One of the very few thrillers written by the author, that couldn´t convince me. The story and plot lack the sharpness and brilliance Sandra Brown usually shows in her work. At least when it comes to the thriller genre. Guess, the cover of the German edition (to see at the end of my review) and the summary made me want this. And usually, the author´s name and books are a guarantee for great entertainment. Not this time …

by Sandra Brown
Publisher Grand Central Publisher on September 20, 2011
Genre Thriller
Pages 472
Format Hardcover

A young mother living on the Louisiana bayou and a man accused of murder must solve a corruption case while on the run from a dangerous manhunt. When her four-year-old daughter informs her a sick man is in their yard, Honor Gillette rushes out to help him. But that “sick” man turns out to be Lee Coburn, the man accused of murdering seven people the night before. Dangerous, desperate, and armed, he promises Honor that she and her daughter won’t be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word. Coburn claims that her beloved late husband possessed something extremely valuable: a treasure that places Honor and her daughter in grave danger. He’s there to retrieve it at any cost. Honor soon discovers that even her friends can’t be trusted. From the FBI offices of Washington, D.C. to a rundown shrimp boat in coastal Louisiana, Coburn and Honor run for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them, and unravel a web of corruption and depravity that threatens to destroy them . . . and the fabric of society.

Honor is taken hostage in her own home. In order not to endanger the life of her daughter Emily, she responds to the demands of the man who overwhelmed her and must watch helplessly how her decent home is plunged into chaos. But it should get worse. Just when Honor thinks she is free from her hostage-takers clutches, her late husband Eddie’s closest friend appears, and Honor is horrified to see who a friend is and who enemy. A murderous chase begins, with Honor and her little daughter in the focus.

Lethal is strangely dull and without the usual whistle, both in terms of language and action. In one or two places, the author becomes a bit rough, but that's about it. Perhaps it is that what, despite all the events, does not make this thriller go far beyond the average. I am used to something better from the author.

This thriller lacks the linguistic whistle - which Sandra Brown usually goes to the limit of the obscene and still remains sophisticated - completely. Some corrupt police officers, forced prostitution and drug trafficking are the background themes that frame the story. The protagonist is badly drawn into a dangerous cat-and-mouse-game and is confronted with a truth that literally takes her breath away. Sandra Brown understands very well how to present the conflict between the search for the truth, the associated human change, and the emergence of something new in a sensitive yet gripping manner. But for a terrific thriller - for which the author is famous - it is simply not enough.

No matter what character you take in this work - everyone goes through their own personal hell. Sandra Brown has thought through each of her characters carefully, giving each of them their own destiny, their own strength, and yet it also allows failure and the loss of self-control. Together, this results in masterful cooperation, even if one is an enemy and the other a friend.

Honor lives a contemplative life with her little daughter, even if she is in fact completely controlled and restricted by her father-in-law. The latter simply does not want to allow Honor to turn to the future and begin to live again. It takes a long time and is a painful process for both until Honor realizes this and begins to set the course in their lives anew.

Not exactly one of Sandra Brown's strongest titles but definitely entertaining. Even if that certain something was missing, in the end, evil gets what it deserves. And although at the end the author ties all the loose threads together, the famous wow effect that is otherwise inherent in her thrillers is missing this time. If you approach this book without great expectations, you will not be disappointed and will certainly find entertainment.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition by Blanvalet.

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown ©Gregory Heisler Studios

Sandra Brown is the author of seventy New York Times bestsellers. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy-five novels. Bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to over 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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