Monday, 4 October 2010

Review – Fire and Ash © Anne Patrick

Fire and Ash

Author: Anne Patrick

Publisher; Dessert Breeze publication

Genre: Inspirational romance

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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? 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 was late afternoon before they arrived at the address the Ingram's had given them. Quinn parked his truck across the street and glanced up at the three-story brick building. "Third floor, right?"

 

Instead of an answer, Quinn heard Sadie's door close and looked over just in time to see her crossing in front of the truck, as usual, taking the lead. He smiled, grabbed the keys from the ignition, and reached for the door handle.

 

The sound of squealing tires caught Quinn's attention. He looked out his windshield as a black sports car pulled away from the curb. Shifting his gaze to the street, he saw Sadie was directly in its path. He jumped from the truck and yelled, "Look out!" then saw Sadie dive onto the hood of a parked car.

 

Quinn's heart pounded in his chest as he raced across the street. When he came around the front of the car she'd dove onto, he found her sitting with a dazed look on her face. He knelt beside her, "Are you okay?"

 

She blinked her eyes. "I definitely need to visit the gym more often."

 

He chuckled, relieved she was all right and that her humor was still intact. "I don't know I haven't seen a move like that since Starsky and Hutch."

 

"Will I need to call my insurance agent?"

 

He rose on his toes to peer across the hood of the late model Buick and saw a fairly good size dent in the hood. "I'm afraid so."
He offered his hand in assistance and she stood on wobbly legs. "Whoa!" She grabbed hold of his arm.

 

He steadied her by slipping his arm around her waist. "Are you sure you're okay?" Beginning with her forehead his eyes worked their way downward.

 

"I'm fine."

 

He spotted a dark stain near the left pocket of her jeans. "No you're not. You're bleeding."

 

"It must be my elbow, it's beginning to sting."

 

He gently raised it. Sure enough, blood seeped out of a one inch cut just below the bone. He took both her forearms and guided her backwards to lean against the Buick. "Stay put, don't move." He ran across the street to his truck, removed his first aid kit from behind the seat. When he returned, Sadie was nowhere in sight.

 

© Anne Patrick

My thoughts

When you are called to a career choice, not a lot people can say they bring actually life experience to the job. Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor can actually say she does – as a fire survivor herself and having worked her way up through the ranks she knows more about not only the logistical aspect of the job but also alot about what it takes mentally to see each and every call through.

Sadie is in limbo in her life, she is more or less going with the flow and if asked she would probably say she is fine. With a job she love that gets her through her days, her best friend close at hand and her family in her corner when she needs them – she makes the best of life.

When she is called out to her home town for a suspicious fire which has resulted in a young girl losing her life,  little did she know that life as she knew it was about to change in a big way. Meeting Sheriff Quinn Harrington is part of that change and the fact that despite her not yet finished with her investigation – her little hometown of Emerald Point is about to be rocked with probably the biggest scandal to have hit it in generations. In itself meeting Quinn is not a big deal , but couple that with being attracted to him, family interference and the fact that she has to make her peace with herself, her family and with god – Sadie has an uphill battle to fight.

Quinn, new to Emerald Point and trying to find his feet in not only the new town but with the people as well, is struck by Sadie as soon as they meet – literally and figuratively – but where one shock wears off the other only intensifies and he intends to see where the attraction goes. Quinn may have more on his plate than just an attraction because small town and it’s old boys network has no time for newbie's and Quinn may just have a bigger fight on his hand than he even imagined when the old boys start closing ranks..

Together Sadie and Quinn have a lot to sort through but before they get a chance to air it all – Sadie has to stay alive.

I read a few inspirational read a month but only on recommendation – Ms Patrick’s work was pimped out to  me a while ago and lucky for me I won this book on her blog which kinda knicks any plan I had to drag my feet on reading a recommended book.

FIRE AND ASH starts off with an acknowledgement to a serving Fire Investigator – and I am one of those quirky readers that really looks at how much an author research come over into his/her work. Ms. Patricks did her fire contact personnel proud. While the book had two story lines running through it  the murder mystery was the plotline that had me racing through this book.

With a tight solid story filled with small town high jinks and characters that range from the surly young man with the chip on his shoulder to the old patriarch of the community who just happens to be up to the usual, I easy sunk into this read. Some of the things that stood out for me are

The characters themselves – and I mean all the characters, I love the fact that these people has seen some life. They were mature,  took adult decisions and were willing to stick to what they believe in. A wonderful mix of people I thought.

Humour – As much as this was a mystery there was a good mix of humour in the book – both ha ha funny and sarcastic funny as well.

Family Dynamic – Family dynamics is not an easy thing to work for me in a book, but I love Sadie’s family. They rooted for each other and teased each other mercilessly, but they also knew when to give home truths as well.

Small town aspect – I am a big fan of small town set up and Ms Patrick really brought out the characters that makes small town living a joy and a pain.. They had me smiling a time or two.

Not everything worked for me.. Some of it has to do with my own personal preference like the loose ends being tie up too quickly and too easily. I love when due justice is met out to the bad guy and after the build up and a rather decent tension filled book – I was a little let down by the convenient tie up on the mystery story line.

The emotional involvement between Sadie and Quinn I also thought was a little too fast – they would have naturally navigated towards towards each other – as they did have something special between them, but I would have loved for them to have done it as a slower pace.

The inspiration aspect of this book I thought overshadowed quite a bit of the book. While the book is marketed as Inspirational Suspense – the heavier angle was definately the inspirational bit. I thought Sadie could have used a little bit less pressure in coming to her decisions about her live in her own time. 

Bottom Line

As an introduction to Ms. Patrick's work FIRE AND ASH was a smashing read, as a reader who love the skulduggery – FIRE AND ASH more than met my expectations and as a reader who love the finer details in a book, I thought Ms .Patrick was spot on with details about the world of a fire investigator  – her investment in her research could be seen and that more than anything else made this book a winner for me.

4 Speak To Me:

yllektra (force-oblique) on 4 October 2010 at 19:18 said...

Oh thanks for the review!
It sounds like an enjoyable book! XD

Chris on 5 October 2010 at 01:21 said...

And really, who doesn't love skullduggery?! :)

Mandi on 5 October 2010 at 12:27 said...

I love small town settings too! This one looks cute.

Blodeuedd on 5 October 2010 at 21:15 said...

Must write a quick one, bf seems to be half asleep already.

Seems she really knew what she was doing with this one :)