Disclosure: I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions are 100% my own.
Bucky Dawson is a HazMat specialist with Los Angeles County Fire Department HazMat Task Force 103. His station is in Lancaster, CA–an area populated with meth labs and outlaw motorcycle gangs, as well as Edwards AFB, NASA, and top-secret aerospace facilities.
Bucky–divorced and lonely–struggles with painkiller addiction. One night Task Force 103 is toned out to support a Sheriff’s raid on a meth lab. Bucky thinks he sees his sister at the door of a double- wide trailer in the Mojave Desert just before it explodes.
Bucky’s life is in chaos. While he searches for answers to his sister’s death, he is drawn into a conflict with the Vagos, who are selling drugs in the Mojave Desert. After a confrontation in which the Vagos nearly kill him, Bucky exacts an unusual revenge that only a HazMat firefighter could accomplish.
The novel twists and turns, bringing together firefighters, a sinister aerospace engineer, the Vagos — led by the Dwarf, their seven foot tall Sergeant at Arms, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in a surprise ending you will not anticipate but you will certainly enjoy.
My disclosure at the top says all opinions are 100% my own and I strive to be honest. So here goes.
I have spent several years of my life studying addiction and substance abuse so any book that deals with addiction and substance abuse – I’m all over it, which is why I was excited to read this book. In addition, I grew up in a firefighter family so that was an added bonus.
I will say – I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate this book.
It was definitely different from what I was expecting (and not bad different, just different for me). The beginning was slow. I felt it was very drawn out and it didn’t really pick up in excitement until towards the end.
I was telling my husband the other day that I felt like there was no substance – no romance (hey, I’m a woman, what do you expect), no mystery, no action, no thrill, no suspense. I felt like it was very dry and actually, somewhat boring. And of course, the second I tell him that, I pick up the book to finish it and the mystery and suspense show up!
Now that I’ve completely finished the book, I can see how the beginning was drawn out – it was providing a lot of background to set up for the ending which I get now (but didn’t while I was reading it!)
I will say, the ending really is what hooked me in to enjoying the book. I could sense the mystery as I was getting closer to the end and really could not piece the puzzle together myself (which is one thing I love when reading a book – I hate predictable stories!)
All in all, I would say this would be a good read for a man who likes reading, or if you can handle the slowness in the beginning to gather the background – you would enjoy this book too!
I will be looking for Mr. Kamm’s other books to give them a try as well!
Overall, I would give this 3.5 stars out of 5.
About the Author
Malibu resident Kurt Kamm has used his contact with CalFire, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and the ATF, as well as his experience in several devastating local wildfires, to write fact-based firefighter mystery novels. He has attended classes at El Camino Fire Academy and trained in wildland firefighting, arson investigation and hazardous materials response. He is currently riding with Los Angeles County Fire Department’s famed urban search and rescue task force. He is a graduate of the ATF Citizen’s Academy.One of the Malibu fires, the 60 mile-per-hour Santa Ana wind-driven Canyon Fire, burned to his front door and destroyed the homes of several neighbors. Kamm said the lessons he learned from the County Fire Department while writing his books helped him save his home.
Kurt Kamm has built an avid fan base among first responders. Each of his firefighter mysteries features a firefighter in a particular discipline (wildland, arson investigation, paramedic, hazardous material response, and search and rescue). His first novel, One Foot in the Black (2008) has become a favorite of firefighters. Subsequent novels, Red Flag Warning: A Serial Arson Mystery (Aberdeen Bay, 2010) and Code Blood (MCM Publishing, 2012) have won numerous fiction awards (see attached summary). Kamm’s latest book, Hazardous Material, has just been released. He is currently attending search & rescue training and working on his fifth novel.
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