cover image Deadly Silence

Deadly Silence

Lindsay McKenna. HQN, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-77584-2

Drawing on her own experience as a volunteer firefighter, McKenna pairs up hunky firefighter Matthew Sinclaire and down-to-earth forest ranger Casey Cantrell, but stilted, trite writing (Casey feels her heart "spring open like a flower in bloom") and flat characters prevent the story from taking off. Casey is suffering from PTSD after a violent beating in college, and Matt's wife died in a fire that left his eight-year-old daughter, Megan, traumatized and mute. Casey's efforts to help Megan lead to a romance between the two scarred adults. Meanwhile, Sen. Carter Peyton, who holds a grudge against Matt, sets out to destroy all that the heroic firefighter holds dear. Readers who like their villains unquestionably evil and their plot without flourishes might enjoy the suspense of the prolonged passion and the sweet moments with the budding family. (July)