Reviewed by Dale Lewis
When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason
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"When the Smoke Clears is overflowing with nonstop action and on-the-edge suspense!"
Our protagonist, Alexia Allen
fights fires in Washington. After a brush with death due to equipment
failure, she finds herself under investigation
for disobeying a direct order from her captain. With an abundance of free
time on her hands, she decides to head home to Columbia, SC, to visit her
ill mom and attend her high school reunion. Within hours of her arrival,
she unexpectedly comes face-to-face with a dead classmate. Her best friend,
Serena, who talked her into coming, leaves for an overseas assignment and
a good-looking detective named Hunter takes an unusual interest in being
there for her. To say her life is in a constant state of upheaval would
be an understatement. Who’s behind all the trouble? Will she survive
to actually find out?
When the Smoke Clears is overflowing with nonstop action and on-the-edge suspense! A roller coaster ride of frustrating deadends and unanswered questions stymie the efforts to discover who’s behind the calculated, coordinated attempts on Alexia’s life.
Alexia’s flashbacks of past abuse and her response to those memories are integral to the storyline. Eason handles these delicate issues with pin-point accuracy and compassionate credibility. Eason portrayed both Alexia’s and Hunter’s family dynamics with sweet believability.
I never once lost my place in the story despise the continuous action and introduction of secondary characters in adjacent subplots. This is a credit to the author whose research and transition work was exceptional. The romance doesn’t overpower the tight suspense in When the Smoke Clears.
At times, I wanted a quicker resolution when the attempts on her life seemed too numerous to be realistic. Behind each corner lurked a variety of bumps, bruises and medical attention for Alexia. Reconciliation and redemption abound as relationships are repaired through some tense and tender moments.
The open-ended conclusion provides the groundwork for the second book in the Deadly Reunions series. This was my first read of an Eason novel. Her resume includes the Women of Justice series: Too Close to Home, Don’t Look Back and A Killer Among Us. Suffice it to say, I await #2 with great expectation!