Flame Out

Flame Out

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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June Lyons, the former FBI-agent-turned-small-town-cop introduced in the acclaimed Ice Shear must solve two connected cases whose roots stretch back decades in time--and dangerously touch the lives of those closest to her.

As a police officer in the rust belt town of Hopewell Falls, New York, June Lyons keeps an eye on the abandoned factories that line the Mohawk River. Spotting a slick of gasoline running across the parking lot of an old apparel factory, she quickly heads inside the building, where she discovers an unconscious woman too close to the flame. The fire destroys the building down to its sub-basements, and the badly burned woman June rescued is in a coma. No one knows who she is or how she got there.

Thirty years ago, June's father made a name for himself when he arrested the factory's owner, Bernie Mede, for killing his wife and child, though their bodies were never found. Sifting through the factory's ruins, June and her partner Dave Batko discover a woman's body sealed in a barrel. Surely, it's Luisa Mede and the case file can be closed. But the body isn't Bernie's wife, it's Dave's mother, a troubled party-girl who disappeared when Dave was young.

As June and her neighbors discover, beneath Hopewell Falls' charming fa#65533;ade lies some unbearably ugly truths--secrets that are only beginning to surface. With the case growing more complex, she teams with FBI Special Agent Hale Bascom to find answers--before everyone she loves, and the town itself, spin dangerously out of control.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780062300737
Branch Call Number: COO
Characteristics: 294 pages.


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karcoldelharvic5 Jan 30, 2016

Sadly I agree with the other commentators. A hard book to get thru

Oct 10, 2015

After Cooley's excellent debut novel Ice Shear I was looking forward to a long series of mysteries with excellent writing. Sadly, this is not to be. Flame Out is a major drop in quality. The author's gift for description is still on display, and barely nudges the overall rating into 3-star territory, but the plot is way too convoluted and implausible. There are so many characters with confusing family relationships that I lost track of who was connected to whom and how early on. The last 100 pages or so were more like a homework assignment than a pleasure. I suggest starting a spreadsheet and a genealogical chart when you begin this one.

The author's lack of actual law enforcement knowledge was all too evident in this book. I found it telling that the acknowledgments in Ice Shear included two police officers by name, but there were none in this book other than "all the people that lent their expertise in law enforcement." I wouldn't want my name associated as police advisor on this one, either.

Both books have a recurring FBI character who is supposed to be the SAC of Albany Division. As an FBI agent retiree I found Cooley's lack of FBI knowledge in Ice Shear slightly distracting, but in Flame Out, it's positively ludicrous. In both books this SAC is trying to recruit June, the lead character and a former agent, to come back into the FBI. He rides around with her on interviews and other mundane investigation. Neither one of these things would ever happen with an SAC. He's both too high up and too low down for either task. SAC Albany is a mid-management position about equal to the colonel of an army base. You won't find him cleaning the latrines and doing KP (below his pay grade) nor would he be the one to appoint the first openly gay Muslim to pilot Air Force One (above his pay grade). Allowing a resigned agent back in has never been done and would take FBI Director approval, and then only if that person had very unique (i.e., only person in the country) skills that were badly needed. There wasn't even any FBI jurisdiction in this case, at least not at the point the SAC became involved. His whole presence is a puzzling and pointless irritation. I thought he might turn out to be a love interest, but that hasn't happened either. C'est la vie.

Aug 18, 2015

Shakespeare wrote: “It is a wise father that knows his own child.” That goes in reverse, too. A wise child knows his own father. In this book, horribly tangled relationships and behavior make for confusing reading.

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