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F/F, Historical, Crime, Mystery
In nineteenth century New York, safes aren't living up to their name. A thief so wily, so impossible to capture the police dub her "the Smoke" has been targeting the wealthy. In reality the Smoke is a woman named Kezia Cyr, a woman born in prison, stolen from her mother, and raised by runaways and pickpockets. When her emotions cause a job to blow up in her face, Kezia's adoptive family scatters and she is left to avenge those she's lost. The Smoke may finally meet her match in Pinkerton Agent Shelby Button who earned the moniker "Cinder" for running into a burning building to capture a criminal. Button finds Kezia's trail and refuses to let her prey go without a fight. With a decade-old murder to avenge, Kezia will stop at nothing to correct her past mistakes, and Agent Button is willing to trek across the country to bring the phantom Smoke to justice once and for all.
4 out of 5 (very good)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Kezia spent the first five years of her life, in jail, with her mother. A teacher spirited her away, in hopes of giving Kezia a better life. It did not quite work out that way and Kezia finds herself falling into a life of crime. But she is good at it, and earns a nickname, The Smoke. Kezia finds herself in the spotlight of The Pinkerton Agency, more specifically, Agent Shelby Button, Cinder. Can Kezia stay one step ahead of the law?? This book surprised me, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out WHY, other than the ending. But it surprised me all the way through, so its not just that! We follow Kezia along her journey, her ups and downs, and her final stand against Shelby Button. We follow through the brutal murder of her mentor, the revenge for said murder, her meeting Nine, and their relationsahip. Nine, or Viv, comes to Kezia just when she needs her, and they go through a great deal together. It does have some violence, the murder is described it all is gory detail, but although its all there, it does not appear to me, to be over graphic. The physical relationship between Viv and Kezia is one they almost fall into, and it is beautifully written, with all the prejudices and words of the time. Again, not overly explicit, just very well written. I did not see WHY Button was after Kezia coming, that was a surprise! Now, the ending. I'm okay with cliff hangers, if there is another book due out soon. I'm okay with HEAs. But this book has neither. There is no absolute end. Kezia and Viv disappear in the fire and are never seen again. But are PRESUMED dead. Thats where it has no ending, YOU DON'T KNOW! And as much as I hate it, I equally love it too! 4 stars
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Geonn Cannon was born in a barn and raised to know better than that. He was born and raised in Oklahoma where he’s been enslaved by a series of cats, dogs, two birds and one unexpected turtle. He’s spent his entire life creating stories but only became serious about it when he realized it was a talent that could impress girls. Learning to write well was easier than learning to juggle, so a career was underway. His high school years were spent writing stories among a small group of friends and reading whatever books he could get his hands on. Geonn was inspired to create the fictional Squire’s Isle after a 2004 trip to San Juan Island in Washington State. His first novel set on the island, On the Air, was written almost as a side project to another story he wanted to tell. Reception to the story was so strong that the original story was put on the back burner to deal with the world created in On the Air. His second novel set in the same universe, Gemini, was also very well received and went on to win the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Best Novel, Dramatic/General Fiction. Geonn was the first male author to receive the honor. While some of his novels haven’t focused as heavily on Squire’s Isle, the vast majority of Geonn’s works take place in the same universe and have connections back to the island and its cast of characters (the exception being the Riley Parra series). In addition to writing more novels based on the inhabitants of Squire’s Isle, Geonn hopes to one day move to the real-life equivalent to inspire further stories.