Image by supercraigtalbert via Flickr,A Spark of Heavenly Fire
By Pat Bertram
This is an absolutely amazing book!
I was blown away with her first book that I read, Daughter Am I, but thought I now knew a little about this writer...not so! A Spark of Heavenly Fire...surprising, exciting, realistic, scary, and wonderful all at the same time...
OK, here's the basic storyline...
Kate Cummings works at a clinic, where she is the first to talk to patients, finding out why they are there and gathering information from them. On a personal level, she has lost a loved one and finding that she is still very much depressed over the loss. One of her methods of getting back on track is jogging. But this day two things happen: a man falls dead in front of her and she meets another interesting man to whom she is attracted.
Unfortunately the man who died gushed blood all over Kate, which turns out to be dangerous to Kate since he is only one of the thousands that are dying from what is soon being called the red death! And before very long, the entire state of Colorado is quarantined!
Greg Pullman was a reporter for the Denver News and he was also the other jogger on that fateful morning. We soon find that he is practically engaged to be married, but when Greg is supposed to meet her to formally propose, she has left with an actor who has been working in the state.
And at that time, two paths are there in the middle of the story... Which one would you take?
Jeremy King and Pippi O'Brien, as new lovers, went on the run, trying to escape Colorado. Through their story you will see where some residents had been imprisoned, how those at the stateline would not allow anybody to leave the state, how food was scarce and thieves were on every road, waiting to steal, and kill, if they had to...
Kate was older than Greg, knew she couldn't even begin to compete with Pippi in looks, but nevertheless was willing to enjoy Greg's company, especially since both were interested and determined to find out exactly what kind of virus was causing the deaths. As Greg made as many contacts as he could, and conducted research to determine where the virus had begun and who was working with research of this kind, Kate found herself in an entirely different situation.
Appalled by the "preparedness" of the government to take over, control the food, and control the people by killing those who were presumed to be causing riots, but were oftentimes just a group of friends having a little bit of fun, she watched as food became scarce, only one restaurant remained open, and the homeless were totally cut off.
And then it was determined that it was a chimera, a man-made virus, probably created for biological warfare that was causing the deaths. Just who and how many knew exactly what was happening in Colorado?
But another discovery was made--practically all of the regular customers at the one open restaurant had not become ill. And through the "spark of heavenly fire" people started working together to help each other based upon what they had learned...
Parts of this book are realistically scary, because readers know that the fear, the lawlessness, the greed and danger of a major epidemic would be very like what the author portrays. In the sad commentary of today's world, where terrorism, biological warfare, and hostage situations are handled by strict interpretation of governmental officials' orders or, worse, ignoring them, what happens when good people are confronted in the midst of such chaos... I loved this book!
May more and more Americans find that spark! A must-read recommendation from this reviewer!
Book received via
Facebook's Reviewers Roundup
G. A. Bixler