This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for Blue Smoke
Date of Review: 12/27/05
Nora Roberts’ latest effort is much different from anything I’ve read by her. This is a dark suspense with rather violent undertones. The violence is not used for shock factor but perhaps could have been toned down just a touch.
Renna Hale’s life is changed dramatically one August night when her families’ pizzeria is set aflame. The investigation that follows uncovers the arson and eventually the arsonist is arrested. Thinking that this part of her life is over and that she can move on, Renna focuses all of her effort on her long-term goal. She is going be a fire investigator. Fire has shaped the girl and the woman she has yet become. While trying to see to her dream of school and the job she wants Renna focus on school and not on a social life. But, when she finally finds “the one” she begins to think that she can have both, until a fire takes the life of her boyfriend. Once again fire plays a role in her life. This sets off a series of events one more horrific then the last. Will Renna be able to figure out who the psychotic serial-arsonist, killer is before he manages to take another life of a man Renna learns to care about?
This is a very dark read and the reader should be forewarned that the violence is rather…intensive. For the most part, character development is strong, although Renna could have been a tad sharper for all that she was an arson investigator, and she should have been able to put the puzzle together…a tad faster than she did. The “who” as far as the bad guy is not a huge surprise and the “suspense” portion of the read is really whether Renna will figure it out before it’s too late. Although not one of her stronger efforts…I would not go out of my way to avoid this…but do not expect what this author has provided in the past for this read. It’s dark and violent, and just a tad overwhelming as a result.
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