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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review - Hazardous Material by Kurt Kamm

About the Author

Malibu resident Kurt Kamm has used his contact with CalFire, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and the ATF, as well as his experience in several devastating local wildfires, to write fact-based firefighter mystery novels. He has attended classes at El Camino Fire Academy and trained in wildland firefighting, arson investigation and hazardous materials response.  He is currently riding with Los Angeles County Fire Department’s famed urban search and rescue task force. He is a graduate of the ATF Citizen’s Academy.

One of the Malibu fires, the 60 mile-per-hour Santa Ana wind-driven Canyon Fire, burned to his front door and destroyed the homes of several neighbors. Kamm said the lessons he learned from the County Fire Department while writing his books helped him save his home.

Kurt Kamm has built an avid fan base among first responders. Each of his firefighter mysteries features a firefighter in a particular discipline (wildland, arson investigation, paramedic, hazardous material response, and search and rescue).  His first novel, One Foot in the Black (2008) has become a favorite of firefighters.  Subsequent novels, Red Flag Warning: A Serial Arson Mystery (Aberdeen Bay, 2010) and Code Blood (MCM Publishing, 2012) have won numerous fiction awards (see attached summary). Kamm’s latest book, Hazardous Material, has just been released.  He is currently attending search & rescue training and working on his fifth novel.

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Book Description
Bucky Dawson is a HazMat specialist with Los Angeles County Fire Department HazMat Task Force 103. His station is in Lancaster, CA--an area populated with meth labs and outlaw motorcycle gangs, as well as Edwards AFB, NASA, and top-secret aerospace facilities. 

Bucky--divorced and lonely--struggles with painkiller addiction. One night Task Force 103 is toned out to support a Sheriff's raid on a meth lab. Bucky thinks he sees his sister at the door of a double- wide trailer in the Mojave Desert just before it explodes. 

Bucky's life is in chaos. While he searches for answers to his sister's death, he is drawn into a conflict with the Vagos, who are selling drugs in the Mojave Desert. After a confrontation in which the Vagos nearly kill him, Bucky exacts an unusual revenge that only a HazMat firefighter could accomplish. 

The novel twists and turns, bringing together firefighters, a sinister aerospace engineer, the Vagos -- led by the Dwarf, their seven foot tall Sergeant at Arms, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in a surprise ending you will not anticipate but you will certainly enjoy.

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Our Book Review
This is the second book I have read by this author, the first being Code Blood which was first rate, the sign of a great author is making the novels fresh and different whilst entertaining the reader.

The writer gives a really good synopsis of his past life and where he draws and uses his inspirations from. This really shines through and by using real people and events with no soft soap you can relate to the situations and the experiences in which the main character is facing and feeling.

The story revolves around Bucky Dawson who is determined to find out what happened to his dead sister and along the way brings him into contact with two rival motorcycle gangs and a world of drug taking, which endangers his own life.

The aspects and ways of the motorcycle gangs are expertly described with hard hitting and gritty facts with startling results again are testimony to the authors research and knowledge.

What makes the difference in a book or novel for myself is the message that the writer is trying to portray or get across.  I think in the message here is that everyone has a different way of coping or getting through the day whether its being a member of a gang which gives you security and comradeship or by taking certain pills to help-you survive.  The story also makes you really think about what action you would actually follow if someone hurt a member of your family, what lengths would you go to find out the truth?

The author is one that I am now following and hopefully will get a chance to read further works because his writing is down to earth, close to the heart and involves real life situations.

Our Rating


Sharon x

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  1. This looks like a great book.

  2. i'm 50/50 on this one but will add to my reading list never know when i might change my mind and read it

  3. I absolutely loved this book and would love to read more similar to it.

  4. This sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for the great review! I love novels that take me outside of my normal, comfort zone.

  5. This sounds like a very interesting and intense book.

  6. An action story here. mysterious and puzzles.

  7. I like the message of the story. But in real life, I am not sure if I can cope.

  8. Another good book to read. Family will do all they can for justice!


Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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