Forged in Flames (Mason & Sterling Thriller #0.5), by David Beckler

Eight stars

David Beckler introduces readers to the world of fire fighting in this prequel story in the Mason & Sterling Thriller series, though much of the focus is on the latter character. Adam Sterling works hard as a firefighter and when he is called out to a blaze, he and his team discover not only is there a woman trapped inside, but someone is trying to sabotage the rescue. Sterling sees a young man in a distinctive piece of clothing and presumes that he may be involved, but cannot catch up to him. When he is not facing infernos, Sterling is trying to come to terms with the fact that his ex is pushing her way back into his life. A call to his friend and former Royal Marine, Byron Mason, yields much support, however, Adam is in need of more than that, especially when he learns what’s going on. As he tries to locate the presumed arsonist, more fires occur, placing the same victim into harm’s way. Even when Adam turns to DS Eddy Arkwright, there is a degree of stonewalling. With many things squeezing him from all sides, Adam Sterling must do what he feels is right, even if it could cost him everything he’s worked so hard to earn over the years. An interesting introductory novella to a series that has potential. I’ll keep an eye on these characters, as there is definitely something alluring about them. Recommended for those who like a little police procedural, even when it’s a firefighter at the helm!

David Beckler offers readers a wonderful story in this one, which mixes the skills of the job with a sleuthing curiosity as well. As a protagonist, Adam Sterling does really well to lay his own groundwork and keeps things exciting for the reader. With a mix of backstory and character development, the reader can feast on all things Sterling, who is not yet forced to share much page time with Byron Mason. There is certainly enough with Sterling alone to keep a series interesting, so I am eager to watch Beckler weave both men together into a powerful situation. That is surely to come (and yes, I have read the full-length novel, which was my introduction to the series). The story was strong and offered something multi-layered that entertains as well as in intrigues the curious reader. A wonderful piece by David Beckler, who is able to juggle all aspects of this story and never leaves the reader on the wayside.

Kudos, Mr. Beckler, for an entertaining first novella. I can only hope that there is more to come, dazzling readers at every turn.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: