Monday, December 3, 2007

Wild Inferno-Sandi Ault

Wild Inferno
Sandi Ault
Berkley, Feb 2008, $23.95, 304 pp.
ISBN 9780425219225

She is a resource protection agent for the Bureau of Land Management and acts as a liaison to one of the local Indian Pueblos. When a wildfire blazes out of control on the southern Ute Reservation, on of Jamaica Wild’s first assignment is to locate Grandpa Ned who snuck behind the barracks. She finds a burned firefighter who tells her to “save the Grandmother”. W hen she finds Grandpa Ned, he is dead and it is later determined he was murdered.

To make matters worse a sacred Indian ceremony is being carried out at Chimney Rock and it happens every eighteen and a half years. They won’t evacuate because they fear they won’t be let back in to complete the rite. Jamaica starts asking questions re Ned and the injured fireman. Her tires are slashed, a bullet is fired through her windshield and her brake lines are cut. Jamaica’s life is in danger if she doesn’t stop trying to figure out why Grandpa Ned risked his life to dig behind the fire lines.

Readers will be awed at how firefighters risk their lives to protect civilians and the camaraderie that exists between them despite tribal affiliation. The heroine is a strong willed woman, close to her wolf who is her best friend and a warrior who is not afraid to go into battle against the enemy even an inferno. She is the perfect role model for today’s woman because even though she is working in what some assume is a man’s world she is not afraid to be feminine.

Harriet Klausner