Homicides are never predictable or routine. They have their own facts and circumstances along with a distinct vibe that sets each apart from every other one. For a homicide investigator, the more complex, the more challenging, and frustrating, the greater the reward when the case is resolved and the killer sent off to jail.

In the early morning of a summer day in 2000, a fire in the basement function room of a residential condo complex in Malden, Massachusetts not only brought the town’s fire department to the scene, but police arson investigators as well. When the fire was extinguished, the water pumped out and the smoke cleared, what emerged was both shocking and puzzling. With one look the detectives on-scene realized they needed to sound the alarm for a more intense and wide-ranging investigation. Over the next several hours, investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office along with detectives from the Homicide Unit of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office converged on the scene and partnered up with the Malden Police inspectors. They located and collected evidence and interviewed dozens of residents. This case had the clear earmarks of a classic whodunit, but with a definite twist.

When the Smoke Cleared is a remarkable true-crime thriller that will have your undivided attention from the moment you open the book’s front cover until the time you finish it and pass it on to a friend or family member! Beyond the suspense, this factual account is a police and prosecution procedural, detailing and explaining the movements and tactics of the detectives and prosecutors who worked the case through the trial to the ultimate verdict. You literally have a seat at the conference room table with their playbooks opened in front of you.

Bill Powers, the Detective Lieutenant and senior supervisor of the Massachusetts State Police Unit assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office when this event occurred, wrote and narrated this story. He was on-scene that morning and his position and direct involvement in the case offers a unique assessment of the people who have committed their careers to solving and prosecuting capital crimes. This is where truth separates from fiction. There are no lone wolves in the world of homicide investigations, only dedicated teams of specialists whose sole professional purpose is to bring those responsible for murdering another human being to justice. You are sure to come away with a different perspective of the kind of work these folks do than you had before you read this fascinating book!