Smoke and Mirrors is book 2 of the outbreak task force; however, its not related at all to the events in book 1, so you can read them in any order. An ex special forces soldier is home but he is far from okay. Chased by the demons of what he had to do in the military and the death of his son while he was deployed have turned him into a shell of a man. When he finds a nurse from the CDC sleeping in his bed, he realizes he isn't quite as dead as he thought.
Kini is interviewing local Native Americans in the small town Lyle Smoke grew up in to research and collect information for the CDC. However, the townspeople are NOT happy to see her and she begins to experience vandalism and violence at their hands. Smoke, being ex special forces, steps up and takes a job with the Outbreak Task Force and effectively becomes Kini's bodyguard.
The story is full of action! Initially, people are getting sick and they blame Kini. She realizes pretty quickly that it sounds like they have a hantavirus outbreak, but the local doctor won't call in the CDC. But, there is more unsettling behavior happening. Kini and Smoke have to figure out what the hell is going on before more people die. Where did the virus come from? What is going on at the old, abandoned farm? Why are people targeting Kini? The conflict occurs throughout the story and you are left wondering who is good, who is bad, and who is just caught in the small town gossip mill. While Smoke wasn't my favorite hero (he does the 'I'm not a good man so I am gonna push you away' bit that makes me crazy), the suspense of the book makes for a very compelling read that you won't want to put down!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: ex-military, terrorism
- Triggers: Kini was the victim of a physically abusive father. It is not detailed as to what happened, but it is mentioned that it happened.
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: no
- HEA: More of an HFN. There is no OW/OM drama, no cheating or anything, but I'm not sure I fully believe that these two are in it for the long haul.
books by authors like Pamela Clare
, Cristin Harber, Kaylea Cross
, Katie Ruggle
...then you will probably like Smoke and Mirrors! See full review on The Book Disciple