||A novel set during the southern Colorado coal strikes of 1913 and the subsequent Ludlow Massacre, with events seen through the eyes of a young, widowed lawyer, Alex MacFarlane. A young man who once tried to save her husband's life is now accused of inciting a riot, and Alex takes on his defense, seeing the opportunity to establish an independent identity for herself in her father's law office. She and the district attorney fall in love, and try to secure justice for the miners.
||The great coalfield war of 1913-1914 culminated in the horrible deaths of twenty-three women, children, and men at the hands of the Colorado State Militia. The facts of the tragedy are well chronicled in history. Now, as never before, Sybil Downing's novel, Fire in the Hole, captures the human drama and impact of one of the nation's most grueling strikes. Fire in the Hole is the story of Alex MacFarlane, a young widow who practices law in her father's prestigious Denver firm and has settled for a life of ease and privilege. Haunted by a debt she believes she owes the miner who tried to save her husband's life, Alex is stunned to learn that the man is being held on vague criminal charges somewhere in the midst of the southern Colorado coalfields, where a violent strike rages. Defying her father, Alex travels two hundred miles south, only to discover her client's defense has taken on unexpected dimensions. Martial law grips the county, suspending all civil rights. District Attorney Bill Henderson, a self-made man whose own dreams have collapsed with the strike, knew Alex in law school. Still scornful of her naivete, he reluctantly agrees to join her struggle but is unprepared for the growing love they will feel for one another. Ultimately, Fire in the Hole is a gripping tale of a woman who dares to go beyond the conventions of the day to find freedom and justice amid a power struggle so terrifying it would wrench the nation's conscience for decades.