul disagrees.
He possesses that rare investigative journalist talent for seeing when things just don't fit.
Through the story, Juul shows his compassion when interviewing friends and relatives of the deceased. With his personal history of the loss of his son and his physical and mental scars, the reader has to feel for the man, and yet, he doesn't ask for sympathy.
We follow the police investigation led by Det. Inspector Brogulund and his attractive, intelligent assistant, Sgt. Ella Sandland who is dedicated to finding the killer and has no interest in her bosses insuinations.
Juul is a true investigator and finding the reason why someone would kill Henriette consumes him. The title of the novel has many meanings, not only was Juul's own flat burned but he shows the scars of the fire and internally, he has the fire in his heart so much so that the reader catches his passion.