His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his closest friend, an ambitious young musician called Ed Tully. Julia loves them both but the tragedy on Snake Mountain forces her to choose between them and burns a brand on all their hearts. With his blond, blue-eyed looks and laconic cowboy charm, Connor is the only child of a Montana rancher and a rodeo queen. Until that fateful day, he has been happy to spend his winters nurturing a career as a photographer and his summer vacations with Ed, 'smoke jumping' - being dropped by parachute to fight remote forest fires. Now, unable to be with the woman he loves, he embarks on a journey to the dark heart of human suffering, traveling to the world's worst wars and disasters to take photographs that find him fame but never happiness. Reckless of a life he no longer wants, again and again he dares death to take him, until another fateful day in another continent, when he must walk through fire once more for Julia, her child, and all that he holds dear. Nicholas Evans returns with an enthralling novel of love and loyalty, of guilt and honor. Sweeping from the towering wilds of the American West to the killing fields of Africa, The Smoke Jumper is the story of three people's quest for happiness and self-fulfillment, played out against the heroism of firefighting in the wilderness and photojournalism at the edge of human experience - a mesmerizing adventure for the spirit, told in the grandest tradition.