When FBI profiler Kaely Quinn's mother is diagnosed with cancer, Kaely takes time off work to go to Dark Water, Nebraska, to help her brother care for their mother. Upon her arrival, she learns of a series of fires in the small town, attributed by the fire chief to misuse of space heaters in the frigid winter. But Kaely is skeptical, and a search for a pattern in the locations of the fires bolsters her suspicions.
After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely is certain a serial arsonist is on the loose. Calling upon her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother's firefighter neighbor who backs Kaely's suspicions, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.
Mehl continues her Kaely Quinn Profiler series with this entertaining second installment (after Mind Games), which sees FBI agent Kaely visiting her ill mother in tiny Dark Water, Neb. With her mother still reeling from her cancer diagnosis and the revelation that her ex-husband was actually a serial killer, Kaely keeps her mother company by explaining information about a possible arson case in the small town that the local sheriff blames on misused space heaters. Kaely is skeptical though, and recognizes the hallmarks of arson. Mehl ratchets up the tension as more buildings burn and clues pile up. While the arson plot is propulsive, Kaely's imaginary version of an estranged friend whom she floats her ideas by, as well as her penchant for aggressively questioning people without direct connection to the case, strain the plot's believability. Despite this, Kaely is a complicated, imperfect, and effective investigator who will series fans. While faith elements are very subtle and overly convenient twists dampen the effect of the mystery, Mehl's rip-roaring inspirational hits the mark.