I received a copy of this novel as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and in exchange for my honest review, so here it is.
Where There’s Smoke is a story about Jo Woods, a firefighter who, after stirring up trouble for the authorities in her previous town, has been banished to the backwater of Mourne Lough. She is a survivor but the guilt she carries with her is more than just survivor guilt. When it becomes clear the killer has struck again, she starts making waves, much to the displeasure of her seniors, and the killer. Before long she is the target and the pressure is on to reveal the killer’s identity before he/she strikes again.
I do like reading a good mystery but I’m not usually someone who spends their time trying to work out who the baddie is. Generally, I’m quite happy being absorbed in the tale and enjoying the writing. However, I found myself trying to guess who the killer was in this read putting myself very much in Jo’s shoes. The author does a very good job of presenting various options for who might be behind the horrific killings and attacks that take place throughout this story and keeps up the suspense. I had my suspicions but they were only confirmed just as the reveal came.
We get to see the killer’s side of the story, as parts are told from his/her point of view, which is a bit creepy, particularly with his/her desire to ‘free the little birds’. There was no introduction to these parts though which threw me a little until I adjusted to who was speaking.
For a romantic suspense the emphasise was definitely on the suspense with only a light touch of romance introduced. I really liked Jo Woods and certainly hope that after everything she has been through she gets to enjoy more of the romance side in the future.
This book is based on firefighting and firefighters and there was just enough detail to make me confident in the authors knowledge without there being an overload of technical fire stuff that could have made me switch off. Very well written, it was solid throughout, and a very well put together debut novel. Highly recommended.
I’ve given this novel 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars on Amazon.