Posted on April 12, 2018 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in 4.5 stars, Blogger Shame, Cathy Cole, Fireborn Publishing, suspense / 21 Comments

Title : Where There is Smoke
Author: Cathy Cole
Publisher: Fireborn Publishing
Published : August 1, 2017
Genre: Suspense
Pages: 412
Format: ebook
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Reading Challenges: Blogger Shame

Oh man, I loved this book. It delivered most of what I expected. My only problem was the lack of romance and to be honest it was not that big of an issue. Why? Well the story had me on the edge of my seat from the first page and I did not get a chance to catch my breath.  I was so busy trying to identify the villain and determine what his next move would be; I did not have a chance to miss the romance.  There was a hint of romance, but it was not the focus of the story.
The Story
Where There is Smoke is a fast paced, intense and suspenseful read, which is heavy on the suspense and light on the romance.  It features a kick ass heroine, who finds herself going up against a psycho killer, while trying to deal with the challenges of working in a male dominated field.
The story introduces Jo, a firefighter who finds herself reliving painful memories while on a mission of putting out a fire. However, no one believes her when she reported what she witnessed. They chalked to the trauma of the past.  However, being the determined person she was, she would not stop until she proved her theory of a serial arsonist.
The prologue, which set the pace for the remainder of the story, is intense. As the story unfolds, it became evident how the scenes from the prologue fits in with current events.  The mystery and suspense were well done. It left me feeling breathless.
Figuring out the identity of the villain was not as easy as I thought it would be. I had my suspicions, but the author threw in quite a few red herrings causing me to doubt what I suspected. However, in the end my suspicions proved to be true.
The story is written in both the first and third person POV. The first person POV is told from the perspective of the villain, which made for some interesting reading. The author’s attention to detail was on point and the writng superb.
The Characters
Jo, is the kind of heroine I enjoy reading about, especially in this genre. She is tough, smart, strong but not without her flaws.  She knew how to handle herself both personally and professionally. The more time I spent with her the more I admired her.
Ian Cooper is Joe’s neighbour and love interest. However, Jo was not sure if she could trust him, as his motives were not clear-cut. This did not cool her attraction for him as such it was in her best interest to ensure he was not the villain.
Mary Quinn is also Jo’s neighbour. She as her own set of secrets and ii would appear someone is stalking her. The question is was her stalker and the arsonist the same person.
The villain was one crazy person. Being inside the villain’s head was not a nice place to be. He was clearly fixated on Jo. Why? You will have to read the book to find out.  I found myself admiring his determination, his attention to detail and his convictions. He believed strongly in his actions. He believed he was saving the persons he killed, which made him dangerous.
Fans of kick-ass heroines, suspense and mystery will want to check out Where There is Smoke. Highly recommend.
Firefighter Jo Woods is struggling to hold onto her job and her sanity. Banished to the backwater town of Mourne Lough, she vows to stop making waves, admit her family’s death was an accident, and that the guilt she feels is plain old survivor guilt.

Then she finds the roses and everything changes.

The killer hasn’t stopped. He’s here. In the same town. Stalking her. And once again, no one believes her.

After seven years of avoiding family and friends, Jo is alone and friendless in a strange town. In order to survive and, more importantly, bring the killer to justice, she must overcome her fears and embrace her new life. And she must do it quickly, because the killer has his sights set on her and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.

Enter Ian “Coop” Cooper, who sets Jo’s pulse fluttering and her antenna into overdrive. Does she dare trust him?

One thing Jo is clear about: this killer destroyed her life once before. No way is she going to let him do it again–no matter what it takes

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading
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  1. I love when a book delivers such good mystery and suspense, and superb writing you say? Well, it definitely sounds like a winner to me! 😉

  2. I don’t mind if the story isn’t focused on the romance especially if everything else is done quiet well 😀 great review

  3. Oh wow, this does sound great. I’ve had books where I didn’t care about the romance b/c everything else was so solid and intense. I’ll have to watch for this one. Thanks, Nadene!

  4. The Bibliophagist

    Sometimes it’s nice to have the romance take a back seat to the action. This sounds like a great read, thanks for the detailed review.

  5. I think I wouldn’t have looked closer because of the cover but I see that it would have been a mistake because it looks great!