“...an intriguing and enjoyable read. Excellent work!” —Readers’ Favorite
“When the Smoke Clears is an entertaining story with themes of grief, suicide, PTSD, abuse, and the dynamic of family relationships.” —San Diego Book Review
Talia Brighton, the young widow of a Los Angeles firefighter is drowning in grief, plagued with nightmares and a terrifying sleepwalking habit as she struggles to overcome the horrific death of her husband. As Talia—who prides herself as “not a hugger, not a crier”—battles regret for the role she may have played in Russ's death, she starts seeing things she can't explain and begins to question if she is fit to raise their daughter Riley.
To make matters worse, a puzzling phone call from a dying old man in Australia thrusts Talia and her deeply cynical sister, Naomi into confronting the mysterious tragedies of their past and their family's generational traumas. Together they endeavor to solve the 1964 murder of their mother, and unravel a diabolical, decades-long plot to rob them of their family fortune and true identities. Talia must navigate the emotional destruction of both past and present if she is to triumph, and this means having the courage to cast aside the Teflon exterior that has shielded her for so many years.
Kat Edwards has a deep understanding of the human psyche and resilience following tragedy. She has a decades-long history of clinical experience in emergency, disaster, and trauma management and has published in both educational and academic medical journals.
As a faculty member she developed and taught a program for self-care and wellness in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She has maintained a lifelong interest as a competitive endurance athlete. Kat has lived in Australia, South Africa, and the US. She currently lives with her British husband Markie and their two adorable ginger cats, Naughty and Nice in Northern California.