Women and sex

A new novel, Smoke, examines women and sex from a fresh prospective.  It is the story of a young man whose identity is lost, searching for a means to survive under a terrible threat, and finds two completely different experiences with women and sex that initially conflicts him, but ultimately saves him.  As a former marine, his is no stranger to women and sex, but these two women are extraordinary.

The protagonist of this suspenseful novel written by Jeremy Chester, is an orphan.  But he is an unusual orphan.  His identity quandary is not simply separation from his biological parents.  He believes that he is a ‘foundling’, raised by parents assigned by the state.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps during Viet Nam, to get away from his foster parents and find some kind of home.  The Marine life does not work, and worse, upon separation, he is caught up in a sting operation.  He is living in a large house with a number of other Viet Nam vets, and his first loving experience of women and sex is interrupted, when the building is raided by a gang of narcs, complicit with the (then) Bureau of Narcotics.  His new-found other dies in the crossfire, and subsequently he is falsely accused of drug trafficking.

He agrees to work undercover for the Bureau, to avoid the chance of prosecution.  And he does so well that after two years the only option that will allow him to avoid retribution is to disappear into the federal witness protection program.  This means erasing his fragile identity again, further confusing him (now on his third identity), and then he is confronted with even a larger problem.

The novel opens with a letter sent to him in the spring of 1972, an anonymous letter, saying simply, I know who you are.

At this point he has been in the witness protection program for two years, and at least superficially, had seemed content to have been a gym teacher at a high school on Long Island, with his major accomplishment the successful motivation and training of the first local high school girls’ softball team – virtually unheard of in those days.

As the plot develops, he decides to go along with the threat from this anonymous antagonist, simply to find out who he or she is.  He is threatened with exposure if he does not carry out what seems to be an impossible assignment:  the kidnap and holding for ransom of the president of a large security company based in Miami – a man who has been a former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Two women enter the bizarre plot.  One is another victim of circumstance hiding in the witness protection program.  She is recovering from atrocious abuse, but has strength of spirit sufficient to allow recovery if she can renew her belief in a healthy relationship.  The second is at the other end of the spectrum.  Not only is she privileged and wealthy, she had executed her husband and the woman she believed to be her husband’s lover some years earlier.  Although convicted, she successfully avoided prison, her attorneys convincing the jury that she was the victim – not her husband or his lover.

Smoke, the protagonist, falls in love with both, and they him.  And then things get really complicated.  While identity and the suspenseful journey made by the protagonist to discover his enemy constitutes the framework of the plot, the story is very much about this relationship.  In fact, the protagonist suddenly understands this during a deadly scene near the climax as he thinks how much one of the women had done for him, and how much the two of them had made of him.  He is reborn, and with the rebirth during a spectacular denouement, soon discovers his true identity.

Enjoy books with women and sex? Get your copy of Smoke today!