Monday, January 28, 2019

Book #Review: Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts

Book Title: Blue Smoke
Author:  Nora Roberts |WebsitePinterestFacebook|
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 470
How I got it: Borrowed From The Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 2005
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Synopsis:
Reena Hale grew up with an intimate knowledge of the destructive power of fire. When she was a child, her family's restaurant was burned to the ground, and the man responsible was sent to jail. The Hale family banded together to rebuild, and Reena found her life's calling.

She trained as a firefighter and then as a cop, always with the end goal in sight: to become an arson investigator. Now, as part of the arson unit, she is called in on a series of suspicious fires that seem to be connected-not just to each other, but to her.

And as danger ignites all around her, Reena must
rely on experience and instinct to catch a dangerous madman who will not stop until everything she loves has gone up in smoke.
Once again I fell into this book and that was all I knew for two days.  This story was fast-paced, absolutely absorbing and right on theme for the other two by Nora that I read back to back.  I fell in love with the characters, the family and the relationships we were being introduced to. I guessed the killer before she did but I didn't realize the extent of his depravity, my gawd I couldn't have guessed that at all.

This starts off with a young girl blooming into an adult one summer night. That night is also the night she witnesses her family's restaurant burning to the ground.  This started because of an earlier incident and I am so drawn into the story from here.  It's told in several parts following mainly two characters.  Reena who's family is having to rebuild after the fire. She is an astute & curious girl and is able to help the police officers in solving the crime, and being exposed to the process makes her want to learn more.  Luckily for her, the officer in charge liked her and shared what he could as a way to help her and her family deal with this tragedy. 

Told in parts of Reena's life from the tragedy of her family's restaurant burning down to her becoming the officer she's wanted to be since the event, we have it split between her childhood, her college years and then her finally becoming arson detective with her hometown department. I have to say that one can never say that Nora doesn't do her research, I have learned more about being an arson detective than I ever knew from watching t.v shows.  I loved the work that went into making Reena's passion real and yet wasn't information dump as a way to make you aware of the work needed for Reena to succeed. 

One of the things about this novel that I loved was how much we got from the people around Reena, and eventually, when we meet Bo we get his story as well.  I loved how Reena's family came together whenever she needed them, from that first incident to her going to college and the different times she needed someone who could fix things, there was a family member there to help.  I loved that the community was close-knit & was also willing to be there as well.  As the story progressed and Reena faced tragedies that drew her closer to meeting the villain who has been stalking her life, I couldn't help but cry each time it cost her something else.  This villain wasn't your typical monster, he didn't stick to one sort of M.O so no one ever put it all together and reading his parts you just wanted to scream. 

Bo, was a character introduced during Reena's college years, who came close to meeting her, and for the first two parts of the story, there are always near misses and even an opportunity presented by a community member that they both turn down.  Reading that made me laugh, and I couldn't wait to see how their parallel lives would come together. When they finally do it's awesome.

Bo & Reena's inner thoughts were really consistent with their characterizations and totally made me love them. They shared their nervousness, their WTF moments, their embracing of the relationship and just made this a fun read.  As the story progressed and the monster draws closer I just kept wanting to shout that they should see the similarities in the crimes, just please see it!!  Hearing her father's take on what would have happened to Reena that fateful day freaks me out for her near miss. 

The story takes off once Reena's life becomes even more settled and the monster decides to stop hiding and starts to taunt the police, Reena and her family.  Eventually, everything comes out, all the deeds, all the loses, all the fear as the monster escalates and the police are left scrambling to find the next victim. 

Once it got started I couldn't put the novel down and I loved every second of it. I finished it really quickly and I can't wait to get a copy to add to my shelves.  I highly recommend if you love mysteries, badass female leads and strong family ties.  I read this while marathoning Nora's work and the other four books I read similar to this are told from the different parts that make a whole. Nora hasn't repeated a story despite writing over two hundred books and each time I read I can't believe I never thought of those characters' jobs and the parts they play. 
 ★★★★
RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Chasing Fire Nora Roberts
  • Heather Graham
  • Christina Skye
  • Julie Garwood's Buchanan-Reynard Series
  • Dinah McCall Chase the Moon & Tallchief

Happy Reading my loves, 

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