A sultry noir in contemporary clothes, this tight new thriller from Brown plays like measured chaos. The plot is twisting, the characters are well shaded, and Brown manipulates each string with a skilled hand, creating a story that will keep listeners puzzled and rapt. Narrator Boutsikaris is a perfect complement to the material. He lends the characters just enough twang to betray their Southern heritage but not so much as to make protagonist Duncan Hatcher seem anything less than a shrewd and hard-edged detective. And for Elise, the gorgeous but married damsel in distress who ties Duncan's libido and loyalties into knots, Boutsikaris employs a lilting tone that simultaneously suggests sweetness, sin and mystery. Did Elise's husband, a distinguished judge, hire someone to kill her, or is she involved in a plot with a drug dealer? Is Duncan making a mistake mistrusting Elise, or is his wariness the one thing that will save him? With Brown's skill for creating rich, layered characters and Boutsikaris's talent for embodying them, this audio doesn't disappoint. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (Reviews, June 19). (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Detective Duncan Hatcher really doesn't believe the tale spun by Elise Laird, the pretty young wife of Judge Cato Laird, when she kills a man who has broken into the house. Her next story is a real doozie. With a four-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Dedicated Savannah cop finds himself dangerously smitten by a sexy-and married-suspect. Even before laying eyes on the man's stunning blond wife, Elise, Duncan Hatcher had reason to resent Judge Cato Laird. It was Laird who declared a mistrial in the murder case of ruthless crimelord Robert Savich, ruining months of Duncan's hard work, and putting a very bad man back on the streets. That is why the homicide detective is justifiably ambivalent when summoned to Laird's opulent mansion one night after Elise shoots-through the heart-a man who appears to be a burglar. Something about her story does not ring true to Duncan, or his intuitive partner DeeDee Bowen. As the investigation moves forward, Elise, a one-time topless waitress, approaches Duncan, alone, claiming that the bungled robbery attempt was actually a plot by her husband to have her killed. That seems hard to believe, since the judge certainly acts like he adores her. And while she will not say why he would want her dead, she still appeals to the cop for his help. Duncan then finds himself on a slippery slope of desire and duty as even his devoted partner wonders whether he can keep it in his pants long enough to uncover the truth. Meanwhile, a private investigator hired by Laird goes missing, and photographs surface of Elise meeting secretly with the pimp-smooth Savich. Clearly, Elise has much to hide, causing Duncan to wonder if she is an icy femme fatale hired to take him down, or the victim of a far-reaching criminal conspiracy who's in need of his protection. Brown's latest (Chill Factor, 2005, etc.) sags a bit in the middle with its laughable cop-show dialogue, but there are enough twists to keep fans guessing. An ablethriller featuring a squared-jawed cop and a shifty dame. Doubleday Book Club/Literary Guild main selection; Mystery Guild featured alternate selection
"A stand-out thriller.... No one does steamy suspense like Brown." Publishers Weekly
"A masterful storyteller." USA Today