The Fire

By: John A. Heldt

Series: Northwest Passage

Book Number: 4

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


The Fire is wrapped around real events of the early 1900's and a major disaster of the past while new graduate Kevin Johnson struggles to find a place for himself in today's world. Before he strikes out on his own, Kevin travels to Wallace, Idaho with his family, a place where his professor has told him "if you see a string of blue lights in the mines, act accordingly."

His deceased grandfather's Idaho house turns out to be too eerily quiet to sleep, so Kevin begins to read Grandpa Roger's compiled family history. The one thing Kevin hates is spiders and swatting at a spider leads him to further discoveries he didn't know existed.


There have been times when I wished "progress" would slow down a bit, finding it difficult to continually try to keep up with the Joneses or to adapt to a new car model with many more new gadgets than my older model had, to purchase the newest electronics, things.

Here in The Fire, John A. Heldt's Northwest Passage Book 4, new graduate hero Kevin Johnson not only feels the same, he finds a way to travel back to a simpler time he's more comfortable with and finds he is accepted there for who he is.

Kevin Johnson struggles to find a place for himself in today's world until he discovers a secret cache hidden beneath the floorboards of his deceased grandfather Asa Johnson's house. The unexpected finding includes a hoard of valuable old gold coins. The papers with the treasure trove show that his grandfather had traveled forward in time from the 1900 Civil War era to the present.

Intrigued, Kevin pursues investigation of his grandfather's trove and tries out the secret portal between the present and the past for himself, applying for a high school teacher's job in the 1910 time period he has transported to.

As one of his first acts in the past, Kevin saves Sadie Hawkins, a woman who was about to be mistreated. He makes it possible for Sadie to better herself with education. He becomes close friends with Sadie, unaware how the girl has fallen in love with him. Kevin then falls in love with schoolteacher Sarah Thompson.

No path in real-life or history runs smooth, nor does that include in this book, which reminds me of the sage adage drummed into me by my grandmother, to "Keep on keepin' on." Set in the early 1900 Civil War times, this story includes such well-known names and events as Mark Twain, Halley's Comet and the Aug. 20, 1910 "Big Burn" that destroyed a piece of forest land the size of Connecticut, dubbed the Great Fire of 1910. The hardy people in the time of this story had to deal with the world as it was, with far fewer tools than we have today..

The author has done a great job of seamlessly weaving into this story the real life history of both the present and past times the characters lived in while keeping the plot going fresh and active without overloading it with historical data. Kevin Johnson's journey from graduation into becoming a man of focused purpose, and the class acts of the women he loves, make this story a pleasure to read.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

*Reviewed by guest reviewer, Delores Goodrick Beggs.


John A. Heldt


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