When Dr. Jack Montoya ends up in a political firestorm, he's hesitant to trust anyone. He's being crucified on the radio for his sensitive care of illegal immigrant children and, on the other side, heralded as a hero for the Latino community. He just wants to do his job and make a difference, but somehow he's become a pawn between warring factions -- and the friction seems to be taking a dangerous turn.

Reagan Hurley looks up her childhood friend for medical help, but she's taken aback by his hostile distrust. Extreme asthma is hampering her work as a firefighter, but she refuses to quit and hopes Jack will sign off on papers allowing her to return to active duty. He refuses, and Reagan is all too happy to be rid of him, until an arsonist targets Jack's apartment and inadvertently kills her captain.

Now ostracized by everyone, the doctor and the firefighter partner up to uncover the truth. In the process, they discover a healing love.

The precise details of Thompson's novel give it a rich, edgy texture that's enthralling. Even more engaging is the author's steely, yet vulnerable, heroine. Reagan's physical and mental anguish creates the greatest drama in the book, despite a taut mystery that will leave you wondering who done it until the very end. For keen characters, emotional richness and a satisfying story that doesn't fade away, read Thompson's latest. (Nov., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Terri Clark