Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Working Fire, by Emily Bleeker {ends 10/1}

Guest review by: Erin Krajenke

"...a voice crackled over the radio. Sally from dispatch. Both Ellie and Chet stopped in their tracks.

'Ambulance Twenty-One delta response, [crackle] Lane, Broadlands. Possible shooting [crackle] AS-One. Police responding. Have not arrived.’ 

Chet picked up the radio clipped to his lapel. ‘Dispatch, Ambulance Twenty-One responding. Please repeat’.

‘Shooting?’ Ellie mouthed to Chet, who was holding the radio up to his ear. It had to be a mistake. There'd never been a shooting in Broadlands, not that she remembered anyway. Maybe it was a hunting accident. Maybe a kid found his dad's gun. Maybe…the possible scenarios flashed through Ellie's mind... ‘You check the CAD. Reception's a little spotty today.’...She unlocked the passenger-side door and hefted herself into the seat, then swiveled the computer-aide dispatch screen to face her. When she hit the Responding button, a map and lines of information stared back at her. She read through the sentences on the screen, eyes flitting from one line to the next. Description of the call. A few codes she was pretty sure meant serious business. Then the address, just two miles away from her dad's house. 2318 Lark Lane, Broadlands. No. She read the address again, and again. She didn't even need to check the map on the left side of the screen. She'd been to 2318 Lark Lane countless times, eaten dinner there, held new babies, swum in the backyard pool, cried into a soft shoulder when it became clear her father would never recover.

It can't be. It can't be. It can't be. 
But it was.

2318 Lark Lane was her sister's house.

This story pulled me in immediately; the characters are enjoyable and the writing style is easygoing. The story is told from two different perspectives, that of Ellie told in present time, and Amelia told from a couple of weeks prior and leading up to the incident. I find that stories told from multiple points of view draw me in more and keep me flipping pages since each chapter always seems to end on a cliffhanger.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Working Fire, by Emily Bleeker
Ellie Brown thought she'd finally escaped her stifling hometown of Broadlands, Illinois; med school was supposed to be her ticket out. But when her father has a stroke, she must return home to share his care with her older sister, Amelia, who's busy with her own family. Working as a paramedic, Ellie's days are monotonous, driving an ambulance through streets she'd hoped never to see again.

Until a 911 dispatch changes everything. The address: her sister's house. Rushing to the scene, Ellie discovers that Amelia and her husband, Steve, have been shot in a home invasion. After Amelia is rushed to the hospital, Ellie tries to make sense of the tragedy. But what really happened inside her sister's house becomes less and less clear. As Amelia hangs on in critical condition, Ellie uncovers dark revelations about her family's past that challenge her beliefs about those closest to her...and force her to question where her devotions truly lie.

…As she entered the misty darkness inside the house, the trauma and airway kits thumped against her side with every step...Her steps went from clacking on the tile floor to being muffled by the front room's thick carpet...The trail of red footprints snaked across the tile floor and disappeared behind the door to the Broadlands Roofing office...Ellie pushed on the door gently, but it didn't budge. Then she pushed it again, harder this time. Something heavy was behind the door, heavy and unresponsive. It was either Amelia or...or the man who Steve said had shot her...With one hard shove, the door budged half an inch. Ellie flinched, hoping it was a piece of furniture but afraid she was ramming the door into her injured sister. With another shove and then another, an opening developed…With one last shove, Ellie slipped through, her paramedic's badge catching and ripping audibly as she stumbled out and into the office of Broadlands Roofing...The room was filled with smoke and a sulfur smell. There as another smell too, one she was very familiar with. It was the tangy, metallic scent of blood. As the scene came into focus, filtering through the smoke and sun, the world went still...All she could see and the only thing she could even acknowledge, was a crumpled human form on the floor to her right - one leg half-bent, half-twisted, arm strewn across the face, tangled in a mess of dark brown hair, a once-yellow blouse soaked through with blood. She didn't have to get a closer look; she didn't have to see the face to know. Lying there in a pool of blood was her sister, Amelia.

Right off the bat there is a lot of action in this book. Who could have shot Amelia and her husband Steve? And why? The chapters with Ellie are detailing what is currently going on with the shooting and then the hospital and searching for answers. The chapters with Amelia go as far back as six weeks before the incident laying down clues for what is to come getting you closer and closer to the shooting. 

I initially had no clue who could have done it and I was simply enjoying the story. Then I started getting ideas, but every subsequent chapter made me second guess and change my mind. Even towards the end when I thought we were there, things kept changing. 

I usually find suspense novels to be predictable but this one constantly kept me on my toes. My reasoning for 4 stars instead of 5 has to do with the fact that I feel the rationale for who did it and why was very out of character and unexplained. It seemed like an easy out and not a reasonable or good explanation. There was also a part of the very end that bothered me, made me question a character I had trusted, and I wish had been left out.

Star rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
{click here to purchase}

Erin Krajenke is a chatty Virgo that knows one day she will be a memory, and is trying to be a good one.


Three of my lucky readers will win a copy of Working Fire!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, October 1, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be contacted the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

Working Fire, by Emily Bleeker


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