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Chasing Fire    by Nora Roberts order for
Chasing Fire
by Nora Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

As the temperatures warm up, Rowan Tripp and her fellow Zulies head back to Missoula, Montana to prepare for another season fighting forest fires, a job that could ultimately take them all over North America. Rowan's been jumping fire since she was eighteen, her goal to be as good, or better than her legendary dad, Lucas (Iron Man) Tripp. Her work, her training, her whole life, is completely centered on her career. But when rookie Gulliver Curry joins the crew, he vows to change Rowan's mind and convince her that all work and no play just isn't the way to live your life.

Rowan and her crew are still mourning the loss of Jim Brayner, who'd fallen to his death the previous season. Camp cook and former girlfriend Dolly Brakeman isn't about to forgive or forget. Her grudge against Rowan (who'd been Jim's jump partner) is still flaming hot and she's determined to destroy Rowan's life. All Dolly's got left of Jim is his baby and too many bills. Small accidents around camp soon turn into life threatening situations, then murder. Someone's out to get Rowan and the rest of the Zulies and nothing's going to stand in the killer's way.

Roberts never shies away from doing her research - she gets the lingo, the tough training and the inner workings of smoke jumpers on the job, and off, down pat. Too many fire-fighting scenes ultimately bog down the story and leave little room to build suspense. Halfway through, I found myself skipping ahead to learn more about the ongoing hunt for the killer, whose identity was easier to figure out than Roberts' usual villain.

Even so, Chasing Fire is another solid story; it presents two pleasing leads in the tough-as-nails Rowan and the easygoing Gull as well as an entertaining cast of secondary players, particularly Rowan's dad and the local high school principal, whose romance almost steals the show.

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