In 1979, Ian Merryweather’s biggest dream is to be sheriff of a small town, but a disabling wound in Vietnam sidelines him.
While he’s on the mend, his best friend Chief Clement Baker is murdered, and Ian inherits the job. His first inclination is to refuse the position. He feels guilty getting the cherished position this way. But who else will dedicate himself to finding the killer? Especially when the State Police have taken the chief’s son Barney into custody, and there’s a killer on the loose. And what about the lovely Lucy? Ian’s had a crush on her for years. But she’s about to marry Eric Bremer. She deserves so much more than the sly womanizer.
When Mt. St. Helens roars to life, Ian’s happiness and the murder investigation are put on hold while he’s forced to use every instinct and talent to save his townspeople from the deluge of searing ash and lava.