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A young soldier shattered by war, on the run from a mental institute.
A PI carrying his own vicious wounds hired to track that soldier down.
A race against the clock to bring the soldier home before he reveals the secret that haunts him.
Roland Ford - once a cop, then a marine, now a private investigator - is good at finding people. But when he's asked to locate air force veteran Clay Hickman, he realizes he's been drawn into something deep and dark. He knows the weight of war, having served as a marine in First Fallujah; he also knows the nightmare of indescribable personal pain, as only two years have passed since his young wife's sudden death. What he doesn't know is why a shroud of secrecy hangs over the disappearance of Clay Hickman - and why he's getting a different story from everyone involved.
To begin with, there's the teenage woman who helped Clay escape: She's smart enough to fend off Ford's questions but impetuous enough to be on the run with an armed and dangerous man. Then there's Clay's attractive doctor, who clearly cares deeply for his welfare but is impossible to read, even as she inspires in Ford the first desire he has felt since his wife's death. And there's the proprietor of the mental institute who is as enigmatic as he is brash, and ambitious to the point of being ruthless; what could Clay possibly know to make this search so desperate?
Soon, what began as just a job becomes a life-and-death obsession for Ford, pitting him against immensely powerful and treacherous people and forcing him to contend with chilling questions about truth, justice, and the American way.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By shelley on 03-30-18
Not for the squeamish...
T Jefferson Parker has written a very vividly disturbing book with this one. I cannot say much more then what is written in the publisher's summary or I will spoil this book for someone else.
Basically this book is about a CIA prison, White Fire. It's also about enhanced interrogation techniques. There are two scenes in this book that are very hard to listen to that describe what I'm sure is only a small portion of the kind of things that actually occurred. I can only guess that Parker has interviewed many veterans to put together a compilation of experiences.
For the most part this book boils down to greed and not the actual care of the people suffering from their war experiences.
This is a good vs evil thriller and I hope that Parker will continue with this protagonist, Roland Ford. He's an intelligent PI with his own set of morals and principles.
Will Damron does an excellent job narrating.
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16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Lia on 04-07-18
Masterfuly Written Story
Private investigator Roland Ford, ex-cop and ex-Marine, is haunted by both his wife’s tragic death, and his experiences in Fallujah. Ford is hired to find Clay Hickman, ex Air Force, who had recently escaped from his ultra-expensive, super-secure residential care facility, Arcadia. Although this seems at first to be a straightforward job, it becomes ever more complicated when Ford unearths secret after secret about Hickman, as well as about Arcadia and the people who run it.
Ford tells the story in his own voice, and we experience all his fears, his ghosts, and his questions. We see his flaws; we see his fabric of life hanging in the balance, and we are on his side. We observe the other characters through his filter. Ford offers us factual descriptions, but emotional opinions and observations. While he thinks that everyone has a morsel of goodness somewhere, we are not so sure. Ford uses all his senses to pull us into the story.
“Maybe it was the slamming of the Dutch door.
Or the wind in the grapes, or the way the tire swing turned on its rope.”
“Shade goes well with a warm day, a cold beer, and a stack of almost-overdue bills…
I paused to look out at the pond and the rolling hills beyond.”
“The Room of White Fire” is a difficult story to listen to at times because of the challenging social content. Parker creates a haunting scenario that readers may have read about in newspapers or heard about on TV but may not want to admit might be true. As we listen to the details about Ford’s struggle, about Hickman’s struggle, we must also wonder who among us is struggling with the same problems. This is a book we must all should listen to
The good news is that while this story has a definite end, Roland Ford’s story does not. I think Ford will find his way into another Parker story in the future, and I for one cannot wait.
Will Damron was outstanding with the delivery of the story
5 of 5 people found this review helpful