Chasing Smoke

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Original cover art for Chasing Smoke
2nd edition cover art for Chasing Smoke

Chasing Smoke (978-1606480199) is the second book in the Skin Kadash mystery series.

General Information

Chasing Smoke is the only book in the series to feature only Skin as a point-of-view character. It is preceded by Lost Dog and followed by the short stories "The Missus," "Coffee, Black," and "Sunlight Nocturne," and then the book Day One.

A second edition of Chasing Smoke with new cover artwork is available as an ebook.

Publication and Reception

Published in 2008, Chasing Smoke received a starred review from Library Journal [1] and was a finalist for the 2009 Spotted Owl Award[2]. It was also an IndieBound Notable Next for January 2009[3].

Jacket Copy

Portland homicide detective Skin Kadash just wants to survive cancer treatment so he can get back to the work he loves. When his partner tries to drag him into an unofficial investigation of a series of deaths, he’s not interested — he’s dead-dog sick and doesn’t need the grief — until she reveals the victims all suffered from cancer themselves, and all had one thing in common with Skin. His oncologist.

The deaths are all apparent suicides; the police have closed the book on them. Then a mysterious young woman, daughter of the first victim, surfaces and insists the dead men were all murdered. Before her story can be probed more deeply, she disappears, leaving Kadash with no support from the cops and little to go on except a nagging belief the missing woman knew more than she revealed.

Kadash is left to chase elusive leads among the bitter and broken widows of the dead men. Struggling with his own illness and with a growing rift between himself and his partner, Kadash finds himself entangled in a web of resentment, jealousy, and deceit. Ultimately, he finds that not is he only seeking a missing woman and the truth about the dead men, but also the meaning of his own life in the face of his impending mortality.

Major Characters

The Five Dead Men

Jeri Titchmer had a list of men she claimed were all murder victims, describing them as The Five Dead Men. At the time of her original report, the first man on the list, Abe Brandauer, was still alive. She insisted he wouldn't survive for long if the police didn't act.

Points of Interest

Awards and Nominations

  • Starred Review: Library Journal
  • Finalist: 2009 Spotted Owl Award