SMOKE EATERS by Christine Andreae


Email this review


There’s a monster fire at Justice Peak, Montana, and it belongs to Matty McCullough. Three years after she qualified for

high command, the powers that be have finally, in her phrase, let her off the bench. Firefighters who are also women have it

easier these days than they used to, Matty knows, but that doesn’t mean the glass ceiling is the stuff of history. Still, at last the

opportunity is hers, and she’s determined to shine. Matty is savvy, brave, and, more than most, well-informed about her business.

Unfortunately, there are hidden factors at work at Justice Peak, where obsession and perverted fantasizing easily lead to murder

and arson. Camouflaged by his position as a trusted member of Matty’s staff, a dangerously clever sociopath plots revenge for

crimes that never happened. And there are other factors—less bizarre, but no less complicating. Matty’s young and headstrong

firefighter son is at Justice Peak, too, and chafing under his mom's command until the fire breaks loose, becoming a rampaging

enemy, killing with all the brutal efficiency of a sneak attack. Did it really have inside help? Matty commits herself to finding


A bit heavy on the job-related lore, but fine storytelling. After three creditable Lee Squires novels (A Small Target, 1996,

etc.), Andreae takes a giant step forward with her appealing ‘smoke eater’: tenderhearted and womanly, tough-fibered and


Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-25206-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2000


NonfictionWHEN EVENING COMES by Christine Andreae
by Christine Andreae
FictionA SMALL TARGET by Christine Andreae
by Christine Andreae
FictionGRIZZLY by Christine Andreae
by Christine Andreae