Book Review

Where There’s Smoke

Where There’s Smoke

The Supernatural Bounty Hunter #3

Craig Halloran

Two-Ten Book Press, Sep 2014

204 pages, ebook, paperback

Paranormal Romance Thriller


I purchased this at the current price. This is my honest review for which I am receiving no compensation.

This is the third one of this series that I have read and reviewed. This one wasn’t as good and yet it was better. I hate saying things like that. Then I have to explain what I mean, and I’m not sure that I can in any sort of detail.

I think it all started with Sid’s attitude. She really didn’t want to be called by the FBI again. She had other things to worry about. But, here she is with her contact, who is not who she normally meets with. He barely gives her anything other than the folder, which is just a name and pictures. He’s gone and she’s back on the street after passing all the strange looks she gets when she’s around the FBI offices. I mean, she’s the woman, the agent, a female agent, who works the Black Slate. The Black Slate was considered a legend until she and John Smoke resurrected it two books back. They started bringing the criminals that nobody even believed were real or could be brought in. The ones with strange powers that couldn’t be fought. The FBI is like any other secret organization, they can’t keep a secret. So now everyone knows about the Black Slate and the criminals Sid and Smoke hunt.

Sidney spends a weekend taking care of her niece while her sister Alison goes off on what she’s calling a “job interview”. Sid’s a little bit suspicious, but agrees to do it. When her sister comes back with bruises a day early, she knows her suspicions were correct. Her sister still hasn’t gotten it together. She may not be actively using drugs and alcohol anymore, but her life is still a mess. And she’s really not a fit mother for Megan. Their folks are aging, though, and can’t be expected to raise an active little girl again. Sidney worries about the situation constantly and just wishes Alison would get her head out of her ass and fix her life.

The up until then missing John Smoke, shows up a bit the worse for wear and Sidney helps patch him up. The two of them get their heads together and decide how to do what they’re supposed to do. Their motto seems to be “just do it”. So, they literally get in the car and head for the front door. Well, that approach gets them exactly where they need to be to do the job. There are a few problems along the way that they have to deal with, but they do exactly that, deal with them. They are focused on getting to Mason Crow, whoever and whatever he is. As a person, he is a huge man. But as his beastly side, he just seems to get bigger and bigger. As a mythical beast a minotaur is a big beast, as one walking around on the road in front of you, it’s huge. And this one is nasty and angry and aggressive. He also happens to be fighting for his life, since that’s what the bet is about. He just doesn’t think they have any chance of winning. If they can run the course and find the means to kill him, then they will be allowed to leave – alive. Otherwise, he will kill them. Apparently, there’s only one way to kill him. Since this is a series and there are more books to it and these are the main characters in all the books, of course they find the way to kill him. It is the highpoint of the fight and very dramatically written. The former FBI operative, DeeDee, keeps the agreement and allows them to leave.

As they are getting ready to leave, Sid sees her sister Alison walk onto the porch of one of the cabins on the property. She’s obviously upset. Then Megan appears next to her, also upset. Alison sends Megan to Sidney and disappears back into the cabin. She’s made her decision to stay with Drake. Megan is now Sid’s responsibility. Later on when Sid is going through a rude and very disrespectful debriefing at the FBI office from which Smoke is once again missing, she slaps her badge and weapon on the table and resigns. Just like that. I have to wonder how much is Megan and how much is attitude towards her and Smoke. Smoke who is once again in another cage where she can’t see him. She and Smoke have brought in or taken down three of the top menaces and the FBI is almost ashamed of them it seems. Well, Smoke is a criminal himself. But Sidney is not. She’s one of their best agents and that’s exactly why she was chosen for this assignment. Why is she treated this way? It just seems such a shame that she is made to feel like she’s not wanted and an embarrassment to the organization. And Ted points her towards DeeDee, but where has he gone now that she’s made contact with her? It’s like he’s disappeared or been removed. It just seemed strange that suddenly he has other things on his plate when he has been so hands on with her assignments up ‘til now. It seems sinister to me. Maybe I’m wrong and he’ll be there smiling and healthy in the next book. We’ll have to see. And how will Sid handle caring for Megan if she continues with Black Slate ops? They’ve already proven they can get at her family. How will she protect Megan from them? What will she do if she comes face-to-face with Alison on the wrong side?

So what was better and what was not? The whole bit about their attitude got to me. And Sid seems to be rather in the dumps in this book. Then there’s the parting of Alison and Megan. And the concern about Ted. And once again Smoke is incarcerated and they can’t see each other. She has no way to communicate with him. Their relationship is so sad, and yet they seem to have some real feeling for each other at times. The better part was that they really worked as a team this time. Flat out, it was only them and they just went in and did it without anyone else. They were really good together. They worked well together. They understood each other and what each needed to do to win. They also kiss really well! Then at the end she slaps her badge down on the table and resigns from the FBI just like that! Take this you bastards! Take away my man and treat me like a pariah, I’ll show you! I don’t need you! Ta-ta! And she walks out. End of story three. She’s strong and she’s free of them. Now, the series does go on. So something happens, but is it FBI or does she hook up with Smoke another way? What about Megan? The only way to know is to read the next book.

The next book is Smoke on the Water #4.

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