Monday, May 20, 2013

Fire Storm.

Fire Storm has the perfect setting for a mystery: an idyllic farming town in Illinois, where the corn grows tall and shelters the roads, stretching into giant fields with farmhouses and tractors being common sights, and where people still ride horses almost as naturally as they drive cars.

Jim grew up in this town, and loves it with all of his heart. At 24 years old, Jim has a great life here: a few acres of land with a farmhouse hayfields and a barn for his horses, a young bride Jessica waiting for him with their baby in her arms, a fulfilling job as a firefighter at the small local station. Jim also gets to work with his old friend Wade, and Wade's wife Mellissa is best friends with Jessica. Mellissa is expecting her first baby and Jessica's Morgan is a just a newborn. They are blessed and content, and they rely on their Mighty God who has loved, guarded and guided them all their days.

The only thing that has shattered the peace in recent years is Jim's ocasional lead-foot habit when he is driving his red pickup truck on their gravel roads, and Wade's poisonous cooking when it is his turn to make dinner at the firehouse. {The cooking scenes, by the way, were hilarious. Laughing out loud, I was. Ask my family. They heard me laughing several times. Nothing like good humor.}

The first attempt on Jessica's life seems to come out of nowhere, with no reasonable motive behind it. Someone soaked the barn with flammable fluid and lit it while Jess was up in the loft stacking hay. Jim dismisses this as teens out for trouble, more prank than anything, not intended to harm anyone, and certainly not intended to harm Jess.
Then the second incident happens. And the third. And then more.
Who wants to hurt them?
Who wants them to die?
And will they live through this?

Jim and Wade have one man whom they would easily suspect of being behind these frightening events: Derrick, who works at the fire station in town.
Derrick is a true loner who has made few friends and has shared even fewer details of his past.
A brooding one, he has a wall up that keeps everyone out.
He is a crack paramedic, though, and he has no competition on the job. He has shown up quite a few of the older men with his skill and his willingness to risk his life. He is characterized by refusal to give up or give in, but beneath all of this is something disturbing.
Why would he hate Jim and Jess?
Does he want them killed?

This is the setting, the conflict, and some of the characters that make up the novel Fire Storm.
This book captivated me from scene one where I met Jim driving to work along a country road.
Shortly thereafter, Fire Storm explodes into twists and turns that leave you wondering what will happen next. Putting this book down is not an option.
The suspense builds and we learn that things are not what they seem... as a little game called "survival" is played.
I shouldn't post spoilers, but I want to tell you that my favorite scene involves a cabin, way out in the woods, and grenades, and rifles and..... Well, let me just say Mackenzie Dare knows how to write action scenes.
This book earned its title.

I can't wait to read the sequel Mackenzie is working on! Thank you so very much for sending me Fire Storm to review!

Please, stop by and say Hi to Mackenzie over at her blog, Poems of Prayer and Praise where you can read the first chapter of Fire Storm

And to read more about both the author and her book, please click HERE to read an author interview that I was privileged to host! The interview also includes a little peek at the plot of the sequel... :-)

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