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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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3.3 out of 5
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  • A fun read

    Wow!! Quite a different read. It was a slow burn where I couldn't stay away from my kindle even I wanted to. The author Claire Lewis did a brilliant job; there was something haunting about the main character whose story was etched in almost every corner of the book. Eerie was the way the human brain worked with its hidden memories. Celeste had a past, catastrophe which occurred 7 years ago. With her memories fogged due to the shock, she lived her life with a feeling of being watched until the past came back to get her. My second book by this author, the story felt to be a jigsaw puzzle initially with multiple POVs along with dual timelines. It was slow going where I didn't know whether to like and empathize with Celeste or not. But I couldn't leave the book as seething about the prose kept gnawing at me. What really was happening with Celeste. The curiosity to know the truth took a hold on my senses and I had to read the book to the finish. I completely blamed the author for making me obsessed with the main character, just like her stalker. Yes, there was one of those too. A book I started at midnight and continued over breakfast. A captivating puzzle I had to solve.

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  • A gripping psychological thriller

    No Smoke Without Fire is the first book I have read from Claire and it was a great introduction to her work. As I read the blurb, I knew this was one book that I had to read and I was not disappointed. It is a chilling read that captures your attention immediately and holds it right until the end. Claire has created a plot that is quite dark with its subject matter and does deal with sensitive issues. It is a real page turner that kept me on my toes and one where I had no idea whatsoever where Claire was going to take the story. I love that in a psychological thriller and how it messes with your head, while making you think. It is also full of twists and turns that are peppered throughout which make for some shocking revelations. Told over multiple timelines and point of views, Claire unravels the story by dangling a carrot in front of you, only to then pull it away, as she slowly unravels the story bit by bit. A risky move, as it doesn’t always work and can be frustrating, but Claire has utilised this technique well by being able to keep the reader engaged while doing this. Claire has done a outstanding job with the characters in this story and all have been used well. I was quite fascinated and intrigued by the main protagonist of Celeste, who is so complex and emotionally unstable. She really pulls at the heartstrings and has been written so beautifully. No Smoke Without Fire is a great read with one of the most unexpected and dramatic endings that I have read this year! It was a pleasure to be able to read and review this book and I will be eagerly awaiting the next book from Claire. Thank you to NetGalley, Aria Fiction and Claire S. Lewis for allowing me to read an advanced copy of No Smoke Without Fire which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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  • Too Ambiguous For Me!

    This is an enigmatic read; it took a while for me to get the gist of things and even then I'm not sure I fully understood it all. Celeste is running from her past, and the memories are stopping her from moving on. A trauma in her life has never been fully dealt with, so when the past pops up in her life again, it causes big problems. In all honesty, I spent most of this novel trying to work out what was going on. I felt it was a bit 'smoke and mirrors'. Just when I thought I had a grip on it, the story would slide away from me again. Celeste's employer and friends were unbelievably patient and understanding and that stretched my imagination quite a bit. No Smoke Without Fire is my first book by this author and whilst it is well written with some interesting details, I always felt that perhaps some of it was passing me by. I'm not sure if it was me or the story, but I struggled all the way through and found the ending to be a bit surprising. It's quite possible if I had read the novel at a different time, I would have 'got it' and while I'm sure others will love the story, it's a bit too ambiguous for me. After some thought, I've settled on 3.5*.

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