electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of THE SMOKE by Tony Broadbent

    Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's Minotaur, September 2002

    Click to buy THE SMOKE from Jethro does pretty well for himself in post-WWII London. Between his part-time job working as a stagehand, and his real career as a burgular and jewell thief, Jethro has comfortable wealth, good friends, and plenty of women. A big heist at a foreign embassy looks like it'll set him up for life--with plenty of diamonds, a gold Rolex, and a couple of books that look like they might be worth something. But the books are more than collector's items and the British secret service becomes involved--with a new mission for Jethro. British intelligence is only one of Jethro's problems, though. Leaders in the London mob have no problem with Jethro's acts, but they intend to be cut in for their share. Things quickly become complicated.

    Author Tony Broadbent does a wonderful job depicting London in an era where victory has led to exhaustion rather than a sense of victory. Rich in the slang of London and London's underworld, THE SMOKE (thief cant for London itself) is completely convincing. Jethro's criminal behavior is quirky but sympathetic--he tells himself that he only robs from those who can afford it. In THE SMOKE, they're mostly Russian spies anyway, so no problems.

    I felt that the second heist was a little undermotivated and less than brilliant and one critical character seemed just a little too conveniently available, but the strong opening chapters and the exciting conclusion make up for a multitude of sins. I couldn't put THE SMOKE down and now find myself looking forward to the next novel by this first-time author.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 12/11/02

    Ready to buy it now? Click the button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase THE SMOKE from (hardback).

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE SMOKE from Barnes &