Soot Angel, M.A. Petterson
Summary from Amazon.com
A beautiful forensic engineer hiding a tragic past seeks the killer of a homeless child and uncovers a deadly plot to destroy a foreign government.
Soot Angel picks up shortly after the end of Fire Sign, Dr. Anja Toussaint has closed the case of the church arson’s, sadly to the demise of the arsonist along with the close call of herself and her borrowed police partner. This time however, the arsons begin to hit all over neighboring Wake County and her “home” for all intents and purposes – she must figure out who is setting those small fires to prevent a larger one being set to the likes of the warehouse fire she’s investigating in her hometown of Chandlertowne.
Her first priority though is to figure out the whys and who’s of a warehouse fire that killed a child, aka her Soot Angel. Throughout the book she’s always hot on the trail of how the fire started and why this young child was in the warehouse to begin with – sadly to discover that homelessness does not have an age requirement and that drug-induced parenting isn’t always monitored closely by DSS like we all would like to believe. During her investigation of the warehouse fire though she discovers a crate with four letters she later finds out represent a chemical agent of warfare that has the potentiality of destroying a city the size of a small country, doing more damage than just a fire alone would do. This leads her on the trail of a group of military personnel who handled this agent, otherwise known during WWII as Four Deucers, through her work she finds that a well-known real-estate family in Chandlertowne has darker intentions and a deeper political hold than she ever thought possible.
This second novel by M.A. Petterson highlights the working and training life of firefighters all over, the similarities and competitiveness seen in this book carries over into fire departments across the country. We’re given a behind the scenes look at how firefighters live, work, and compete with one another – all the while able to come together on a fire scene and be cohesive! I enjoyed that aspect of this book – but at the same time found it distracting to the main story of the warehouse fire. I was left feeling less than satisfied with how it ended – BUT at the same time I was left wanting more. The mark of a good author is one that is able to engage the reader with a well written back-story, personal relationships of the main characters and keep the story moving forward. The ability of that same author the know when to leave a story hanging for another book in a series is that much more difficult, and M.A. Petterson has managed to do just that!
Overall, four out of five stars for Soot Angel as I mentioned above the continual jumping back and forth between the Warehouse Fire and the behind the scenes life of Dr. Toussaint and the Wake County Fire Department she’s adopted is distracting – the reader is left wondering what the outcome of the warehouse fire is.
**I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review**
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About the Author, from His website:
The seed for this series goes back to when I attended firefighting school in the maritime service. I got all dressed up in protective gear, strapped on a self-contained breathing apparatus, grabbed a charged 2 ½-inch line and then stepped into a simulated bilge.
On a ship, the bilge is the lowest compartment and located below the waterline. There’s usually a foot or more of water sloshing around mixed with other disgusting stuff. In this particular case the top layer of the bilge water consisted of something quite flammable.
So there I was, standing on a grated catwalk a foot above all this, when everything below me suddenly exploded into a roaring carpet of flame.
I stared at the fiery spectacle in stunned surprise until my mask sooted up and I remembered to open the hose.
Unless you use the correct technique, squirting water on a bilge fire just pushes the flames back and forth. In my case some of the flames snuck around behind me and made things much more exciting than expected.
My poor vision prevented me from following a career in firefighting, but I never stopped admiring the incredibly brave men and women who put their lives at risk every time they get kicked out on a call.
What many don’t know is just how large their hearts are. When they’re not volunteering their time for great charities they’re out raising money to help the less fortunate. Check out the Anja’s Kids link to see one of their favorite causes. Mine, too.
I hope you enjoy my books.
In the meantime stay safe, stay well, and pay a little something forward if you can.
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