Murder on the Lake of Fire
A young and promising figure skater is practicing on a nearby lake. She is destined to go to the Olympics. Suddenly an inferno envelops her and extinguishes her life. Emory Rome is an investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is on the make due to his involvement in a recent high-profile drug bust. The death of the skater is declared a homicide, and Emory is tasked with investigating the murder. Emory is reluctant to tackle the case, as the murder brings him to his hometown of Barter Ridge. His father is the Sheriff, and the Sheriff’s folksy and old school ways clash with Emory’s modern police work. Emory has not been home in many years, and his conflict with the past churns internally. The case gets more complicated because the victim was the daughter of a powerful businessman who owns the local water-bottling company. The victim’s family has hired a Private Investigator, who Emory feels will only serve as a distraction. However, he soon strikes a quid pro quo deal in which the police and PI will cooperate in order to catch the killer. The case gets more complicated as a couple of connected individuals are poisoned, the suspect list grows, and the motives seem to be changing. Emory is frustrated in his dealings with his father, who is more inclined to talk to an uncooperative suspect as opposed to engage in an all-out interrogation. Emory finds himself besotted with the PI, their antagonistic relationship soon becoming a passionate romance. The questions mount as the Sheriff is soon attacked, Emory is drugged, and all doesn’t seem to be well in the victim’s family. The race to find the answers to the murders is becoming more perilous with each new lead. Will Emory be able to find the killer or killers before they take their next victim? Will he find out what the reason for the murder of the figure skater was? The reader will have to take this journey home to find out.
Murder on the Lake of Fire is a modern mystery thriller. It is a whodunit but also a character study of a young policeman. Emory Rome is running from his inner demons, and this plays out in different ways throughout the book. It is most evident in his conversations and interactions with the PI and his father. Should he play by the rules? Should he give in to his feelings? The characters are well illustrated, and the action played well. The only area that may fall flat is the romance between Emory and the PI. It serves as a distraction that doesn’t need to be there. Despite this, this is a great read.
Mikel J. Wilson