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Synopses & Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown returns with a tale of corruption and betrayal, revenge and reversal - where friends become foes, and heroes become criminals in the ultimate abuse of power.
When newswoman Britt Shelley wakes up to find herself in bed with Jay Burgess, a rising star detective in the Charleston PD, she remembers nothing of how she got there...or of how Jay wound up dead.
Handsome and hard-partying, Jay was a hero of the disastrous fire that five years earlier had destroyed Charleston's police headquarters. The blaze left seven people dead, but the death toll would have been much higher if not for the bravery of Jay and three other city officials who risked their lives to lead others to safety.
Firefighter Raley Gannon, Jay's lifelong friend, was off-duty that day. Though he might not have been a front-line hero, he was assigned to lead the investigation into the cause of the fire. It was an investigation he never got to complete. Because on one calamitous night, Raley's world was shattered.
Scandalized, wronged by the people he trusted most, Raley was forced to surrender the woman he loved and the work to which he'd dedicated his life. For five years his resentment against the men who exploited their hero status to further their careers — and ruin his — had festered, but he was helpless to set things right.
That changes when he learns of Jay Burgess's shocking death and Britt Shelley's claim that she has no memory of her night with him. As the investigation into Jay's death intensifies, and suspicion against Britt Shelley mounts, Raley realizes that the newswoman, Jay's last sexual conquest, might be his only chance to get personal vindication — and justice for the seven victims of the police station fire.
But there are powerful men who don't want to address unanswered questions about the fire and who will go to any lengths to protect their reputations. As Raley and Britt discover more about what happened that fateful day, the more perilous their situation becomes, until they're not only chasing after the truth but running for their lives.
Friends are exposed as foes, heroes take on the taint of criminals, and no one can be trusted completely. A tale about audacious corruption — and those with the courage to expose it — Smoke Screen is Sandra Brown's most searing and intense novel yet.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown returns with a sizzling tale of corruption and betrayal, revenge and reversal - where friends become foes, and criminals become heroes in the ultimate abuse of power.
About the Author
Sandra Brown is the author of fifty-six New York Times bestsellers, most recently Play Dirty which was published in August 2007 by SimonandSchuster and debuted at number two on The New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list. Her other recent bestsellers include Ricochet (2006), Chill Factor (2005), White Hot (2004), Hello, Darkness (2003), The Crush (2002), Envy (2001), all of which have jumped onto the Times bestseller list in the number one to five spot. Her new novel Smoke Screen will be published on August 12, 2008.
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published nearly seventy novels, most of which remain in print. As of 1990, when Mirror Image made The New York Times bestseller list, each subsequent novel, including reprints of earlier books, have become Times bestsellers. Her novel The Witness was recently optioned by Twinstar Entertainment for a major motion picture. Brown now has seventy million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-three languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco and raised in Ft. Worth. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program "PM Magazine." She is much in demand as a speaker at book festivals and charity functions throughout the year. Court TV (now tru TV) also sought Brown to host the 2007 premier of its popular series "Murder by the Book."
Awards and commendations include a 2008 honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Texas Christian University, the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature, the American Business Women's Association's Distinguished Circle of Success, B'nai B'rith's Distinguished Literary Achievement Award, and the A. C. Greene Award. Brown is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Literacy Partners, and is a founding member of International Thriller Writers. She will be honored as the ITW's "ThrillerMaster" in 2008.
She and her husband live in Arlington, Texas.
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