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Smash Cut: A Novel

Smash Cut: A Novel

3.9 196
by Sandra Brown

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From the queen of romantic suspense and bestselling author of Ricochet comes a thriller full of jarring cinematic twists in which a killer reenacts cinema’s goriest murders.

When millionaire Paul Wheeler is murdered, his family retains renowned lawyer Derek Mitchell to defend the victim’s nephew Creighton—although the police have not


From the queen of romantic suspense and bestselling author of Ricochet comes a thriller full of jarring cinematic twists in which a killer reenacts cinema’s goriest murders.

When millionaire Paul Wheeler is murdered, his family retains renowned lawyer Derek Mitchell to defend the victim’s nephew Creighton—although the police have not charged the young man with the crime. Wheeler’s mistress Julie Rutledge, who is also a suspect, believes that Creighton is the killer, despite his rock-solid alibi, and she’ll do almost anything in her quest to prove his guilt—even ruin Derek’s career. But as Derek learns of Creighton’s darker side, especially his bizarre fascination with movie murders, the more he comes to believe Julie is right. The clock ticks down to a shocking ending as Derek and Julie join forces to find the truth. Has Creighton begun re-enacting cinema’s goriest scenes and, if so, who will be his unwilling costars? They won’t know until the final Smash Cut.

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Simon & Schuster
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CREIGHTON WHEELER STORMED ACROSS THE BLUESTONE TERRACE, whipping off his sun visor and making a swipe at the sweat streaming down his face, then without breaking stride, angrily tossed the damp towel and visor onto a chaise. "This better be damn important. I was about to break his serve."

The housekeeper who'd summoned him from the tennis court was unfazed by his temper. "Don't you take that tone with me. It's your daddy wants to see you."

Her name was Ruby. Creighton didn't know her last name and had never bothered to ask, although she'd been in the family's employ since before he was born. Any time he got out of sorts with her, she reminded him that she'd wiped his butt and his nose, that both had been nasty, and that she hadn't enjoyed doing either. It rankled to think of her being that familiar with his person, even when he was a baby.

He brushed past her three-hundred-pound bulk and crossed the industrial-size kitchen to one of several refrigerators, yanking open the door.

"Right now, he said."

Ignoring her, Creighton got a can of Coke from the Sub-Zero, ripped off the tab, and took a long drink. He rolled the cold can across his forehead. "Take one of these out to Scott."

"Your tennis coach's legs ain't broke." She turned back to the counter and slapped her large hand on the hunk of beef she was preparing to go into the roasting pan.

Something ought to be done about her sass, Creighton thought as he pushed through the swinging door and made his way toward the front of the house, where his father had a study. The door was ajar. He paused outside it, thenknocked once on the doorjamb with his Coke can, nudged the door open, and strolled in, twirling the tennis racquet against his shoulder. He looked every inch the aristocrat called away from a session of healthy exercise. It was a role he was perfectly suited to play.

Doug Wheeler was seated behind his desk, which was presidential in proportion but much more pretentious than anything inside the Oval Office. The desk was flanked by mahogany flagpoles, one for the Georgia state flag, the other for Old Glory. Ancestors glared from oil portraits hanging on opposite walls, which were paneled in stained cypress meant to last till the Second Coming.

"Scott's time is money, and the clock is ticking," Creighton said.

"I'm afraid this can't wait. Please sit down."

Creighton took a seat in one of the cordovan leather chairs facing his father's desk and propped his tennis racquet against it. "I didn't know you were here. Weren't you scheduled to play golf this afternoon?" He leaned forward and set his Coke can on the polished surface of the desk.

Frowning, Doug placed a coaster beneath the can so it wouldn't leave a moisture ring. "I dropped by here to change before going to the club," he said. "But something urgent - "

"Don't tell me," Creighton interrupted. "The paper clip audit exposed an embezzlement. Damn those sneaky secretaries."

"Paul is dead."

Creighton's heart gave a bump. His smile collapsed. "What?"

Doug cleared his throat. "Your uncle was shot and killed in the Hotel Moultrie about an hour ago."

Creighton continued to stare at him, then finally released his breath. "Well, in the immortal words of Forrest Gump. Actually his mother. 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.' "

His father lurched to his feet. "Is that all you can say?"

"I think that says it fairly well."

Creighton had never seen his father cry. He wasn't crying now, but his eyes looked suspiciously moist and he was swallowing too often and too hard. In an attempt to hide...

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-seven New York Times bestsellers, including Mean Streak, Deadline, Low Pressure, and Smoke Screen. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, most of which remain in print. Sandra and her husband, Michael Brown, live in Arlington, Texas.

