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Smoke Screen    by Sandra Brown order for
Smoke Screen
by Sandra Brown
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Sandra Brown delivers another of her sizzling signature romantic thrillers in Smoke Screen. It opens on TV reporter heroine Britt Shelley waking up after a forgotten night of revelry to find that her bed partner, police detective Jay Burgess, is now a corpse. Jay - one of four heroes of a fire that destroyed Charleston's police headquarters leaving seven dead - had recently revealed his terminal cancer to Britt. Now she's the number one suspect in his murder.

Ex-fireman Raley Gannon, once Jay's best friend, also had the experience of waking up with amnesia next to a dead body, that of a young woman he had just met at a party hosted by Jay. He only attended the party at his friend's strong insistence. Just before this event derailed his career and ended his engagement, Raley was deep into the arson investigation of the police headquarters fire - and now believes that his life was destroyed solely to stop his unveiling the truth about the fire.

After Raley kidnaps Britt (whom he blames for worsening his situation by exploitative news coverage) and forces her to listen to his story, hired guns try to kill her - and almost succeed. Soon, the two are 'the new Bonnie and Clyde', on the run from professional assassins - with betrayals around every corner - trying to complete Raley's investigation of the fire, while also seeking help from an old friend of Raley's and Jay's. The fact that they become suspects in a new trail of killings doesn't make it easier.

Britt and Raley learn that it all started with a hateful response to a hate crime, and escalated from there, destroying many lives in the process. Fortunately they win their own back again - if you enjoy romantic suspense, you don't want to miss Smoke Screen.

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