Smoke Screen: A Novel by Sandra Brown

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Somewhat interesting story about a fire at police headquarters in Charleston. Actually four of the city’s top officials have been described as heroes for their part in getting people out of the building. However there were several deaths and one was a man who was being held on charges. Later it is learned that he had some information on someone in the governing hierarchy. And perhaps the fire was set intentionally to create a cover up for his death.

Britt Shelley, a very well-known television reporter who does many on the spot interviews, gets involved early on but in a strange way. It seems that she wakes one morning and the man next to her is not only one of the men who is looked on as a hero from the deadly fire but he is also dead! Britt claims she was given some sort of date rape drug in her drink and has very little memory of the entire night. She had met him for an interview about the fire.

She is questioned but not actually held other than on her own recognizance due to her position. Then Britt has a real problem when another automobile tries running her off the road. This accident happens along the river and she, in her auto, is forced into the river. One man not involved in the killings but trying to figure out what is going on happens to be following her at the time and he dives into the river. He is able to break the auto’s window and pull her out before she drowns.

Ryan Gannon, the man who saved her, convinces her to hide out for a while so they can work together and solve the whole situation. As far as the authorities are concerned she suddenly disappears and is thought to be a run away in the investigation.

Together Britt and Ryan begin working to find out what is going on and why. It definitely appears that there is a group of friends, some fairly high in state government and others in police work, who are involved. This group has now begun to figure out who knows anything about the crime or the newer happenings. They are looking for ways to get rid of possible witnesses but quietly.

The more involved they get the more prominent people appear to have been involved not only in the original killing and fire at the police station. And as the story goes on Britt and Ryan become more and more involved in sexual encounters.

The book has a good story line and carries the interest of the reader as Britt and Ryan work to get the real culprits in custody. The only problem that I have personally with the book is not only the amount of sex but also the in depth details of the sexual encounters. I enjoy thrillers and detective type stories but do not need nor want so much explicit sex described. Not needed to make for a good read and honestly it took away something from this book.