Brief Biography

Arlington, TX
Date of Birth:
March 12, 1948
Place of Birth:
Waco, Texas
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008

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Smash Cut 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 196 reviews.
SHARON39 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful new Sandra Brown extravaganza, full of suspense, twists and turns,and romance...Paul Wheeler killed in a cops and robber situation? A disguised "hit"? Who dun it? Family honor questionable...Movie making fantasy come true?...Hang on to your senses! You're in for another exciting ride, thanks to Sandra Brown's creative genius!! Worth your time!!...Also love Barbara Taylor Bradford, Lisa Scottoline, Diana Gabaldon....and a new discovery, Linda Masemore Pirrung, author of EXPLOSION IN PARIS...Talk about senses....This one will keep your blood cooking!
Dexter2008 More than 1 year ago
Sandra Brown's ability to spark your imagination with descriptive language made this audio which was read by Victor Slezak very entertaining. The characters in the story were very interesting.
like_a_Rock More than 1 year ago
First of all, Victor Sleazac is the BEST reader of Sandra Brown's books. His husky voice adds a certain *pop* to keep you listening. His narration style perfectly compliments the storyline. I have read/listened to every Sandra Brown mystery novel (not so much the early romance stuff). I have never been disappointed. I love the usual twist that you KNOW is going to be there, you just dont know WHAT it is going to be. This novel's twist was more *!WOW!* than usual.
harstan More than 1 year ago
When wealthy Paul Wheeler is murdered in an Atlanta hotel, the police assume a robbery has gone bad. His close friend, gallery owner Julie Rutledge, believes otherwise as she tries to convince the police that Paul's nephew Creighton ordered the hit. Creighton's father asks criminal lawyer Derek Mitchell to represent his son, but the attorney refuses because he is going with Julie to Paris. Outraged by Derek's rejection, Creighton goes after his loved ones. He stalks Julie and Derek's dog Maggie. He plans to kill the girlfriend of his cowardly former partner Billy Duke as a punishment for his backing out of the murder scheme. Creighton plots to stage a triumphant final scene straight out of a classic Hitchcock movie like Frenzy that will leave Billy, Julie and Derek joining his Uncle Paul. This is a super thriller that is fast-paced with rapid changing scenes that add tension as the audience increasingly and avidly anticipates High Noon. The cast is powerful especially the beleaguered Derek and Julie, but SMASH CUT is owned by Creighton who we meet when a servant Rose interrupts his tennis game. With terrific twists especially a late one and homage to great mystery films, fans will enjoy this cat and mouse tale as Creighton worships death scenes from the classics. Harriet Klausner
suzi61 More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into this book and stopped when I got to one horrible line. I almost threw the book. I may never read one of her books again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
spinspinnsuga More than 1 year ago
Sandra Brown is one of the few authors who can combine action, thriller, suspense, murder, crime, and romance, and can do it marvelously. I've developed an insatiable taste for her books, reading them as soon as they come out and impatiently waiting for more. Brown has superb talent in making the readers connect with her characters, making them so real that I mourn their end when I finish each book. Her writing, wording, and style are always beyond five stars. While "Smash Cut" was somewhat suspenseful with a nice little twist in the end, I felt this was not one of her best. The constant movie references were annoying and, for lack of a better work, corny. Julie's motive for sleeping with Derek in the beginning was incredibly outlandish and immediately made me dislike her. It seems as though Julie was this evil character in the beginning, with her remark to Derek, "You've been had", but then completely does a 180 and is now someone loved and respectable. I found it incredibly hard to sympathize with her and like her. Creighton seemed too fake of a person and rather childish with copying movie scenes and spitting out movie quotes. There was a lack of passion between Derek and Julie, and passion is supposed to be Brown's writing specialty. When I put this book down in the end, it reminded me of the movie "Scream", although I felt "Scream" was actually a little better than this book. Her plot was just lacking the usual sophistication I have come to expect from her novels.
AKHabbe More than 1 year ago
This is my first Sandra Brown novel and it will not be my last. It is a quick read with a little bit of everything you want out of a good book, love, sex, scare, family affairs and a comical detective! Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very, very good book, I could not put it down.
C_Hill More than 1 year ago
I love Sandra Brown's books. Being a film buff too this book was a treat. Definitely kept my interest. Found the plot intriguing and characters well developed. Cannot wait on her next offering!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read every single Sandra Brown book. This one is fast paced, but not very romantic. I seem to be reading more books like this these days. Good story line, little romance and angst. I miss the old Sandra Brown who would leave you craving for more when you were finished. I love a book with sexual tension and a great mystery. "Smash Cut" almost gets there...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love her books and there is always a surprise at the end that you do no expect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Sandra Brown book so far! I have read 6 so far and will be working mt way down the list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mwkca More than 1 year ago
Sandra Brown exercises your imagination and stimulates your curiosity. As with any novel there will be areas of boredom but don't let that fool you as just as you relax, something else happens just as fast. Always on the edge of your seat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this book started kind of slow for me, the story picks up and keeps you spellbound. Sandra Brown has always been able to have romance, intrigue, and crazy people in her plots to keep you on the edge of your seat. Its an excellent book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always liked S. Brown's books. This one was very good...kept my interest throughout.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago