A gripping new novel from New York Times bestselling suspense author Terri Blackstock.
One father was murdered. Another was convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.
Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado hometown. His mother begs him to come back now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.
Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down not long after, people assumed Nate set the fire to get even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left town without looking back.
Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and now she’s fighting a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. Brenna is barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.
As Nate and Brenna deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—the past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.
Praise for Smoke Screen:
“Full of secrets, lies, and with a visceral impact that grabs from the first sentence, Smoke Screen is Terri Blackstock at her finest.” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author
“Terri never fails to deliver a plot that moves, well-developed characters who are real, flawed, and relatable . . . Just a word of warning if you decide to pick up this book—don’t plan to do anything else until you finish it.” —Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author
Brenna Herzog faces a difficult divorce, the release of her father's murderer, and long-standing rumors that surrounded her father's death in this exciting inspirational thriller from Blackstock (If I Run). During a long custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband, Brenna's once-strong faith begins to fade as she drowns her sorrows in vodka. When Nate Beckett, her high school boyfriend, returns to town, Brenna feels her depression lift. Nate's father, Roy, has been in prison for 14 years for the murder of Brenna's father, pastor Strickland, but Roy has always maintained his innocence. Strickland had objected to Brenna's relationship with Nate when they were caught sneaking out together, and, after he was shot to death, a fight the pastor had had with Roy became the primary evidence for Roy's conviction. As Nate attempts to patch up his relationship with his father, who had been an abusive alcoholic, Nate assists his father in searching for the real killer despite his belief in Roy's guilt. As Nate stays in town, he spends time with Brenna, and they realize the love they had as teenagers is still strong. Nate is determined to help Brenna keep her children, and also to discover the truth as new information emerges about the night of Strickland's death. Blackstock's intense and twisty story will please fans of her faith-grounded crime dramas.