Shadow in the Smoke by Jo A. Hiestand *review and giveaway
Posted by brriske
SHADOW IN THE SMOKE
by Jo A. Hiestand
GENRE: British mystery
Janet Ennis tragically died five years ago in what the police labeled an accidental fire. But Janet’s mother, Nora, believes it to be murder and arson. And she’s hoping ex-cop Michael McLaren can prove it quickly, for she’s losing her memory to dementia.As McLaren pokes through the case details, he becomes emotionally involved with the dead woman. Yet, Janet isn’t the only person who threatens mental well-being. A series of arsons on his own property hint that he’s upset someone connected with this case.
Motives for Janet’s murder rise like the smoky tendrils of a fire. And, motive aside, the murder scene seems a bit too pat: a drought-stricken landscape eager to lap up flames, and a conveniently locked door barring Janet’s escape.
Will McLaren solve the case while Nora can still comprehend the resolution, or will Harvester’s plans see McLaren’s career go up in smoke?
“So now you can pat yourself on the back, pleased that you rescued a little tearaway from a life of crime.”
“Oh, darling, it wasn’t that bad. You just took a wrong turn.”
“And you were there to keep me on the tarmac. Very obliging.”
“It wasn’t so hard. You always had the talent.” She took a sip of wine, watching Sean from over the rim of her glass.
It was hard to judge what was coming. It had been a risk, agreeing to talk to her in a public place, but the risk seemed less than meeting in a less frequented spot where they might be seen and remembered. And he didn’t want to go to her house or, worse yet, have her come to his. He eyed her, steeling himself, for even though he already felt manipulated, he had a suspicion she was about to drop a bomb.
Putting the glass down on the mat, she said, “All right. You want to know what this is all about. It’s simple enough. I’d like to know why you torched Janet’s artist studio right after you killed her.”
This is a fast paced tale of mystery that pulls you in from the very beginning. Mrs. Ennis is certain her daughters death wasn’t accidental but no matter how many times she has spoken to the detectives no one listens. All evidence points to an accident they say time and time again. Mrs. Ennis decided to go another route and visits Mclarren an ex cop a man that’s quick to let her know he isn’t a real private investigator he has just had two cases fall into his lap. Ennis assures him he has the spark that the real PI’s lack. Mclarren takes the case and so starts his investigation and his haunting affair with a dead woman that he can’t seem to get out of his head. Danger and mistrust a little bit of romance and a lot of conspiracy take you through twists and turns. This story will lead you down a windy and exciting road. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie mystery lovers will enjoy this read.
**** reviewer for paranormal romance and authors that rock
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jo A. Hiestand knew in grade school that she wanted to be a mystery writer. But life got in the way: singing in a semi-pro folk group, traveling to New Zealand, working as a camp counselor, co-inventing P.I.R.A.T.E.S. (a mystery-solving treasure-hunting game), becoming a tour agent for a Scottish folk singing group, attending a citizen police academy and riding along with police officers… But she needed to immerse herself in All Things British for her books. England beckoned and she responded.
She bee-lined to Derbyshire, feeling it was the ‘home’ of her books. Derbyshire also bestowed the essential English police contacts and transformed the St. Louisan into an Anglophile.
She’s returned nearly a dozen times to Derbyshire, researching and photographing for her McLaren cold case detective novels.
In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.
Follow Jo and McLaren on these websites:
Jo A. Hiestand will award a McLaren-design tote bag AND a choice of a water bottle (McLaren designed) or a ceramic McLaren coaster tile (International giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter.