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A sweltering summer heat wave blankets the province of British Columbia and hundreds of forest fires burn out of control. Maureen Cage, a Treaty Analyst with the Directorate for Aboriginal Settlement, finds herself in Port McKenzie, a Vancouver Island mill town that so far has escaped the fires, but not the heat. Maureen has been unexpectedly promoted to Senior Analyst and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Agreement in Principle, signed three years ago with the Pacific Coast Tribal Federation, is due to expire and tensions are running high. Josephine David, Chief of the Tse Wets Aht First Nation and a key member of the negotiating team, is lobbying hard for concessions when a car crash on the reserve brings the talks to the brink of collapse. As prospects dim for reaching a lasting agreement, Maureen’s personal life is in free fall. She is inexorably pulled into the orbit of a mysterious exotic dancer named Raven, who knows more about the accident- and Maureen’s past- than she admits. Was the crash accidental? Or was it deliberately planned by those who wish the Agreement to fail? And why does Raven exert so much influence on events in Port McKenzie? Maureen must try to salvage the last chance for a permanent settlement with the First Nations of Port McKenzie, as well as her career, before the long-buried secrets of her past destroy her.

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