Book Review: ‘The Room Of White Fire’ Is A Good Start To A New Series

New York Times, Edgar Awards winner T. Jefferson Parker whose written the Charlie Hood and Merci Rayborn series is back with a new character Roland Ford to kick off a new series in The Room Of White Fire (G.P. Putnam’s Sons; in stores Tuesday, August 22).

Roland Ford is an ex-marine and is a broken man. He lost his wife, the love of his life a couple of years ago and still isn’t over it, in a horrible plane crash (she flew planes). One that he thinks he could have prevented if he had insisted she hadn’t gone on that day. He was suppose to go with her but had a business meeting. He had worked for the San Diego Sheriff’s office until he was involved in a shooting incident. Now he’s a private detective, which he actually finds better since he works for himself. He has a sprawling ranch with guests houses he rents out to family and people he considers friends.

On his way to Arcadia, a high end mental-health facility to meet about a job. Clay Hickman, the son of rich parents, has escaped the facility. He has been there for three years. He is a Air Force vet who has been suffering since his return. Roland meets with Doctor Paige Hulet, Clay’s doctor. He’s hired to find Clay so he can be returned to the facility. Roland goes to work right away and sees how and where Clay has escaped. He dug out under a fence. While there he meets a mysterious girl Sequoia who it turns out helped Clay escape. He leaves his info asking her to call if she hears from him again.

The more he investigates, the more he finds things are not what they seem. He is on Clay’s trail and in contact with him and Sequoia, who has also gone on the run with him. He seems to be one step behind him most of the time. To complicate matters more, Spencer Briggs who owns Arcadia wants Roland to call him directly when he finds Clay. Dr. Hulet wants to be called directly and the head of security wants to be called directly.

Roland soon learns the sorted details of Clay’s past and it’s not what has been reported in his files. Clay was part of a secret group of guys in Romania that worked with the CIA and Briggs. Clay had witnessed some horrible things that have scarred him. He has secret video that he wants to expose of The Room Of White Fire. Video the government and Briggs does not want out. In his efforts to expose the video, people die and it comes down to a final showdown to get the video out before it’s too late and costs Clay and Roland their lives.

Roland Ford is an exciting new character that I look forward to reading more of. The story has some great twists and turns that go right to the last page, including some possible romance between Roland and Dr. Hulet. Plus it has some really fun, interesting side characters that live at the Ranch with Roland that I really enjoyed.

All in all a great first part of a new character and series!

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