The hero of Firecracker is a likeable, 32-year-old, slightly feckless divorced father-of-one who lives in Texas and is nicknamed 'Dead' Kennedy, for the rather good reason that he can see dead people. We're told this in a very matter of fact way - there's nothing gothic or horror-like about this novel - it's been something he's had to live with all his life and, apart from the fact that it makes driving a car impossible for him (he keeps swerving to avoid the ghosts), it hasn't really affected his life. DK is trying to put his life back on track, in part to do justice to the faith his daughter Megan - 12 years old, and very funny - continues to place in him, and in part because he's still in love with his ex-wife and he can't bear to prove her new ex-marine husband Don right. The trouble is, he keeps being distracted, first by a long-lost cousin with a weeping ghost in his garage and a terrible secret to hide, then by his all-too-alive mother who is planning a family reunion, and finally by a number of his dead relatives who all seem to want something from him. This isn't trying to be the Sixth Sense - it's far quirkier and funnier. It is a ghost story - with ghosts who are both living and dead - but it's also a love story and the story of a man who loses his way and the people who try and help him find it once again.
Sean Stewart is the author of two short stories and seven previous novels, including the New York Times Notable books Galveston and Resurrection Man. His novels have received the Aurora, Arthur Ellis, Canadian Library and World Fantasy Awards. He lives in California with his wife and two daughters.