In Fault Line, Sarah Andrews' seventh absorbing mystery, forensic geologist Emily Hansen finds herself in a heavenly situation-for a geologist, anyway. Here, Salt Lake City, on the verge of hosting the Olympics, is hit with a major earthquake, Em's first; she's delighted to see her science at work live and in color instead of in a lab like usual. Not that it's all fun and games-the quake is minor in terms of damage, but the specter of the possibility of a much larger disaster looms.
And the geological event brings her a job. For the past few months while trying to move forward in her relationship with her boyfriend, Ray, a cop in Salt Lake, Em has been consulting for and training with the FBI as an unofficial investigator; when a state-employed geologist is murdered hours after the quake, the Feds ask Em to put her special brand of detection skills to work on the case. The disaster already has the local government types edgy, and a murder at the height of the emergency gets even the governor's attention. Em must use all the investigatory tools in her arsenal to uncover what in the dead geologist's life-earthquake related or not, professional or personal-could have made her the target of a killer.
Action-packed and tensely written, Fault Line is as much about the very real effects of an earthquake on our modern lives as it is about the science of finding a killer.