Like Fire Unbound competition

At last: just when you’d given up hoping the author would put together a competition based on his new novel, Like Fire Unbound, out of nowhere one appears!

The novel, published at the end of March 2021, tells the story of a diverse cast of characters struggling to survive in London in both 2018 and 1666. You can read more about the novel here or you can buy it from your local bookseller or from Bookshop or Amazon or Waterstones

There are a number of specific locations in the novel, and twelve of them are illustrated here. All you need to do, once you’ve read the novel, is email the author at spetherick(at) with the locations you’ve identified. Don’t worry about the order. The person who has identified the most locations by July 31st 2021 will receive A PRIZE, made up of free books, probably some booze and maybe more.

It’s that simple. Who knew reading could be this much fun? The Like Fire Unbound competition closes on July 31st 2021.

London is experiencing a heatwave in the summer of 2018. A disparate cast of characters are drawn together under the gaze of a mysterious mystic as they try their best to survive in the new contemporary capital, a city of changing rules, privatised streets, gig economies, fractured traditions. As the heat beats down upon them, day after day, they each attempt differing strategies to maintain their place, to protect their futures and somehow to forge a way through the challenge of the day. And reaching across the centuries is the story of Lily Cadyman, trying to survive in the heaving city: scraping by as maid to Thomas Farriner, whose bakery in Pudding Lane was the source of the first flames which caused the Great Fire of 1666.

Like Fire Unbound is a novel about survival, where the city itself emerges as a character alongside all the others: essentially democratic, an egalitarian character like our cast who struggle to maintain their integrity in the early years of the twenty-first century, and a transformative year of the seventeenth. Like Fire Unbound weaves together the London of that terrifying summer of 1666 and the London of 2018, sweltering under a dizzying heat, building towards a seemingly inevitable crescendo.

“A slow burn in its purest form – Petherick’s fiery prose evokes a city smouldering with impassioned tensions that build towards an incendiary denouement.” Jake Arnott, Author of The Long Firm

“Petherick’s London is fascinating and engaging. His writing borders on the breath-taking. As a professional Londoner I recognise the geography as much as I recognise the abuses this town hands out to some of us. Petherick does a brilliant job of allowing us to suspend our moralising. In fact, he insists on it.”
Lord Bird, Founder of The Big Issue