Catherine McKenzie

Language: English

Pages: 352


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Goodreads Best Book of the Month

From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.

After a decadelong career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.

For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.

As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

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Garbage burned carelessly in a barrel.” Deputy Clark points to the stone pit. “That’s where it started, isn’t it?” I bend down and hold my gloved hand above the white ash. It’s still radiating heat. It contains a few pieces of charred wood, the remnants of some paper, and two burned-out beer cans. “Get me a paint bucket,” I say. “And a shovel.” CHAPTER 7 The Blame Game Elizabeth As we drive back to the elementary school, I’m starting to feel like a yo-yo. Our house to Ben’s parents’ house.

volunteer where Mr. Phillips is as the gym doors clang shut behind us. “He’s over there,” a woman I know slightly named Honor Wells says, pointing to a lump of blankets in the far left corner in a condescending voice. “Sleeping, I think.” He might have been earlier, despite the penetrating fluorescent lights, but he isn’t when we get to him. He’s just lying on his back, staring at the ceiling tiles, his arms folded behind his head, which is resting on his palms. “Mr. Phillips?” “Kristy?”

reading all week: the acres consumed, the weather report, the number of crew and equipment on-site. But there was something in the way he explained it all that made it understandable. Not just words on a page, but images too. This is what an acre of land looks like, this is five thousand acres. This is where the line has been drawn, this is why we draw that line, this is what we hope to achieve. This is our greatest enemy: the weather, the weather, the damned unrelenting fire weather. If the

any good.” “Have you looked at these? They’re perfect.” He turned toward me with something hidden behind his back. “I can copy. If you know of any art-theft rings that need a good forger, I’m your man.” “But surely if you can do this, you can paint other things?” “If I’m not working from someone else’s piece, I might as well be drawing stick figures.” “That’s . . .” “Pathetic?” “No, of course not.” He grinned. “Don’t worry. I’m over it. Besides, Grace and Gordon would freak if I told

Angus walked me home.” “There must be more to this,” Detective Donaldson says. “There’s no reason you couldn’t have told us all this a long time ago.” “We couldn’t. Tucker was kind of . . . um, blackmailing us.” “What was Tucker blackmailing you with?” Willow stays silent for what seems like a very long time as her face turns red. She’s avoiding making eye contact with her mother, who has shoved her hand in her mouth in horror. Then she says, “Pictures.” “What kind of pictures?” “Some . . .

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