"In Dundas' assured hands, one man's search for answers makes for a lyrical, riveting meditation on memory." (EW)
One man knows the connection between two extraordinary acts of arson, 15 years apart, in his Montana hometown - if only he could remember it.
Having lost much of his memory from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq, army veteran Matthew Rose is called back to Montana after his father's death to settle his affairs, and hopefully to settle the past as well. It's not only a blank to him, but a mystery. Why as a teen did he suddenly become sullen and vacant, abandoning the activities and people that had meant most to him? How did he, the son of hippy activists, wind up enlisting in the first place?
Then, on his first night back, Matthew sees a house go up in flames, and it turns out a local college student has died inside. And this event sparks a memory of a different fire, an unsolved crime from long ago, a part of Matthew's past that might lead to all the answers he's been searching for. What he finds will connect the old fire and the new, a series of long-unsolved mysteries, and a ruthless act of murder.
"A wounded veteran and a strong newspaperwoman combine with a well-constructed plot to spin a plausible and engaging tale.... This one wins far more on characters and danger than on bloodshed. Keep books like this coming, Chad Dundas.” (Kirkus Reviews starred review)
"[An] exceptional thriller...Dundas's insightful look at a former soldier's attempts to reenter civilian life elevates this poignant, action-packed story. The plot soars with each believable twist and realistic characters worth rooting for." (Publishers Weekly starred review)
"Another brilliantly woven story about second chances from Montana native Dundas.... Recommend this to readers looking for an inviting narrative with a very ‘now’ feel." (Booklist starred review)
Story about a guy
I didn't end up caring about any of the characters. The other issue I had was the twists were telegraphed so far in advance that I knew "who dun it" in the second sentence of his introduction. I was hoping it was a double fake but it turned out the author had a different idea of where the reader's mind would go than what I experienced. He would dramatically unpack things that were obvious conclusions from previous chapters. Otherwise nothing glaringly incompetent, I just wish I had enjoyed the ride more.
Unique mystery of loss, recovery & relationships
The Blaze takes you back to seemingly simpler times while connecting the reader to the present day lives, struggles and tragedies surrounding the main characters. The author releases elements and emotions to keep you engaged, puzzled and curious. Giving you the experience of working through the layers as though you are closely involved versus a disparate bystander. The material is visceral, the language and settings relatable, making the story seem not like a story at all.