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Carl T Smith

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Member Since: Dec, 2011

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Carolina Fire
by Carl T Smith   

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Books by Carl T Smith
· Nothin' Left to Lose
· A Season For Killing
· Louisiana Burn
· Lowcountry Boil
                >> View all



Publisher:  River Oaks Publishing ISBN-10:  B005Q1387K


Copyright:  Sept 23, 2011

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The third book in the Sam Larkin trilogy. Larkin and a local detective investigate a death in a house fire, which starts out being classified as an accident. Larkin and the detective deal with their own devils (like being labeled as suspects in the killings them in addition to a paranoid killer as the case unravels.

Although murder is central to the plot, it is the destruction of a human soul and its causes that resonates throughout the novel. As D.H. Lawrence said: "To suffer in one's whole self is so great a violation, that it is not to be endured." Anger, obsession and familial disintegration create an atmosphere in which evil thrives as a driving force.

Sam Larkin is a complex paradox of a man. A former wildlife law-enforcement officer, unjustly imprisoned ex-con, teacher and artist, Larkin has come to the lowcountry to find a peace that is sorely lacking in his life; however, as a friend from his past tells him, through his loyalty to friends and to those he loves, trouble seems to seek him out.

Covington County detective, Campbell Gardner is assigned the case. Knowing Larkin's association with the victim, Gardner enlists his help in the investigation. Like Larkin, Gardner has his own devils to deal with. He is not liked by his fellow officers because of his expertise, big city background and affluent lifestyle, as well as the mystery surrounding his arrival in Covington from the police department in Atlanta, Georgia.

The killer's paranoia results in a second murder, the shooting of Larkin's best friend and a vicious attack on Denny Layne Kimbrell, an art gallery owner, friend of Robin Streeter's and an admirer of Larkin's work and the man himself. Though their relationship in the beginning is professional, violence and Robin Streeter's death give birth to a more personal bond.

Larkin not only becomes immersed in his work with Gardner, but is also considered a suspect by sheriff's deputy Willy Brister, an alcoholic and disgruntled man, who is obsessed with getting justice at any cost for the dead woman. He does not believe anyone who has served time in prison can ever be rehabilitated, which makes Larkin a prime target.

Professional Reviews

Startling and Surprising
Not a whodunit, but a why it was done. Prize-winning author Carl T. Smith has created a brilliant cast of characters for this new Sam Larkin novel. Thank Heavens Sam is Back! Set against the lowcountry of South Carolina background that Smith so beautifully pictured in Lowcountry Boil and Louisiana Burn, the author once again takes us into the mind and passions of his people. Sam Larkin and Karen Chaney have become icons in the suspense genre, but this story takes them into uncharted territory. A "good read" does not describe accurately the fire in this book, and the conclusion is as astonishing as anything I have ever read.

Carolina Fire
I read a lot of books and Carl T. Smith is by far my favorite author. I wish he had more books published. I am never disappointed or bored when I read his books and his series with Sam Larkin is amazing. Where most books are predictable and start to get boring I usually skip read through them, Carl keeps me spellbound and I will read the whole book every word and page for fear I am going to miss something. He also has a way of describing the landscape that keeps me interested. Carolina Fire is as action packed and exciting as its predecessors, however it has the most amazing twist and surprise ending. Words can't describe it any better than "you have to read these books to know what I mean."

A Shocker
Hooray for Carolina Fire! A treat for any reader. Carl T. Smith's voice rises above mediocrity, and his lyrical descriptions of the lowcountry of South Carolina are reminiscient of Pat Conroy and James Lee Burke. His characters sparkle with reality and his plot will draw you in and force you to turn the pages. The ending rears its head unexpectedly and smacks one in the face. Quite a book! What's next, Mr. Smith?

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