Ken Mercer, Slow Fire Reviews

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“Slow Fire ”

★★★★☆

written by Harriet Klausner on 30/01/2010

Slow Fire
Ken Mercer
Minotaur, Feb 16 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312558352

Knowing he needed a change in location to kick his heroin addiction, narcotics detective Will Magowan leaves LAPD to take the position of police chief in Haydenville, California. His wife chose divorce rather than accompany him to the northern rural part of the state to reside in a trailer.

Will almost immediately needs to apply his homicide detecting skills when the corpse of Caitlyn Johnson is found near a kayak. Soon afterward, Will gets involved in a bar shooting, other violence, and an incident with former Hell's Angel convicted killer Frank Carver who has become a writer and philanthropist. He also struggles with the town's greatest growth industry, meth production; the reason Mayor Bonnie Newman hired him but threatens to fire him as instead of abating the flow, it has increased. Will finds a meth stash at the cabin of Henry Bell, but the mark suicides rather than provide Will with information. The police chief believes good citizen Carver is the drug king, but proving it is difficult as nothing works to catch him.

Slow Fire is a fast-paced rural police procedural that shines a spotlight on the small town meth problem that has not felt the impact of the recession; in fact is a growth industry. Will is a fascinating hero who struggles with addiction, his wife leaving him, and the threat of losing his last chance job. Fans will enjoy his stressed out life although some spins seem a bit over Mount Shasta.

Harriet Klausner

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