The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

SMOKE By Catherine McKenzie⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publisher:  Lake Union Publisheing
Release Date:  October 20, 2015
Pages:  351
Format:  Kindle
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

Book Description: 

From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.
After a decade-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.
For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.
As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

Wanda's Thoughts:  Elizabeth and Ben, after 10 years of marriage, were getting divorced. Elizabeth had worked woodland fires for 10 years, since she was 26 years old, and then became the arson investigator for the regional district. She’d taken an investigator course as part of her arson training and was now working as a private investigator for the prosecuting attorney. Ben came from money and works at a private high school, one that costs forty thousand dollars a year to attend. It is where Ben attended. I found Ben to be rather laid-back about the divorce and the fire, which threatened the home that he and Elizabeth lived in.

44-year-old Mindy is married to Peter, a manager at the bank, and they have two teenage children. They are part of the middle class. Mindy had worked at the high school science lab, but lost her job when the budget was slashed. Now her domain was entirely domestic. Her constant attention was on her kids, and Mindy was finding it hard to keep up with the world outside her family. Her kids’ lives seemed to take up most of her time.

Nelson residents were told to remain on high alert. The town could be in real danger because of a fire spreading up the north side of the Peak eating through timber. Now there is evidence of arson and a local teen could be involved. And the story unfolds ---

Both Mindy and Elizabeth are complex characters, and the lives of these two do intertwine throughout. I never became fully engaged in the character of Mindy, even though she was an intricate part of the story. I found that part of the story-line to be just lukewarm. However, I immediately connected to Elizabeth, finding her to be the best part of the story-line.

There are complex relationships, a mystery that slowly unravels, some romance, and a satisfying conclusion. This finely layered novel, with and interesting premise, certainly evokes vivid realism through both the well-described scenes and the vibrant presentation of characters. My rating is 4 stars.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author:  Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill University and McGill Law School, Catherine practices law in Montreal. An avid runner and skier, she's the author of the international bestsellers SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN, HIDDEN and the novella, SPUN. HIDDEN was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Book-world bestseller for five weeks. Catherine's newest novel, SMOKE, will be published on October 20, 2015.