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Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Day into Night By Dave Hugelschaffer

Day into Night 
By Dave Hugelschaffer

Opening sentence:  By the time I arrive, the fire has grown to an area the size of a small city.

From this alarming opening, and in breath-stealing smoke and ash that quickly feels all too real, we follow forest fire investigator Porter Cassel through his preliminary search for a point of origin. The fire is an arson, one of a string started in similar fashion by someone who knows just how to take advantage of natural fluctuations in wind and humidity, and the crews all know they are in for a long battle.

For Porter, the battle quickly becomes personal. Not only do the arsonist’s signature materials match those of the eco-terrorist known as the Lorax, but the fire boss is none other than the father of Porter’s girlfriend, who died in a previous Lorax-engineered explosion. As the smoke streamers turn black, blocking out the sun, Porter searches among the locals, the tree huggers, and the fire crews for any possible leads to the identity of the Lorax.

With one fire under control, the long, hot summer looms ahead, providing endless opportunities for another big blaze. Suspects are many, and another explosion costs another life. Porter spends too many hours in his truck, too many more in meetings of an inter-agency task force, and runs afoul of more than one disgruntled citizen in his determination to solve the explosions and resolve his guilt over his girlfriend’s death.

The author spent ten years working for the Forest Service in Northern Alberta as a Ranger, a timber cruiser, and a firefighter. He knows his terrain, tools and crews, and the behavior of a forest fire, better than anyone writing mysteries in Canada today. “Day Into Night” is both a primer on forest fires and a gripping personal quest for truth.

Day Into Night

Published by CormorantBooks

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