Into the Fire by Irene Hannon
Romantic Suspense | Christian Fiction
Bri Tucker is an arson investigator with a curious puzzle on her hands. One of her former co-workers has died in a house fire — a suspicious sort of death for someone so aware of the risks of fire — and Bri thinks there’s more going on than first meets the eye. Paired with ATF Special Agent, Marc Davis, the two are on track to solve multiple fiery deaths. But Bri’s a target now too. And someone will do anything to stop her from finding answers.
I think this is the earliest I have ever figured out “who did it” in a mystery novel. As soon as the character was introduced, I knew they were the one behind it all. The only thing I didn’t know was the why. It was the prologue that tipped me off as to who I was looking for, and in this regard, I felt that the mystery was too obvious.
Thankfully, the author still had a few tricks up her sleeve.
I was expecting this to be your standard mystery/suspense novel, where the villain is revealed in the final chapter as a “big twist.” Because I already knew who it was, I was gearing myself for a rather lackluster and disappointing read overall. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn’t the case.
The book is told from several different perspectives, one of which was the “villain.” For the first half of the book, this antagonist is unnamed and working behind the scenes to manipulate Bri’s investigation. However, the author does something really clever and reveals who the villain is at the halfway point. Given the fact that I thought this murderous narrator was too obvious, I really loved this plot choice. It was this decision to reveal the character early, that changed my review from three stars to four.
In fact, the second half of the book is where the story really captured me. It was the psychological study of the characters that was intriguing to watch play out, and I enjoyed the slow reveal of motive. There was a lot of action and excitement and it was easy to lose myself in the story, turning pages to see how it would all resolve.
I also really enjoyed the romance element between Bri and Marc. The story is entirely clean, with no steam, but it still has all the sparks of chemistry and the slow-building romance between our two main characters that I love. I often find that romantic suspense novels can lean too heavily toward romance and overlook the suspense, but that wasn’t the case here. There was a good balance between the two genres.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent start to a new series. While the mystery felt obvious, the story was written in such a way that it didn’t ultimately affect my enjoyment. The characters and plot were a lot of fun, and I look forward to following along with Bri’s siblings in the following books.
Fans of Christian Fiction / clean, romantic suspense novels
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
About the book:
(From the publisher) As a former smokejumper, arson investigator Bri Tucker knows her way around fires. But after a mysterious blaze takes the life of a former colleague, Bri inherits a curious puzzle from him that raises questions about several fiery deaths. Someone, however, doesn’t want her picking up where he left off in search of answers.
When she teams up with ATF Special Agent Marc Davis to solve the puzzle, the danger escalates. But will they manage to track down the person behind the mysterious deaths before their budding romance–and maybe even their lives–go up in flames?
The bestselling and award-winning queen of romantic suspense is back with a brand-new series that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you burn through the pages to discover the truth.