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Where there s Lucie Smoker there s fire literally and murder with a brush stroke of romance.I had an opportunity to beta read a bit of this, and was looking forward to its release so I could find out what happened in the complex life of artist, Adele Proust After a few years of non dating, due to Adele s dysfunctional relationship with her ex husband, she ventures back into the dating scene Not only is her ex showing renewed interest but also a drug dealer, a musician and her over protective friend Marvin is leery of all of them Problem is one of them, even Marv, could be a murderer Enter a new man in the mix, who happens to be an FBI agent who wants her to spy on all of her friends, and matters get quite complex When her friends start to turn up dead, she feels she has no choice but to agree and use her artistic connections in her tight nit art music community to find the killer I totally enjoyed this book and wavered back and forth as I tried to figure out who the killer was The one star taken off had nothing to do with Lucie s writing, but the publisher s formatting I was confused in a couple spots like when a newspaper article was mentioned around pg 87, Midfield Secretary Found Tortured , so it took a reread to get where the news article ended and the story text came back A font change or a right and left indent if that s possible for kindle format would have helped to define the difference That was my only nit pick.I think the author captured well the art and music scene, and the variety of lifestyles of the characters of Montrose, and despite their many differences, their die hard effort to keep developers out and their community intact. (((Download))) ☔ Explode the Back ↴ Artist Adele Proust Is Over Her Ex, Activist Jack Thomas Well, Sort Of At A Chord Punk Bar, She Slams Down A Shiner To Forget Him, But When Shouts Of Fire Send The Nightclub Into Chaos, Adele Stumbles Over A Slashed Up Corpse The Details Of That Murder Scene Etch Into Her Memory, Then She S Yanked Away The Nightclub Is In Flames Any Clues To The Slasher Burn With The Corpse, Until Adele Brings Them Back In A Painting Reversed She Paints The Background Huge And The Victim Small Her Signature Technique, Reverse Perspective, Brings Out A Pivotal Clue A Paper Currency Strap Thugs With Big Guns Come After Her Sure, The FBI Can Protect Her, But They Want Something Too That Victim Was One Of Their Agents And The Murder Suspects Include Jack Thomas And Her Best Friend, Marvin Without Explaining Much, The FBI Asks Adele To Spy On Her Friends, For Her Country Adele Refuses Until Someone Starts Killing Them Off Excited about launching this fresh voice in crime fiction I really enjoyed Jack and Adele s tumultuous relationship, Adele s commitment to her art and the cast of characters like best friend Marvin who owns a sex toy shop were refreshing The gritty urban setting in Houston worked so well for the story and just like the blurb said, it really does leave readers guessing until the end. May I take a moment and applaud author Lucie Smoker on her debut novel, Distortion I ve been waiting anxiously to read this book since I met her this past summer and have spent every hour of my lunch break this last diving into Adele Proust s world Set in the art district of Houston, local artist Adele Proust finds herself in the middle of murder investigation Adele is a quiet girl who simply wants to paint and be around her friends but her world is about to come crashing down around her The intrigue and lies the come along with any mystery novel are sure to pull you in from the beginning and Smoker s talent for developing repeatable characters will keep you rooting for them throughout the book What I love about Distortion is that it s set in Houston, Texas Not Manhattan, not Chicago or any other trendy city we see so much of in books today but in the art district of Houston I ve only been to Houston once before and had no idea how little I knew about the city After doing some light reading on Montrose area I was surprised that what I had been reading was not so much a great story but as well as a call to attention that is needed for the area, emphasizing on homeless veterans, drug cartels and of course, the arts And like every great mystery novel there is a love story A hopeless romantic at heart all I wanted was for Adele to be happy and find the right man who would do that for her With strong characters, a great story line and wonderful descriptions Distortion is a fun read for all I can t wait to find out what Smoker has in store for us next. A really good read, lots of action, a wonderful view of the Montrose District of Houston, great unforgettable characters and a plot line that was unpredictable I really enjoyed it So, this seems like an almost impossible story to mess up It has a little bit of all my favorite things murder, mystery, romance, rock and art But that s about all I enjoyed in this story What s the story about It s about Adele Proust, an up and coming artist in Houston s Montrose District She s got baggage, but strong and empowered by her talent and her friends, she s moving on through life And she s doing great In the beginning, she falls in with Greg Fowler a super hot, womanizing lead singer for The Fury Houston s hottest post punk band On their first date so to speak a fire breaks out at the club and she stumbles on to a corpse and is able to remember that scene so well that after the place burns down, and the cops kick her out of the area, she is driven to go home and paint it while Mr Fowler writes a song next to her And then this story takes a dive And it only gets worse as the story progresses My biggest problem with this story, and my biggest pet peeve in general, is lack of character development I did not like any of these characters, and was hardly hurt when some died, others were hurt I couldn t have cared less if I tried Which is a sad thing But I have to blame the author, not any bias of my own Her characters are uneven They were inconsistent, and barely believable At times, Adele is a strong powerful woman who can move mountains, and change the world one brush stroke at a time Other times, she is a weak emotional mess that can t budge from the fetal position And I can appreciate that, sometimes I feel invincible, other times not so much, but Adele spends half the book crying, the other half swearing she won t ever cry again A truly terrible thing happens to her towards the end, but the whole scene was written so poorly that I couldn t muster up any emotion And Adele wasn t the only character to be inconsistent In this story, she has two main love interests Greg Fowler, and FBI Super special agent he s not regular FBI, though he sure seemed like he was Blake Ingard Greg is a womanizer who is not very good at womanizing He falls madly in love with Adele, but she keeps him at arms length She refuses to believe he is capable of murder, and wants to clear his name She also wants to bed him, and cares deeply about him, but she also hates him and tries so hard to avoid him and not avoid him andugh Blake on the other hand is intense, and sensitive, and heartless and caring He is great and terrible, and hot and cold and maybe also as bipolar as the rest of the ensemble here And she loves him and hates him, and ugh This whole damn story was annoying to read I can forgive flaws like inconsistent characters and wickedly unbelievable situations of which there were plenty if the writing were grand But the writing is mediocre if I m kind The sentences were weak, the transitions from scene to scene were forced, and jolting, and even her editor failed her I found then a few grammatical errors and a handful of spelling errors, and though I wouldn t bash her if it were just that, I have to since I actually paid money, and found this book through a real publisher Ebook, yeah, but come on, we can t afford an editor Add that to the unbelievable stretches of the imagination, inconsistent characters, forced dialogue, and cliche behaviors, and what you have is a waste of a few hours I want that time back I got nothing from this book Hell, the second star was for ending the damn thing, the first was an act of kindness Don t read this It s not worth it She should find an editor, because the underlying story has hope, but she needs to work on her characters, and she needs to find Adele a therapist, Bipolar disorder is a serious mental issue. I read that this book was now a bestseller on GREAT It s from a small press but the writing is knockout Smoker deserves every bit of praise I often buy big name bestsellers and don t enjoy them as much Where s the sequel I want to know what Adele is going to do now that she s getting famous Will her love for Blake survive It s the first by this author, but I loved the art and the puzzle I figured it out just a few pages before Adele told us who the killer was.