Author: Sandra Brown
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: January 2nd 2007 by Simon & Schuster
Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★
“But obsession was a tough adversary to argue against. Once a person became that grafted to something, it ruled her life, governed her decisions, and ultimately could lead to calamity.”
When Detective Sergeant Duncan Hatcher is summoned to the home of Judge Cato Laird in the middle of the night to investigate a fatal shooting, he knows discretion and kid-glove treatment will be key to staying in the judge’s good graces and keeping his job.
It’s an open-and-shut case: Elise, the judge’s beautiful trophy wife, interrupted a burglary and killed the intruder in self-defense. Yet Duncan is suspicious of the beautiful woman’s story of innocence and his gut tells him her account of the shooting is only partially true.
Determined to learn the dead man’s connection to the Lairds, Duncan investigates further but soon finds his career, and integrity, in jeopardy. Despite his suspicions, Duncan is increasingly drawn to Elise―even if she is a married woman, a proven liar, and a murder suspect.
When Elise seeks Duncan out privately, he initially dismisses her incredible allegation as the manipulative lie of a guilty woman. But if she’s telling the truth, then that single fatal gunshot at her home takes on even more sinister significance, possibly involving Duncan’s nemesis, the brutal crime lord Robert Savich.
And then Elise goes missing…
4 of 5 stars to Ricochet by Sandra Brown
I was so convinced Elise Laird may possibly be a “bad guy,” at least in a minor fashion that can be redeemed, that I had to check the book blurb twice to see if I read the name of the heroine correctly. Early in the chapters I had doubts about her, “Maybe she’s not the heroine, let me check the blurb again.” But as the story progressed and the events kept incriminating Elise, I thought “Hell, she’s really the heroine and a shady one at that. This could only get interesting.”
“Interesting” is such lukewarm word to describe the reading experience because the fact is, it was a consuming one. Even when I dropped the book to do other chores, I kept thinking about it, particularly what Elise’s connection may be to the villains. I confess, my ideas were so far-off the truth. It was the classic overthinking that did me in. I thought Elise’s relationship with the villains are too complicated and may add more conflict (particularly in the romance department) but the truth about her identity was so simple. I never actually entertained the idea of it because it’s cliche and thought Brown too meticulous for such an overused plot device. It was an ironic and quite genius a strategy to throw off readers.
It’s also refreshing to read about a Brown hero who is so transparent. Duncan Hatcher is exactly what he seems: an honest to goodness detective, dedicated to his job and hopelessly attracted to his number one suspect, Elise Laird. It was entertaining to see him struggle over duty or lust but he always chose duty and what he thought was right and for that, he is so admirable.
On a different note, the romance between Elise and Duncan was a slow burn one, despite the “insta-lust” they felt for each other at first meeting. Brown knows how to court her romance-junkie readers, providing a lengthy foreplay followed by a swift interlude and then suspending the actual intimacy leaving readers wanting for more. And when the inevitable happens, it’s all gratifying and explosive.
I have yet to read a Sandra Brown novel I didn’t like and Ricochet is no exception. It is definitely another favorite. I can’t wait to indulge in more of Sandra Brown’s works.
***cover art: 4/5 stars. Looks classy!***