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Day of Fire    by Kathleen Nance order for
Day of Fire
by Kathleen Nance
Order:  USA  Can
Dorchester, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Nance's Day of Fire is the second of five futuristic romances being released by Dorchester this year, set in the year 2176. While not a direct spin-off of the first in the series (The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant) it does follow loose guidelines that tie them all together. This story is set in Canada, a country that's faced isolation for almost a century after bio-weapons decimated the population. There's lots of Buck-Roger-esque adventure, but it's the female lead who kicks butt and wins the day.

RCMP Inspector Day Daniels is as dedicated as they come. Not only does she follow the letter of the law, she finds peace and security in her work -- a far cry from the chaos she experienced as a child who was the sole survivor of a 'Plague Camp'. When the Inspector's partner, Luc Robichaux, is murdered, Day is determined to find his killer. Luc was her friend as well as partner. Prepared to go it alone to track down those responsible, Day's immediately stymied when Headquarters informs her that she'll be working with a new partner. Dr. Lian Firebird is a 'Plague Hunter' affiliated with Heath Canada, and he delivers chilling news. A new and potentially deadlier virus than the one that already closed Canada's borders has been detected on Luc Robichaux's body. Firebird informs Day that she'll be working with him to track down the source of this rogue virus.

Unimpressed, Day lets her superior and Firebird know it. She doesn't want to be 'saddled' with, and scrutinized by, a Heath Canada doctor (even if Firebird did prove himself in an earlier confrontation). But her superior points out that she has no choice -- where a potentially deadly virus is involved, Health Canada law supercedes Mountie Law. Within hours, Lian and an annoyed Day are on the trail. All roads lead to the prairie fortress of No-Border leader, Rupert Juneau. But what's the real reason Juneau and his henchmen set a trap for the pair? Is it because the No-Borders hate all 'Stiff Brim' Mounties? Or does Juneau want to capture Day to harvest the antibodies present in her blood?

While this one is darker than her previous books, Nance has produced a nicely paced and believable story. Day and Lian work well off each other, from their first fiery encounter where neither is willing to concede to the other, to their growing respect, admiration, and love for one another. I did find Nance a bit heavy-handed with her use (and in some cases over-use) of Canadian-isms and clichés, but once you get past those Day of Fire is a worthy addition to the 2176 series.

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