While many of Terri Blackstock’s books have a redemptive story in them, Smoke Screen really drives it home. From the start I was intrigued by the main characters – Brenna and Nate. It is written from both points of view, which is done well. Nate Beckett and his career path of being a Fire Jumper are well written and descriptive. You will quickly understand what the demands and challenges of the job entail. He has a strained family relationship due to his father being accused of murdering the town’s pastor. After being injured in a fire and heading back to his hometown, the story begins to unfold. Brenna is the daughter of the pastor who was murdered. She’s a single mom with an ex-husband that will most certainly make you angry. And to make matters worse, she abuses alcohol as a coping mechanism. As the layers of the story unfold and you get to know the characters, you realize just how flawed and relatable they are and how twisted their struggles get. Even through the layers, the storyline is easy to follow and isn’t confusing. The conflict is deep and keeps you guessing. I won’t go into detail because nobody likes a spoiler!
It is less of a suspenseful read and more of a drama in my opinion. There is a wide range of topics hit on and packed neatly into one book. If you are looking for a book club read, this would be a great book for discussions regarding forgiveness, blame, grace, alcohol abuse and the Christian faith.