The design of the cover is a feast for the eye. Simple, a few colors dominate everything and behind the dust jacket a picture that shows a real beauty. Pure but very eye-catching. But that what lays between the two book-cover is a story of its own. Thrilling, full of passion, power, and the all and everlasting desire for more.

by Sandra Brown
Publisher Simon & Schuster on August 15, 2006
Genre Thriller
Pages 385
Format Hardcover


When Savannah detective Duncan Hatcher is summoned to an unusual crime scene, he knows discretion is key. Influential Judge Cato Laird´s beloved trophy wife, Elise, has fatally shot a burglar. She claims self-defense, but Duncan suspects she´s lying and puts his career in jeopardy by investigating further. Then, in secret, Elise makes an incredible allegation, which he dismisses as the lie of a cunning woman trying to exploit his intense attraction to her. But when Elise goes missing, Duncan finds that trusting the wrong person could mean the difference between life and death for both of them. 
Detective Hatcher is stunned when Judge Laird in his presence suspends the case against criminal Savich over a minor incident. Duncan sees himself again at the beginning of his investigation against Savich and drowns his frustration about it in whiskey and to turn on judge Laird´s wife Elise at a ceremony. When he is then called to death by nightfall and finds himself in the judge´s house, the initial desire for Elise soon becomes a desire that Duncan finds difficult to control. With the investigation, in this case, begins for Duncan an exhausting time full of lies, things that do not fit together, and a woman who sends him on a sensory roller coaster.

Sandra Brown wrote the thriller in the usual style. Direct, sharp, and tending to the limit of obscenity. Everything fits together beautifully, the choice of words, the characters, the plot. In the beginning, the story is rather calm, even if the author starts with a crime in two ways. The author has an excellent command of telling the thriller in a varied and logical way and encourages the reader to think along with her narrative style. The suspenseful story is full of surprises and twists and the reader is sent on an exciting journey of discovery in which nothing seems to be as it is portrayed. I especially liked the end of the book. In it, Sandra Brown has developed a sophisticated psychological game between the characters to the absolute showdown and offered the reader an excellent conclusion, the logical answer to any questions from the plot, and ensures a brilliant finale.

Some characters do not get smart at the beginning of the story. Sandra Brown skillfully plays with various traits such as greed, murder, corruption, and abuse of power. It is a pleasure to put yourself in the figures and to observe them. Nothing seems like it is and the reader pats relatively long in the dark regarding some characters and their real motives.

Especially the figure of Elise Laird gave me riddles at the beginning. Was a contradiction in itself. As a cool, blonde beauty with a maddening effect on the men, I first had a picture of a woman in front of me, who is aware of their effects, but this does not use intentionally and can adapt to the situation perfectly. In addition, I had the impression she is extremely fragile and can not say a word independently without the presence of her loving husband. She seemed like a chameleon to me. But the superficial wealthy, who takes everything for granted, is far from them. With her chasms revealed, which stand in stark contrast to their appearance as a happily married judge´s wife, the reader experiences this in a very impressive, enthralling, and convincing way.

A very different character, however, is Detective Duncan Hatcher. He has principles that are so incontrovertibly concreted in his life and profession that he falls into an absolute emotional disaster when he realizes that he is about to drop it for a few moments of fulfillment. But he does his job as usual. Incorruptible, consistent, and always relying on his professional and human instincts. Nevertheless, the otherwise strong man shows a surprisingly soft side when it comes to organizing his thoughts and keeping a clear and cool head: he plays the piano.

A thrilling thriller full of human chasms, sex, betrayal, and murder mixed with blood and the search for new challenges with a certain kick. Should not be missing on the shelf of a Sandra Brown fan!

Happy reading

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown ©Gregory Heisler Studios

Sandra Brown is the author of 63 New York Times bestsellers. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. She is much in demand as a speaker and guest television hostess. Her episode on truTV´s Murder by the Book premiered the series in 2008. She appeared in 2010 on Investigation Discovery´s new series, Hardcover Mysteries. In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write Rainwater, a much acclaimed powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression. Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University where she and her husband Michael Brown, have instituted the ELF, a scholarship annually awarded to a student pursuing a fiction-writing career. In 2008, she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer´s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America´s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 she and four colleagues went on a week-long USO tour to Afghanistan, meeting with service members on numerous bases. Sandra is the past president of the Mystery Writers of America in 2012. She lives in Arlington, Texas, with her husband, Michael Brown.


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