House of Blazes: A Novel - ECW Press

House of Blazes: A Novel

Kalteis, Dietrich

  • Levi Hayes is out for gold — and blood — in this high-magnitude historical tear through the mean streets of San Francisco

    In the days before the great earthquake and fire of 1906, Levi Hayes returns from San Quentin Prison with a plan. After serving five years for the theft of $30,000 in gold coins from the San Francisco Mint, he’s ready to take back what’s his and exact revenge on the now-powerful Healey brothers who set him up and had his barroom, House of Blazes, seized by court order.

    To get back his bar Levi recruits his nephew, Mack Lewis, telling him the gold coins wait hidden behind one of its cellar walls. Their wild scheme propels them through saloon halls, gambling dens, back alleys, and brothels before it backfires. In lock-up as the earthquake hits, Levi and Mack must escape the collapsing building and burning city to get to the gold coins, with Quinn Healey determined to get his own revenge on them.


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    Dietrich Kalteis is the author of three crime novels, Ride the Lightning (which won a bronze medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards and was hailed as one of the best Vancouver crime novels), Triggerfish, and The Deadbeat Club. More than 40 of his short stories have been published internationally, and his screenplay, Between Jobs, was a finalist in the Los Angeles Screenplay Festival. He resides with his family in West Vancouver and is currently working on his next novel.


  • Published: October 2016

    ISBN: 9781770412866

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 280


“Kalteis has written a gripping, gritty story of revenge gone awry, and has created an anti-hero who’ll stay with you long after the fires have gone out.” — Ian Hamilton, author of the bestselling Ava Lee Novels

“Kalteis offers a shoot-'em-up from the get-go, adding a twist by making the principal player a hard-to-cheer-for ex-con seeking revenge while in the middle of a natural disaster.” — Kirkus Reviews

“By the end, House of Blazes is a thrilling story of a revenge that gets derailed by a city-wide catastrophe.” — A Bookish Type

“It is always a pleasure to read Kalteis who spares little and achieves a lot book by book.” — Owen Sound Sun-Times

"A deliriously fun crime novel with Western echoes." — National Post

“A high-octane adventure fuelled by vengeance, set during the San Francisco quake and fire of 1906. Kalteis masterfully evokes the eccentric characters and manners of the times, and the brawling decadence of the Barbary Coast.” — William Deverell, author of the Arthur Beauchamp series

“Populated with a diverse cast of well-drawn characters . . . this book is for readers who like their history gritty and action-packed.” — Publishers Weekly

“There is a lot of action and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It took me to an era of gunslingers, brothels, and crooked sheriffs. I absolutely loved it!” — DebbieKrenzer blog

"One last book that blew me away this year was House of Blazes by Dietrich Kalteis." —

House of Blazes is Kalteis' best novel so far, an engrossing combination of historical fiction and gritty crime thriller. His description of the 1906 earthquake that destroyed some 80 percent of San Francisco is accurate and chilling . . . Fans of noir thrillers and Kalteis' past novels will find much to enjoy in House of Blazes.” — Scene Magazine