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BOOK REVIEW: INFERNO
BY KAREN HARPER

We hope you enjoy this book review by Cy Hilterman.

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Even Durand is a thrill arsonist. He loves to watch anything burn including humans. Nothing is sacred to him, not even his own father. He loves to find women living alone as his favorite subjects. He thinks he is a ‘ghost’ and cannot be seen. While watching his last bit of arson, he hid on a rooftop very near the fire. Oh how he was enjoying this sight—but—what was that movement from that window in a part of the house he was on? He thought there was no one upstairs in that house. Maybe I better get out of this area and try elsewhere in case that person saw me enough to give the slightest detail of my appearance.

Lauren Taylor is a bush pilot flying freight and/or humans in and out of a remote area of Montana where she lived. The entire area was a tinderbox due to lack of any rain. Her now deceased husband, Ross, had been in the fire service and was killed several years before while in action. Lauren has never been able to get over his death but she plodded on through life for her son, Nicky, trying to be mother and father for him.

Lauren had to pick up a passenger to bring back to her area. This passenger was Rocky Marston who made the flight back a bit strange since he kept so quiet. Lauren figured his quietness was due to taking in the breathtaking scenery as they flew but then he started asking some strange questions for a visitor. He commented about how dry everything appeared as one of his few communications with Lauren as they headed into Vermillion, Montana. He asked about various buildings and what they were used for and how many people were there. Lauren just passed it off as being a different type of person. When they landed, Rocky took off from the landing area and disappeared apparently never stopping at any store to purchase supplies or food for his stay in the area.

The police had made a composite sketch of the man the woman had seen on her roof and told them how goofy acting he was as he tried to get away from the area. The drawing was released nationwide including the Montana area in which Lauren lived. When she saw the drawing she called the FBI office in Denver immediately to report the possibility that she had flown the man in the picture into her area. FBI Arson Investigator, Brad Hale, became interested at once and came to the remote Montana area to investigate, not knowing if the report of this monster being in the area was true or not.

Nicky was always fascinated in Indian ghost stories. Anyone could hold his attention while telling such a story. The area contained many Indians in years gone by and their ‘spirits’ still existed according to some. Nicky had an Indian-like tent in his backyard where he spent hours playing. Rocky Marston had camped up the hill from Lauren and Ricky’s house and noticed the boy and the tent. He decided to play the kid pretending to be an Indian ghost as he came gaining trust from Nicky to the point that Ricky would sneak food into his tent for the Indian.

When fires started to erupt in the area all knew that this Rocky Marston was the arsonist and had come for some reason to bring grief to their area. Many of the townsfolk assisted in the investigation all they could. The town sheriff, fire department, and most all of the citizens near and far joined to help the FBI trap this arsonist. Their town was too valuable to allow him to destroy it.

Nicky’s trust in the ghost assisted him in obtaining far too much access to the town. Rocky was too smart to be caught—or so he thought. Inferno goes on with many adventures of chasing, cornering, flying in and out of fire areas, love between people in the town, and Brads bosses at the FBI bringing more help to the area, despite Brad’s objections. He felt a large group would give away too much to the arsonist. There is no lack of action, romance, evading and controlling fires, and much more in this book. It is a good fast read that I enjoyed immensely.

REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CY HILTERMAN

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