Fire On The Water
 A Companion To Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 

Fire On The Water: A Companion To Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 
By P.J. Parker
Category: Drama
Publication Date: 12th December 2013 
ISBN paperback: 978-1-61213-196-2
ISBN ebook: 978-1-61213-197-9

Book Summary 

Rachel, a young American biographer researching the life of Mary Shelley in Montreux, Switzerland, is entangled and consumed by the escalating threads of her investigation. Shards of Shelley’s creation are exhumed from the past. Precious memories are hacked and sutured to the unthinkable. The unblemished flesh of the one she loves is stripped back to reveal what lies beneath—aspects of Frankenstein incised and ripped from the nineteenth century and transplanted into her own.
Through a landscape of archival documents, the contents of a trunk unopened for generations, and a spiraling progression of dismembered cadavers and uncertainties, Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein interweaves Rachel’s search with the plot of Frankenstein and the horrific occurrences of the summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley dared to dip her quill into the ink of her darkest of waking dreams.
The truth is given life.

Review by Camilla

Sometimes one's so lucky to be asked to review an out-of-the-ordinary book.
Such is the case with Fire on the Water by P.J. Parker.
The author’s love and knowledge of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein bursts from the pages and captures the reader. The novel is presented as a companion book to the classic, but there's also a very modern side to the story.
We meet Rachel, a young New Yorker who has flown to Switzerland to give substance to a dream, writing the ultimate biography of Mary Shelley. She even landed a contract and an advance, and she happily sets herself to the task.
Many of the answers she seeks could still be found in Montreux. What prompted Mary’s ideas about the Creature?

“Did Mary – Rachel asks herself - make her own discoveries in the primordial apothecaries, decaying bookshops, and intimate cafes and salons?
Something must have occurred here to jolt the monster into existence. Something must have occurred while she was here on her own.”
So Rachel walks the same streets Mary Shelley must have trod two centuries before, and even contacts residents whose family pasts could have clues to Shelley’s life and work. With a stroke of luck, a family, living in a wonderful Tyrolean Chalet hidden up in the forested mountainside of Hauts-de-Montreux, entrusts the researcher with a chest full of letters and diaries that hadn’t been opened for generations.
Since Rachel is methodic in her research, the chest isn’t immediately opened – other papers must be dealt with first. And in the meantime the unexpected happens: she meets a very special guy. Jack is from Chicago; he's blond, handsome, sexily tattooed and teaches English Lit in a nearby American School. And he drives a Harley. The love story progresses, they are very happy … until, one morning, two policemen knock on her door.

“A terrible, terrible accident, they said.
His motorbike a mangled mess, they said.
Dead, they said.”
“Rachel is devastated, to the point of thinking to leave her research and go home, but she doesn’t. While still trying to cope with the tragedy, one day she walks around and is caught up in a storm. Under a precarious shelter, while the tempest rages, she sees a man.”
“He stood in the downpour at the end of the breakwater. He was strongly built, his silhouette over seven and a half feet tall, maybe eight, his massive arms hanging lifelessly at his sides. He was wearing dark clothing. Thick, long, dark hair, sodden and miserable, whipped about his shoulders in the storm. Was he barefooted?”

From now onwards Rachel’s story and Mary Shelley’s run in parallel, chapter after chapter. The mysterious man, who's scary and strangely appealing, slowly enters Rachel’s life, exactly like something she had seen haunted Mary’s life and imagination.
What if in peaceful Switzerland somebody was conducting ungodly experiments not only two hundred years ago, but also today? Experiments for which body part of freshly dead specimen were needed?
To say more would spoil the mystery, one that you will enjoy unraveling, together with Rachel.


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Introducing P.J. Parker
P.J. Parker was born and raised in rural Australia. With a bachelor of science in architecture from the University of New South Wales, he has traveled and lived extensively around the world, focusing on cultures of historic interest and buildings of architectural significance before transitioning into a career as a fraud analyst and programmer with a leading international financial institution. An avid reader and researcher, P.J. undertakes his writing with a passionate and exacting attention to detail.

Praise for Fire On The Water

The impossible has been done... a really great novel inspired by a really great novel. 
-ARC Review, Goodreads

There were some particularly great moments in this story. Times when your own heart is beating as fast as that of the character you are experiencing things with. I loved that the author balanced moments of excitement with a deep back story of Shelley's research and composition of her famed novel. 
-ARC Review, Goodreads

Publication Date: 12th December 2013
Sales Information
Fire On The Water is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, B&N.com, The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House online: http://ph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/books/detail/109, and available in ebook format on iTunes and Kobo. 


  1. Great review! I finished and reviewed this book yesterday. I also loved it. I'm very impressed with PJ Parker!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment!

      All the best!

    2. Thank you Ashley and Raum. I am glad you enjoyed Fire on the Water.

    3. Thank you, PJ Parker, for writing such a good story :)

      - Raum


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