Despite a heat wave and severe fire warnings, Zak Polanski, a couple of his firefighter friends, and two other enthusiasts set out on a weekend of extreme bike riding through a remote section of the Cascade Mountains. The camaraderie and good-natured repartee between the cyclists is relaxing as they climb and eventually camp for the night. But disaster pursues them in the form of a gang of spoiled rich kids, hyped on adrenaline, booze, and jealousy.
William Potter III, aka "Scooter," believes Zak has stolen his girlfriend and he and his friends, in high-end SUVs and monster trucks, track the cyclists into the mountains and then goad them into a series of dangerous challenges. When one of Scooter's crew is killed, the macho rivalry turns deadly.
Guns appear and someone is murdered. Zak and his friends, unarmed, flee on their bikes. Along the way they intentionally set fires to stop their pursuers. Events escalate into a life or death battle in the midst of a blazing inferno.
As a lieutenant in the Seattle Fire Department, author Earl Emerson is an expert on fires and rescue procedures, both key elements in this effective thriller. Emerson's scenes are so well-written readers will feel the scorching heat, hear the raspy breaths from smoke-filled lungs, and experience blinding panic as flames lick at their feet.