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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash by Anne Patrick
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery, Inspirational
Length: Short Story (141 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Fennel

Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor has been called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspicious fire which claimed the life of a local college student. By appearance the fire looks like the girl was just careless. What Sadie and Sheriff Quinn Harrington discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community of Emerald Point and put Sadie’s life on the line.

Sadie’s life isn’t the only thing at stake. Struggling with the guilt of having been responsible for the fire that killed her family, when she was only seven, Sadie doesn’t feel she’s worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. Will Quinn be able to prove otherwise before it’s too late?

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book where the research has blended in so seamlessly with the story. That’s not because other books are badly written, but because this one is so well written. The author has presented technical knowledge about the structure of fires in such a way the reader absorbs it almost without conscious thought as it lends information and depth to the story.

It’s no surprise that Sadie McGregor is a conscientious, feisty, loyal and friendly lady. Her yellow VW ‘Bug’ emphasizes her unique personality, her individuality. The reason for her choice of career as a fire inspector soon becomes clear as the author adds more and darker layers to her heroine. And when she returns to her home-town to unearth the mystery of a fatal fire she is surrounded by many friends pleased to see her, or are they?

Police Chief Quinn Harrington can’t believe his eyes the first time he sees Sadie at the fire site. And his confusion deepens the more he gets to know her. While he works beside her to unravel the facts surrounding the fatality he discovers he’s got to face a few of his own demons. And one of them is Sadie’s disenchantment with God. Will the God, who has seen him through some dark times, answer his prayer that Sadie will, once more turn to God for strength and celebration?

There are plenty of secondary characters who all have their part to play in revealing the plot. Their parts may vary in duration, but each one is fully formed and three-dimensional.

Almost every emotion imaginable is depicted in this story, and as the flowering relationship between Sadie and Quinn blossoms into love evil is stalking them everywhere they go.

This is a beautiful, yet hard-hitting story, fluently written, presenting characters you fall in love with, and ensures you’ll keep it on your shelf permanently and re-read often, which is why I have given it a Best Book rating.