Jack Wade was the rising star of the Orange County Sheriffs Department's arson unit, but a minor scandal cost him everything, except his encyclopedic knowledge of fire. Now working as an insurance claims investigator, Jack is called in to examine a suspicious claim: real estate millionaire Nicky Vale's house has burned to a crisp--with his young and gorgeous wife in it. Jack follows the evidence into the crime infested inferno of the California underworld, filled with Russian mobsters, Vietnamese hoods, American crooks, and enough smoldering vice to char the entire gold coast. Things get so hot and deadly that Jack might not make it out alive . . . that is until he decides to fight fire with fire.