Reviews

🎧 Midnight Smoke (Firebrand #3) by Helen Harper Read by Ruth Urquhart

ALC Featured Image - Firebrand 3 - Midnight Smoke by Helen Harper - Read by Ruth Urquhart

Hello, fellow audiobook listeners. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts about Midnight Smoke written by Helen Harper and narrated by Ruth Urquhart. The third audiobook in Helen’s urban fantasy series, Firebrand.

My thanks to the publisher, Tantor Audio, for the audiobook in exchange for a candid review.

What’s Midnight Smoke about?

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🎧 Midnight Smoke (Firebrand #3) by Helen Harper  Read by Ruth UrquhartMy Rating:
Title: Midnight Smoke by Helen Harper
Series: Firebrand #3
on 12 January, 2021
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Suspense, Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Ruth Urquhart
Length: 7 hours 52 minutes

Supernatural Squad might be small, but we're growing in power. The vampires and werewolves of London are beginning to respect me more and I feel like I know what I'm doing - even if I don't yet understand what I truly am.

Unfortunately, there might be a few snags to deal with. I'm trying to avoid Lord Horvath, the black-eyed vampire leader who seems intent on a more intimate relationship. There's also Devereau Webb, who runs a small criminal syndicate and has offered me a mysterious gift that I'm certain I don't want. And across the span of one single day, supernatural hell breaks loose across the city of London.

A suicidal vampire has climbed up the London Eye.

Three werewolves have hijacked a tourist bus.

This might prove to be the longest day of my life.

©2020 Helen Harper (P)2021 Tantor


Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: Audiobook
Purchase Links: Amazon* ¦ Audible* ¦ Audiobooks.com*

Or, read for free using your Kindle Unlimited subscription! 💜 🥳 💜

Listened To: 27th January – 1st February 2022


What did I think about it?

selective focus photography of hour glass
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

A Great Race-Against-Time Police Detective Story

I’m a newish fan of Helen Harper, having only listened to four of her books so far. However, I really like her writing style; it feels well researched and natural. The supernatural world that Helen has created is a rich, fantastical tapestry that still feels real and believable. I enjoyed the pace at which this story evolves and liked the twists, turns and red herrings she added to the plotline. The banter in this story was really good too. It felt natural and had me smiling and chuckling out loud quite a few times. 😘

Midnight Smoke is book 3 with new crimes to solve and new supes to meet.

I mentioned before how I liked that there was such a varied selection of characters in this series so far. We’re introduced to a few more supernatural species in this story. But kudos go to Helen because she has given her paranormal characters traits and personalities that I haven’t come across before. There are some wonderful ones that warm my heart and others I really enjoyed hating. 😘

A protagonist that’s growing and evolving to become a worthy heroine.

I’m not going to lie, I was unconvinced about Emma Bellamy as a police detective at first. However, as the series has progressed, she’s proved herself to be intelligent, resilient and quick to learn. I’m loving seeing her actively filling the gaps in her knowledge and skills during this series. It’s a steep learning curve but she’s holding her own; building relationships and her reputation. Midnight Smoke really put her powers of deduction and police training to the test. Emma has become a formidable force to be reckoned with and has nurtured a great team around her.

Ruth Urquhart is a really good narrator.

I like the pace at which Ruth reads this story; she does a good job of drawing me in. For me, her performance captures Emma’s personality to a tee. In addition, the emotions and inflexions that Ruth uses for the different scenes feel natural; she brings them to life. She has also created many different voices for the various characters, both male and female. Each voice is distinguishable from another, so, thankfully, I never feel lost during the many conversations, wondering who is speaking.

Midnight Smoke is a really good audiobook.

It’s a great race-against-time story to get your teeth into and a wonderful example of a character-led urban fantasy plot. I’ve already added the next audiobook – Scorched Heat – to my audio library. I’m keen to find out what cases Emma and her fabulous team have to investigate next and how her position in the MET and London’s supernatural community is affected after the incidents in this story.


Has my review of Midnight Smoke encouraged you to find out more? I bet it has! Click on any of my links to check it out yourself.

Keep reading to find out more about Helen Harper. But first, let me share some info about this series.

Firebrand by Helen Harper

Emma Bellamy is on the Degree Holder Entry Programme to become a detective constable for London’s MET. She’s assigned to Supernatural Squad as her final placement. A placement she has to complete before she can become a fully-fledged detective.

But Supernatural Squad is turning out to be a far more life-changing placement than Emma expected.

Each book in this urban fantasy series sees Emma faced with a new crime to solve – which she does with her growing knowledge and experience.

Books in the Series

Amazon* ¦ Audible*


Now as promised, here is Helen Harper’s bio and social media links.

About Helen Harper

Author - Helen Harper
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door!
Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.
"From almost the moment I learnt to read, I fell in love with the escapism provided by those genres. No matter how bad life gets, you can always find a route out, even if only temporarily, in the pages of a good book."
The growth of urban fantasy fascinated her - the mix of reality and fantasy along with strong heroic female characters appealed from the very beginning, and inspired her to write her own. No-one is more astonished or thrilled than her that her characters have found an audience and that her books have achieved average reviews of 4 to 5 stars on Amazon and GoodReads.
Helen currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere!

And because this is a review for an audiobook, here is Ruth Urquhart’s bio and links too.

About Ruth Urquhart

Narrator - Ruth Urquhart

Ruth Urquhart trained at East 15 Acting School and has spent the last twenty years working as an actor in theatre, film, TV, and education.

She is an Audible Approved Producer and has narrated over 100 titles. Among many other things, she has toured internationally and appeared in an Irish sitcom Give My Head Peace and the feature film Puckoon. She runs her own theatre company and is a published playwright (Tea with Mrs Pankhurst). Her forte is character work, and she has an excellent ear for accents.

A native Scot, she was raised in Scotland with English parents; she quickly became bilingual in English and Scottish accents, speaking in an English accent at home and a Scottish one at school. She loves narrating audiobooks and has recorded a wide variety of genres requiring all sorts of different characters and dialects. She lives in Yorkshire, England, with her partner, two children, and an array of animals.


Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my thoughts about Midnight Smoke. Have you read this one or any others by Helen Harper? Are there any of Ruth Urquhart’s narrations in your collection? Drop a comment below so we can compare notes. 😉

Flora's Signature 3

My love of audiobooks has grown over the last few years. Before you go, check out my Audiobook Challenge 2022 page!

Bye for now

Flora x

Pinterest Audio ARC Review - Firebrand 3 - Midnight Smoke by Helen Harper - Read by Ruth Urquhart

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

(3) Comments

  1. These covers alone are enough to make me put these on my TBR ♡

  2. WendyW says:

    Those covers are gorgeous! Sounds like a wonderful series!

    1. Thanks Wendy, it’s getting better and better.

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