Review: The Smoke Room

The Smoke RoomThe Smoke Room by Earl Emerson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Smoke Room
By Earl Emerson

Reviewed by Jay Gilbertson

Being a survivor of a house fire, I have to admit, I was a tad anxious to read this. After all, the star of this suspense novel is a firefighter and fire is his life. Boy is it. Here’s the jolt-of-an-opening line:
“Experts estimated the pig fell just over 11,000 feet before it plunged through Iola Pederson’s roof.”
I know, I know, put it back on the shelf and RUN! Right? Not so fast. And this book is a major page turner and has the attractive sizzle of a new series. Unfortunately, I think author Emerson doesn’t pursue this storyline any further. Which is really too bad. But, that’s just how much you, as a page-flipper, will come to care for the haphazard knucklehead protagonist, Jason Gum.
“…Just call me Gum.”
A 24-year-old, brand new firefighter living in West Seattle, and dreaming of becoming the chief one day. Early on, after hit after hit after hit, you wonder if the guy is going to even make it out of bed and to the fire on time, let alone live through all the incredible road-blocks he puts in his own way. Over and over this guy slams into a wall. Only to bounce right on back and hit the ground slugging.
And there is a romance too and some pretty awesome roller blading which could have been drawn out some more. After blasting through this tale and finally reaching the nearly overwhelming end, you are beyond satisfied. You not only just read a really well-constructed thriller, but you met someone you would be beyond the moon grateful to rescue you from life.
Let alone a fire…

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