Queue My Review

October 14, 2008

Review: Where There’s Fire by Maureen McKade

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , , , — jjmachshev @ 3:07 am
Where There's Fire by Maureen McKade

Another tortured hero served up for our delectation! “Where There’s Fire” is my first contemporary romantic suspense by Maureen McKade. I didn’t realize that I had recently read one of her historical romance novels until I was typing this review and my fingers remembered the name. Then, of course, I had to check out why and bingo! Now, I find myself comparing her writing styles and realizing that there are many similarities. Not so strange, I guess, but still. A serial arsonist turned murderer, a twisted pimp, a drug-addicted ‘ho, and in the middle of it all one female cop and one mysterious man.

Shoni is a good cop, 2nd generation with a father who died young in the line of duty. Until recently she was a firm believer in rules and regulations. Until her mother was killed by a drunk driver who got off because the arresting cop blew the Miranda warning. Now she’s struggling to keep faith in a justice system that seems to favor the bad guys. And she’s walking a fine line between integrity and revenge, using her work as a substitute for grief. Her latest case is arson, and she may have a serial arsonist on her hands. If she doesn’t catch a break soon, her boss will be calling in the Feds. Into this mess, steps a handsome hunk of mystery man. She saw him save a young girl in an alley, and now he’s saved the tenants of her latest arsonist attack. She’s drawn to this hero who wants no recognition and no assistance, even though it’s obvious he’s not the usual homeless type.

‘John’ can’t remember anything beyond waking up a few weeks ago, badly beaten and apparently left for dead. His memory keeps flashing to scenes of death and blood and he’s afraid to go to the cops. The last thing he needed was this cop to take an interest in him, even if he can’t help but return that interest in a decidedly different manner. But his memories also show flashes of a woman and a little girl calling him Daddy. So until he can figure out who he is and who they are, he’ll have to keep his distance.

There were a lot of things to like about this story. I got a kick out of the fact that he’s the one with amnesia and she’s the one who can help him…since it’s usually the other way around, eh? Also, the ‘mystery’ portion was fairly well done with good pacing of the whodunit clues and I didn’t know ALL the guilty parties until the very end…Nice! The urban setting was a necessity since it would be hard to pull off the amnesia angle in a small town where everybody knows everybody. And the sexual attraction between the main characters was just spicy enough to keep me reading.

My biggest complaint regarding this story was the pace of the whole “amnesia, fear of cops” bit. I figured out he was ex-military and probably one of the special teams WAY before the author admitted it. And I thought it was pretty blatant which made the characters seem a bit dim to not be able to figure that out for themselves. And the whole ‘fear of cops’ thing was rather obtuse to me too; I mean how many bad guys save a little girl and a building full of fire victims? Ummm, I’m thinking none. And if you don’t know who you are wouldn’t the most important thing be to check the missing persons? But he obsessed on this for fully half the darn book! Kinda brought down his IQ points for me.

So in the end, the good and the bad were rather evenly weighed for me. It’s definitely a romantic suspense since there’s both romance and suspense and the balance is really about 60/40 with suspense having the edge. I’d probably read another contemporary by this author, but it wouldn’t be on my for sure list.

Until next time…


Reviewed by Julie


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