Chasing Fire

Chasing Fire - Nora Roberts Rowan Tripp is a seasoned fire jumper, working out of Missoula, Montana and following in her father's footsteps in this career choice. Her Dad, Lucas 'Iron Man' Tripp, has raised Rowan on his own, with help from his parents, after his wife left him when Rowan was a baby. She and her father have an incredible bond but Rowan is not big on committed relationships and has abandonment issues. Enter Gull Colvey, a rookie fire jumper who targets Rowan from the beginning and makes her break her rule to not get involved with teammates. The story begins one year after the death of Rowan's jump partner, Jim Brayner, from a botched jump. She still has nightmares about the incident and continues to play "what if" games. The nightmare continues when a woman from Jim's past shows up to make trouble for Rowan, blaming her for his death. When it's clear there's an arsonist at work, bodies are found in the fires and an attempt is made on Rowan's life, everyone becomes a suspect. This was an interesting story and like most of Nora's stories, we learn a lot about how forest fires are fought. The characters are larger than life because of what they do. Rowan is tough and highly skilled as a fire jumper and her relationship with Gull is even more interesting given that he is her subordinate. Gull is delicious, a man with an incredible wit and is nicknamed Fast Feet by the team because of his speed. He also has a gift for reading and understanding people, which serves him well in winning over Rowan. The sub plot involving Lucas and his romantic interest was a real treat, further testing Rowan emotionally as she grapples with having to share the only parent she's known. The mystery involving the killer/arsonist underlies everything throughout the story and creates the right level of tension. While I was able to identify the killer pretty easily, the havoc raised made the story pretty interesting. This is a solid delivery but not high on my list of favorites.