An illegal fireworks factory has blown all to Hell, and arson investigator Boone Childress is feeling pretty good about it, professionally speaking. He's been called in by the county sheriff to check out what should be an open-and-shut case. Lord knows he needs the work. He's behind on alimony and child support payments, and there's that ugly lawsuit hanging over his head. But when he arrives, that pretty good feeling evaporates faster than lighter fluid on charcoal. There were people in the factory when it blew, and their body parts are strewn all over a two-acre lot. The State Bureau of Investigation has shown up with drug dogs and its own arson expert—Boone's former boss, the man who's suing him.
When the county sheriff turns squirrelly and tries to run him off the case, Boone decides there's a lot more here to investigate and quickly finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the SBI, his ex-wife, and the drug runners who were using the fireworks factory as a cover for their meth lab. Now his compulsion to get to the truth—and a paycheck—leads Boone deep into a firestorm of political corruption, a love affair with a married woman, and in pursuit of the dirty cop who has kidnapped his daughter.
Given Miss Snark's fondness for fireworks, you won't be surprised to hear that this is a yes. It's got a more laconic tone than I normally respond to but then, John Wayne was laconic and Miss Snark is very fond of the Duke, and laconic fits the hero's persona here.
There's enough sense of conflict and an antagonist to persuade me there's a story here.