Hardcover editon 2002, St. Martin’s Minotaur, New York
With the Winter Olympics approaching, Salt Lake City is trembling with excitement-literally. A real life earthquake has torn fissures into the city’s preparations, and now forensic geologist Em Hansen has a rare opportunity to get some field work in before her home is overrun by tourists and athletes.
But murder can spoil anybody’s plans, and when the body of the state geologist turns up in the wake of the ‘quake, the FBI enlists Em’s unique expertise to sort through the rubble.
When the case takes her into the byzantine bureaucracy of the city’s building codes, Em runs headfirst into an assortment of intimidating suspects and corrupt government officials-and an uncomfortable clue that points to her own boyfriend, Ray.
On shaky ground as her personal and professional lives collide, Em must use fascinating geological science to capture a murderer before her whole life come crumbling to the ground.
"There’s plenty of seismic activity in geologist/sleuth Em Hansen’s seventh well-paced outing, following An Eye for Gold (2000). Not only are the fault lines that underlie Salt Lake City proving to be active, but the fault lines in her relationship with Mormon cop Ray Raymond are producing their own fractures.
When a modest earthquake strikes Salt Lake City, its tremors penetrate through the geologic community, through the developers, builders and inspectors, and through the city’s power structure. But the murder of state geologist Sidney Smeeth has even greater repercussions.
After her FBI mentor Tom Latimer enlists Em’s help, the stage is set for Andrews to explore the deadly confluence of natural faults and human ones greed, arrogance and hubris. The result is an uneven admixture of geology, romance and murder.
Andrews gets honors for her graphic, frightening, and entertaining use of earthquake science and lore readers may never look at rock formations with the same innocence. But Em’s tortured relationship with Ray hand-wringing, gut-wrenching and protracted is overdone to a fault.
There are plenty of culprits from an almost Dickensian ogre to corner-cutting functionaries, but Em follows the trail even when her personal and professional worlds seem to be on a collision course. Em Hansen is rapidly carving out a niche for herself as a forensic geologist (she lacks the credentials to claim that title yet), and may eventually make her field as popular as that of forensic anthropology or medicine".
(Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.)
The Library Journal
"Forensic geologist Em Hansen (Bone Hunter) plans to take advantage of being on site when an earthquake hits Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, the FBI wants her to investigate the murder of a state-employed geologist that occurs immediately after the disaster. A fine series".
(Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.)
"Forensic geologist Em Hansen lands in the middle of a 5.2 earthquake in Salt Lake City, but rather than studying the quake, Em, at the behest of the FBI, must investigate the murder of a fellow geologist, killed only hours after the tremor.
It’s arguable if there really is such a thing as a "forensic geologist," but the resourceful and intelligent Hansen makes a terrific series heroine either way. One quibble about this latest Hansen novel: as the series progresses, the novels have become less about forensics and more about straight detection.
What has made the series shine has been the amount of "hard science" that Andrews, a professional geologist herself, was able to work into the stories. Now Em seems more like an amateur sleuth who is–by the way–a scientist. This is still a very good novel–recommend it to Kay Scarpetta fans–but it would be even stronger if Andrews had restored the series’ original balance of science to sleuthing".
(Copyright (c) American Library Association. All rights reserved.)
The Houston Chronicle
The Washington Post
"The most intriguing complexities in Fault Line lie within Em’s own character".
The Dallas Morning News
"An entertaining story… [Andrews] has a winning detective in Em Hansen".