This story is preceded by two novellas that are important to read prior to starting this one. The backstories matter.
It’s been ten months since the fire that injured Anne Ashburn and ended her career as a firefighter with the New Brunswick 499 Engine Company. She’s now an arson investigator and trying to find her way down a different path. Danny Maguire is still chasing demons, trying to forget his role in saving Anne’s life in the fire but wielding the blow that ended her days as a firefighter. Both still have strong feelings for each other but are too far apart to close the distance easily.
I enjoyed this story as it is classic Ward with multilayered plots and intrigue, along with multiple points of view. I’m really glad I opted for the audio version as it has four narrators with distinctively different styles that helped me keep up with the main narratives. Anne is a complicated woman with family issues to further mess with her head. I love how her rescue dog factored into her healing as he provided a heartwarming element that was really needed. However, Danny is the character that has the brilliant design as he epitomizes all that can go wrong mentally with first responders and how those issues can manifest themselves in the psyche. At the same time, you can still see the honorable aspects of the man.
Anne’s first case was a doozie, culminating in a climax I never saw coming. This story was a good blend of action, romance, drama and mystery, just what I’ve come to expect from this author. I really liked each narrator, pleasantly surprised to hear the familiar Jim Frangione and Pete Simonelli who is a Sebastian York sound-alike! Not everything is resolved so there’s a continuing story arc (another Ward staple) to look forward to. I’m in for whatever books come next!
- Release Date: October 2, 2018
- Series: Firefighters #1
- Narrators: Hillary Huber, Jim Frangione, Jason Carpenter & Pete Simonelli
- Audio Length: 11 hours, 27 minutes
(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)