INTO THE FIRE by Irene Hannon
SERIES: Undaunted Courage #1
GENRE: Romantic Suspense (Christian)
RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2023
As a former smokejumper, arson investigator Bri Tucker knows her way around fires. But after a mysterious blaze takes the life of a former colleague, Bri inherits a curious puzzle from him that raises questions about several fiery deaths. Someone, however, doesn’t want her picking up where he left off in search of answers.
When she teams up with ATF Special Agent Marc Davis to solve the puzzle, the danger escalates. But will they manage to track down the person behind the mysterious deaths before their budding romance–and maybe even their lives–go up in flames?
The bestselling and award-winning queen of romantic suspense is back with a brand-new series that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you burn through the pages to discover the truth.
Irene Hannon is known for her layered characters (including the villains!) and tightly written suspense, and Into the Fire is a prime example! What a way to kick off a new series! I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next and holding my breath when the danger blazes up into an inferno. I haven’t read many suspense novels that feature arson investigators, which is a shame because there are so many great possibilities! Possibilities which Hannon deftly weaves into this new novel, turning several into probabilities and making sure Bri & Marc have their work cut out for them! And while they’re working together to solve these potential crimes, there’s also a delicious bit of chemistry between them that fans from a slow burn to a steady flame.
Bri Tucker may be a relatively new arson investigator but she’s very experienced when it comes to fires, including her years as a smokejumper for the US Forest Service. And the fiery death of a retired arson investigator – who had recently reached out to her – isn’t sitting right with her. It looks like an accident. It probably IS an accident. Right? Well… maybe. She can’t put her finger on exactly what bothers her yet, but the more she digs into the puzzling clues he left behind the more convinced she is that Les’s death was no accident. And Marc Davis, the ATF Special Agent who’s lending her his expertise and gut instincts, agrees. Especially when several ‘accidents’ come a little too close to home where Bri is concerned.
Oh y’all. The layers in this case are so twisty. We start out with the antagonist’s POV and, while Hannon doesn’t tell us much about them, we can see right away that this is a seriously disturbed individual. But this may not be the only antagonist that Bri will need to watch out for, and we’re soon just as tangled in this investigation as Bri and Marc are. Except that we also know things that these two investigators don’t, thanks to Hannon’s signature ‘inside the killer’s head’ perspective, and what they don’t know really may hurt them. I felt like I was right in the trenches with Bri and Marc, trying to decipher Les’s clues, the sense of urgency increasing as we race ever closer to a showdown. I had definite suspicions about the main antagonist’s true identity but being suspicious certainly didn’t stop me from gasping out loud as one of the characters finally starts connecting the dots. Because while I may have suspected the who, I had no inkling of the why and it took me just as much by surprise as it did our brave protagonists. There’s also quite a bit of story left when the culprit is revealed, and it seemed at least in this case that the devil you now know can be scarier than the devil you still don’t. Because sometimes the devil you now know has nothing – and everything – left to lose.
Bottom Line: Into the Fire by Irene Hannon will keep you glued to the page and make you useless for anything else but reading this book until you’ve reached the final word. I was quickly caught up in the layered plot which was full of unexpected twists and some intense moments. All of the characters felt so compelling, from the protagonists to the supporting players and even the villain(s), and I look forward to seeing how Bri’s siblings are featured in future books. Bri and Marc both have deep pain in their life, pain that’s been harbored for many years and revealed to very few people. I loved how the author used this not only to bring them closer together but to naturally incorporate a look at the raw side of forgiveness – a theme that is not presented tritely but with thoughtful authenticity instead. Getting a front row seat to watch Bri and Marc fall in love is the icing on the cake to the suspenseful ride that is Into the Fire!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.
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