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Publisher's Summary

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 decadelong 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.

©2015 Catherine McKenzie (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    62
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Performance

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    82
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    36
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    4
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

This book was realistic, wholesome, and for the most part excellently written. It could be read by a kid with out causing any parent to worry about content. My only complaint would be that it does move a bit slowly in places. I expected a different ending but am not sure if this is good or bad. You figure it out since it is worth hearing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Texas
  • 11-17-16

good story

loved how she leaves you hanging as you switch between characters. enjoyed book, recommend to everyone who loves suspense.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Vast English Language

Would you try another book from Catherine McKenzie and/or the narrators?

The narrators were good. I love Cassandra Campbell. Even though I listened to the entire book I would not read anymore of Catherine McKenzie's books. Why, you ask? Bad language, it offends me greatly! The English language is so vast. So why revert to foul words? I won't recommend her books because of that reason.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Wasn't what I expected.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The main narrators are great. Danny Campbell was distracting he was so loud. First time I've listened to him.

Do you think Smoke needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, it would just drag it Out too much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

rich lady blah

I cannot decide if it was the content or the voices that made me hate the women in the book so much. by chapter 12 I threw in the towel

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

I really appreciate the story line. I had a great deal in common with Beth. I couldn't not listen. I had to know how it ended. And a happy ending.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting subject, too much overwritten drama

A dear friend who was a fire tower lookout for the U.S. Forest Service passed away recently. He was instrumental in protecting the Lincoln Montana Valley, as he was first to spot and report fires. There was nothing more important to Dan than the safety of the firefighters and his community. I started this book hoping it would help me to remember Dan and his world, but it read like chick-lit (not my favorite). There is some fire information and firefighting, but it was overwhelmed by far too much overwritten drama in my opinion.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Eh.

I was really hoping for a thriller or at least a gripping story about a fire and an individual that started it and doesn’t want to be caught. But in actuality I got a slow slow slow story that had other moving parts in it that were irrelevant to the main story. It just isn’t that attention grabbing and I’m honestly surprised I finished it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating Until the Very End

This book had me itching to return whenever I couldn't listen. I wanted the characters to be okay. I wanted to know the truth behind the blaze. I am pleased with the conclusion.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great

What did you love best about Smoke?

Smoke is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by Catherine McKenzie. It follows the individual struggles of two women at a time when a wildfire is threatening their small town. For Elizabeth, it's her marriage. For Mindy, it's her family and community. But the approaching fire is not just thrown in for a bit of suspense. It sets the tone, develops the characters, and draws parallels like nobody's business. Passion, teamwork, support, respect, hard work, dedication, integrity, sacrifice... all qualities necessary for fighting fires. No coincidence they are also all the qualities needed for relationships.

In addition to the family drama aspects of this novel, Ms. McKenzie integrated elements of detective fiction and mystery as Elizabeth, an arson investigator, is narrowing down the possibilities of how the current blaze began. Personally, I enjoyed the various relationship/social drama components more than the actual investigation (which was probably intentional), but I think they all married together well in this story and created a well-rounded reading experience. In my opinion, there were equal amounts of surprises and predictability (and a few unanswered questions), but overall I enjoyed Smoke and would recommend it. Check it out.

My favorite quote:
"Life works on easy, smooths it down and wears it away until there’s only the grit left between you."

What did you like best about this story?

See above

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

See above

Who was the most memorable character of Smoke and why?

See above

Any additional comments?

See above

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Summer Read

What a great story! It's very well written & highly entertaining. Overall, I enjoyed it very much. The audio version was excellent! I highly recommend.