Smoke Screen is a smart new mystery from bestselling author, Terri Blackstock.
Brenna Strickland Hertzog is a divorced single mom with a drinking problem she tries to hide. She’s resentful of her narcissistic ex-husband. Brenna has returned to her hometown after a contentious divorce, with no thought that her teenage sweetheart would move in across the street.
Nate Beckett is a smoke jumper injured while saving a family from a fire. He has returned to his hometown to heal while he is on a one month medical leave. His brother tells him that Brenna is back in town and lives across the street.
Any renewed relationship or friendship between Nate and Brenna is going to be difficult, because Nate’s father has just been pardoned for the murder of Brenna’s father fourteen years ago. Further complicating the situation is the accusation that Nate burned down the church where Brenna’s father had been the pastor. Neither family is supportive of a relationship between the two, though Nate and Brenna are developing a friendship that seems to be moving toward a more serious commitment.
Smoke Screen is a well-written mystery. The story is revealed through the alternating viewpoints of the primary characters, Brenna and Nate. This can sometimes be tricky and confusing to the reader but is handled appropriately through chapter headers. The characters are fully-fleshed and relatable, if not likable. The plot twists are well-conceived and executed. The romantic aspects add an element of distraction from the tense plot. The Christian themes were of particular interest to me and revealed the strengths and weaknesses of some of the characters. I enjoyed this novel from start to finish. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers who enjoy mysteries with a little romance.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Publication Date: November 5, 2019