Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown

Summary:"New York Times" bestselling author Sandra Brown returns with a tale of corruption and betrayal, revenge and reversal - where friends become foes, and heroes become criminals in the ultimate abuse of power.
When newswoman Britt Shelley wakes up to find herself in bed with Jay Burgess, a rising star detective in the Charleston PD, she remembers nothing of how she got there...or of how Jay wound up dead.
Handsome and hard-partying, Jay was a hero of the disastrous fire that five years earlier had destroyed Charleston's police headquarters. The blaze left seven people dead, but the death toll would have been much higher if not for the bravery of Jay and three other city officials who risked their lives to lead others to safety.
Firefighter Raley Gannon, Jay's lifelong friend, was off-duty that day. Though he might not have been a front-line hero, he was assigned to lead the investigation into the cause of the fire. It was an investigation he never got to complete. Because on one calamitous night, Raley's world was shattered.
Scandalized, wronged by the people he trusted most, Raley was forced to surrender the woman he loved and the work to which he'd dedicated his life. For five years his resentment against the men who exploited their hero status to further their careers -- and ruin his -- had festered, but he was helpless to set things right.
That changes when he learns of Jay Burgess's shocking death and Britt Shelley's claim that she has no memory of her night with him. As the investigation into Jay's death intensifies, and suspicion against Britt Shelley mounts, Raley realizes that the newswoman, Jay's last sexual conquest, might be his only chance to get personal vindication-- and justice for the seven victims of the police station fire.
But there are powerful men who don't want to address unanswered questions about the fire and who will go to any lengths to protect their reputations. As Raley and Britt discover more about what happened that fateful day, the more perilous their situation becomes, until they're not only chasing after the truth but running for their lives.
Friends are exposed as foes, heroes take on the taint of criminals, and no one can be trusted completely. A tale about audacious corruption -- and those with the courage to expose it.
My Review: I am kind of proud and kind of ashamed to say that I have read about 90% of Sandra Browns books. I have liked some and others I have not liked AT ALL.
In Smoke Screen Sandra takes a very basic template for mystery writing and actually makes you think that this novel different from all the others out there.
I enjoyed the book on a superficial level, but I did not "miss" the characters when I was done, which is how I truly test the quality of a book.
From the moment the book begins you have trouble telling whether or not you actually like the main character. She comes of as kind of arrogant and the typical "cheerleader all grown up" . Not really someone you can identify with. However, by the third chapter you find yourself liking her despite all of that.
Raley's character is smart and sexy as hell, but he too lacks a certain depth. I found that the struggles he reflects on throughout the story are heartbreaking, but a little far fetched.
I did really like this book. I am always hard on authors that I have come to expect a certain quality from. Normally, Sandra is not as predictable. I always appreciate a book that gives me twists and turns that I don't see coming. This is a book where bad is bad, good is good, and hero's prevail (Sorry, did I give to much away?).
To be fair: There was one part that I did NOT see coming, and it was rather intense.
My Review: 4
If I could sum up this book in one phrase it would be: The guilty pleasure of sexy drama.


JoAnn said...

I think I read this one. Do you guys do a book each month, as in all read the same book and then discuss it or does everyone read their own choice of book? That is a very good review by the way. I may be partial to the reviewer. Let me know what you are reading next and I will just read your choice and we can talk about it. (Although dad told me last night I may have to get a second job)

MindySue said...

Kim, wanna take this one?

Kim R. said...

Ok Mom, This is for you. We all read different book at different times from different genres. I am supposedly the mystery/thriller type reviewer, but it is not all I review. Mindy has a taste for juvenile fiction, but also review a wide array of books. Heather has very similar taste in books as you, she would probably be the one to watch for books you would like.
I am currently reading Twilight by Meyers. When I complete this book, or series if I like it, I will most likely be reading another Coben. Title to be decided.

MindySue said...

JUVENILE!>!>!> I prefer the term Young Adult! ;) (note sideways wink)


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