Time of Fog and Fire
by Rhys Bowen
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Released: June 5, 2012
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband Daniel, a police captain in turn-of-the-century New York City, is in a precarious position. The new police commissioner wants him off the force. So Daniel accepts an assignment from John Wilkie, head of the secret service. Molly believes her husband is in Washington until she spots him in San Francisco during a movie news segment. Then she receives a strange letter from him which hints that he wants her to join him in San Francisco.
When Molly and her young son Liam arrive in San Francisco, she's told that she's too late. Her husband's funeral was yesterday. She's devastated, but she's not certain that Daniel's death was an accident. She has no idea whom to trust and considers investigating while she waits for his body to be dug up and shipped home. Then the Great Earthquake strikes San Francisco, and a servant runs off in a panic with Molly's son...
Time of Fog and Fire is a historical suspense novel set in 1906 in New York City and San Francisco. It's the 16th novel in a series. You don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. However, it did spoil events from the previous books.
While there were three cases in this story, they weren't the focus of the story. There were no arrests. Justice was not done. It's really more of a historical novel. The story provided detailed descriptions of the time period, from places to technology to politics. For example, several chapters were spent solely describing an uneventful (but stressful to the heroine) train trip from NYC to San Fransisco. If you want to know what train travel was like or live through every excitement of the San Francisco earthquake, then this is a great story. If not, then you'll probably find the pacing slow in some parts.
The suspense was due to potential danger from bad guys and from the earthquake. The heroine was likable, acted realistically, and seemed a product of her times. While she could easily decide what to do in the face of danger, she was often indecisive and torn about what to do in other situations. Not having read the previous novels, I had a hard time envisioning her as a private detective before she married.
There was a minor amount of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to fans of historical novels.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.