Smoke Screen

Smoke Screen

4.1 103
by Sandra Brown
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown’s "scorching...action-filled" (Publishers Weekly) tale of corruption and betrayal, revenge and reversal.

When newswoman Britt Shelley wakes up to find herself in bed with Jay Burgess, a star detective in the Charleston PD, she remembers nothing of how she got there—or how Jay wound up

…  See more details below

Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown’s "scorching...action-filled" (Publishers Weekly) tale of corruption and betrayal, revenge and reversal.

When newswoman Britt Shelley wakes up to find herself in bed with Jay Burgess, a star detective in the Charleston PD, she remembers nothing of how she got there—or how Jay wound up dead. Handsome, hard-partying Jay was one of four heroic city officials who risked their lives five years earlier to lead others to safety from a catastrophic fire. His lifelong friend, Raley Gannon, was later assigned to investigate the blaze. But Raley never finished the inquiry because one calamitous night his career was destroyed by scandal. Now, the newswoman whose biased reporting helped bring about Raley's downfall might be his only chance to vindicate himself and get justice for the fire's victims. But the more Raley and Britt discover about that fateful day, the more perilous the situation becomes, until they're not only chasing the truth but running for their lives.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sensational...a bang-up tale of corruption, betrayal, revenge, and reversal." — Liz Smith, New York Post

"Excellent indeed." — The Dallas Morning News

"GRIPPING AND ELEGANTLY STRUCTURED... A TRUE MASTER OF SUSPENSE." — THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL (RI)

Publishers Weekly

At the start of this scorching if somewhat formulaic thriller from bestseller Brown (Play Dirty), Charleston, S.C., TV reporter Britt Shelley wakes up in bed next to the dead body of police detective Jay Burgess. While Jay had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the authorities suspect foul play. Jay's former best friend, ex-fireman Raley Gannon, suffered a similar shock five years earlier, waking up next to party girl Suzi Monroe's naked corpse after a party at Jay's home. Raley had been investigating a fire at a local police station that took seven lives, despite the heroic efforts of Jay and several other cops, one of whom is now South Carolina's attorney general. Cleared of Suzi's death, Raley eventually teams with Britt to look into a nasty arson coverup. Brown laces her dependable romantic fireworks with a solid action-filled plot, though readers should be prepared for a few stereotypes, including a limp-wristed gay, a macho skinhead and a power-mad female politician. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416563075
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
07/21/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
180,162
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 4.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER

1

Raley pulled open the rusty screen door, its hinges squealing. "Hey! You in here?"

"Ain't I usually?"

A curl of faded red paint flaked off when the wood frame slapped closed behind Raley as he stepped into the one-room cabin. It smelled of fried pork and the mouse-gnawed Army blanket on the cot in the corner.

It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dimness and find the old man. He was sitting at a three-legged table, hunched over a cup of coffee like a dog guarding a hard-won bone, staring into the snowy screen of a black-and-white television. Ghostly images flickered in and out. There was no audio except for a static hiss.

"Good morning."

The old man snorted a welcome through his sheaves of nasal hair. "He'p yourself." He nodded toward the enamel coffeepot on the stove. "Can't recommend the cream. It curdled overnight."

Raley stepped over the three hounds lying motionless on the floor and went to the refrigerator that was jammed between an antique pie safe, which served as a pantry, and a drafting table, which served no purpose whatsoever except to collect dust and further reduce the floor space in the crowded cabin.

The handle on the fridge door had broken off, probably decades ago, but if you pressed your fingers just right into the soft rubber sealant in the crack, you could pry it open. "I brought you some catfish." Raley set the newspaper bundle on one of the rusty wire shelves, then quickly shut the door against the mingled odors of cream gone bad and general spoilage.

"Much obliged."

"You're welcome." The coffee probably had been boiled several times and would be the consistency of molasses. Without cream to dilute it, Raley thought it better to pass.

He glanced at the silent TV. "You need to adjust your rabbit ears."

"Ain't the rabbit ears. I turned off the sound."

"How come?"

The old man replied with one of his customary harrumphs that said he couldn't be bothered to answer. A self-proclaimed recluse, he had lived in voluntary exile ever since "the war," although which war had never been specified. He had as little as possible to do with other Homo sapiens.

Shortly after Raley had moved into the vicinity, the two had come upon each other in the woods. Raley was staring down into the beady eyes of a dead opossum when the old man came crashing through the underbrush and said, "Don't even think about it."

"About what?"

"About taking my possum."

Touching the bloated, flyblown, limp body with the pink, hairless tail and horrible stench was the last thing Raley intended to do. He raised his hands in surrender and stood aside so the barefoot old man in stained overalls could retrieve his kill from the metal jaws of the small trap.

"Way you been stampin' 'round out here, it's a wonder to me it ain't you caught in this trap 'stead of the possum," he grumbled.

Raley wasn't aware that anyone lived within miles of the cabin he'd recently purchased. He'd rather not have had a neighbor of any kind, but especially one who kept track of his comings and goings.

As the old man stood up, his knees protested in loud pops and snaps, which caused him to grimace and mutter a string of curses. With the carcass dangling from his hand, the old man looked Raley over, from his baseball cap and bearded face to the toes of his hiking boots. Inspection complete, the old man spat tobacco juice into the dirt to express his opinion of what he saw. "Man's got a right to walk in the woods," he said. "Just don't go messin' with my traps."

"It would help me to know where they are."

The old man's cracked lips spread into a wide grin, revealing tobacco-stained stubs that once were teeth....

Read More

Videos

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including Mean Streak, Deadline, Low Pressure, and Smoke Screen. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, most of which remain in print. Sandra and her husband, Michael Brown, live in Arlington, Texas.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Arlington, TX
Date of Birth:
March 12, 1948
Place of Birth:
Waco, Texas
Education:
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
Website:
http://www.sandrabrown.net/

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >