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Smoke Screen: A Novel

A book by Sandra Brown

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Nice beach read for a few hours of escape...

  • Oct 3, 2009
While on our vacation last month, my wife picked up a copy of Sandra Brown's Smoke Screen from the paperback rack. As it didn't appear to be a romance novel, I snarfed it up after she was done. Overall, Smoke Screen was a nice beach read while you're sitting around soaking up rays...

The story revolves around what appears to be a conspiracy of silence related to a police station fire that happened a number of years ago. A small cadre of people were portrayed as heroes in the rescue efforts, but there seems to be an underground effort to keep anyone from digging too deeply into what really happened that day. A reporter who is gets a call from one of the participants (who was a former lover but is now dying of cancer) meets with him, only to black out and wake up in the morning with the guy in bed with her, dead. That starts to ruin her career, as officials seem to think she actually killed him. She reaches out to someone who found himself in nearly the same circumstance after investigating the fire. In his case, he went to a party, blacked out, and woke up with a party girl in bed with him, dead from a cocaine overdose. The reporter in question here was instrumental in pushing the story and ending his career, turning him into a hermit who shuns society and only wants to be left alone. Once they both hook up, he has to figure out what is more important... revenge for what she did to him, or finding the truth about what happened in the fire...

What I enjoyed most about the story were the various turns of who was on which side. Good guys are bad, bad guys are good, and you're not quite sure who is who until the end. Granted, we're not talking about any deep plots or keen human insights here... just a fun dose of mind candy to escape for a bit. As such, Smoke Screen worked for me...

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Thomas Duff ()
Ranked #43
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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About this book


At the start of this scorching if somewhat formulaic thriller from bestseller Brown (Play Dirty), Charleston, S.C., TV reporter Britt Shelley wakes up in bed next to the dead body of police detective Jay Burgess. While Jay had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the authorities suspect foul play. Jay's former best friend, ex-fireman Raley Gannon, suffered a similar shock five years earlier, waking up next to party girl Suzi Monroe's naked corpse after a party at Jay's home. Raley had been investigating a fire at a local police station that took seven lives, despite the heroic efforts of Jay and several other cops, one of whom is now South Carolina's attorney general. Cleared of Suzi's death, Raley eventually teams with Britt to look into a nasty arson coverup. Brown laces her dependable romantic fireworks with a solid action-filled plot, though readers should be prepared for a few stereotypes, including a limp-wristed gay, a macho skinhead and a power-mad female politician.(Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10: 1416563075
ISBN-13: 978-1416563075
Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Pocket

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