Slow Fire tells the story of Will Magowan, a former narcotics officer who was fired after becoming addicted to heroin during his deep undercover activities. After spending time in rehab and with no other job prospects, he accepts the position of police chief in a remote area of Northern California, in a town that appears on the surface to be idyllic. After his arrival, he quickly is involved in a murder, recognizes that many of the citizens display the appearance and behavior of meth addiction, and finds evidence of a large meth lab somewhere in the forested area surrounding the town. The community is uncooperative and refuses to help him in his investigations. Magowan is an interesting character, trying to cope with past tragedies, an impending divorce and his desire to rid the community of it’s meth problems. Ken Mercer’s debut novel is fast-paced with a well-drawn, many dimensional main character and an interesting cast of characters–I look forward to more by this author.