Recently one of the more honest and intelligent members of the blogging community remarked how worried they had been after reviewing a book that "if I had not solicited a free copy of the book I'd have been much less positive".
We are all guilty of that sometimes and therefore it is great pleasure when one solicits a book direct from the author and it turns out to be a gem not needing an 'airbrushed' review.
I have criticized reviewers in the past for making ludicrous comparisons of books to Casablanca or going over the top and inventing occurrences in books that never happened in their over-enthusiastic reviews for a particular book.
Well I don't have to exaggerate or make unreal comparisons for A Trace of Smoke the memorable book that I have just finished reading, it has to be a major contender for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Crime Fiction Award. Last year the ever vigilant Karen of Euro Crime spotted that A Trace of Smoke a book about Berlin in 1931 was to be published this May. I had just reviewed Philip Kerr's A Quiet Flame and Marek Krajewski's Death in Breslau so she thought it would be right up my street. I checked Rebecca Cantrell's web site and it was obvious that her debut novel was going to be something special as the author had done so much meticulous research.
The book lived up to my expectations on many levels as I will explain in my review.
[to be continued]