Working Fire by Emily Bleeker

Working Fire by Emily Bleeker
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (308 pgs)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

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.

If there’s one type of plot I love, it’s one about people keeping secrets. Not just keeping them, but a plotline involving the prospect of them coming to light, throwing a family into total dysfunction and putting them in danger.

That’s what drew me to Working Fire. The main character Ellie, now a paramedic, and back in the town she grew up in, is called to a crime scene where it’s her sister Amelia who’s been shot during what looks to be a home invasion.

The story goes back and forth between present day and five weeks before the incident and told from both Ellie and Amelia’s point of view. As the plot progresses the time span gets shorter until both coincide. At first I didn’t like the approach but toward the end of the book I realized it did add to the suspense.

I loved the plotline and the pacing was spot on but what I felt could have been a great book was somewhat spoiled by lots of information dumping by both Ellie and Amelia and dialogue that did somewhat similar things. I felt I would have enjoyed it more had the author relayed the information about their past more slowly.

However, if you’re looking for a fast paced read, and like me, love the secrets from the past plotline, this will be your type of book.

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