Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy of Bear Creek, a small mountain community in the southern Sierra. Her continuing interest in the spiritual side of her heritage often causes unrest in her marriage to her minister husband. In Judgment Fire, a battered wife is murdered and Tempe is given a warning by a shaman. She participates in a starlight ceremony, and repressed memories of her own painful high school days help her find the killer. A shaman warns Deputy Tempe Crabtree her life is in danger. The death of a battered wife leads Tempe to participate in a Native American starlight ceremony that brings back hidden memories of her painful high school days. She attempts to help the delinquent son of the murdered woman, is threatened by his step-father--the primary murder suspect, deals with a man who may be mentally ill, and renews acquaintances with not such good friends from her younger years. A second fire brings judgment to the guilty party.