cover image Fire Storm

Fire Storm

Nancy Mehl. Bethany House, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3185-8

Mehl continues her Kaely Quinn Profiler series with this entertaining second installment (after Mind Games), which sees FBI agent Kaely visiting her ill mother in tiny Dark Water, Neb. With her mother still reeling from her cancer diagnosis and the revelation that her ex-husband was actually a serial killer, Kaely keeps her mother company by explaining information about a possible arson case in the small town that the local sheriff blames on misused space heaters. Kaely is skeptical though, and recognizes the hallmarks of arson. Mehl ratchets up the tension as more buildings burn and clues pile up. While the arson plot is propulsive, Kaely’s imaginary version of an estranged friend whom she floats her ideas by, as well as her penchant for aggressively questioning people without direct connection to the case, strain the plot’s believability. Despite this, Kaely is a complicated, imperfect, and effective investigator who will series fans. While faith elements are very subtle and overly convenient twists dampen the effect of the mystery, Mehl’s rip-roaring inspirational hits the mark. [em]Agent: Steve Laube, Steve Laube Agency. (Aug.) [/em]