Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beach Read: "Tough Customer" by Sandra Brown

Although not universally accepted, my definition of a “beach read” is a book set primarily near a body of water, be that an ocean, lake or swimming pool. 

Todays review: tough customer, by Sandra Brown.
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  391
Publication date:  August 2010
Publisher:  Simon & Shuster
Beach Setting:  Lake House, Central Texas
Favorite Passage:  When she did <<tilt her face towards him>>, Dodge felt his whole body expand and levitate as though it had suddenly been inflated like one of those Thanksgiving Day parade balloons.  Then her eyes tethered him and slowly he resettled, but he still didn’t return to normal.  He retained that sense of buoyancy. 

Beach Read Rating:  4 (out of 5) Beach Umbrellas

Review:  Tough Customer offers the best of both worlds, mystery and romance.  You can’t help but root for Dodge and Caroline.  Sandra expertly manages a great see-saw of backstory and forward story that provides energy to keep this reader turning pages.  Overall, a compelling read, but the one drawback was it seemed the black moment came 100 pages before the end.  But any astute reader knows you can’t have that much denouement.  However, the “real” black moment almost seemed to be an afterthought.  Still, can’t argue the fact that Sandra Brown definitely has a way with words!   

Cover blurb: 
Colleagues, friends, and lovers know Dodge Hanley as a private investigator who doesn’t let rules get in his way—in his private life as well as his professional one. If he breaks a heart, or bends the law in order to catch a criminal, he does so without hesitation or apology.That’s why he’s the first person Caroline King—who after a thirty-year separation continues to haunt his dreams—asks for help when a deranged stalker attempts to murder their daughter . . . the daughter Dodge has never met. He has a whole bagful of grudging excuses for wishing to ignore Caroline’s call, and one compelling reason to drop everything and fly down to Texas: guilt.Dodge’s mind may be a haze of disturbing memories and bad decisions, but he arrives in Houston knowing with perfect clarity that his daughter, Berry, is in danger. She has become the object of desire of a co-worker, a madman and genius with a penchant for puzzles and games who has spent the past year making Berry’s life hell, and who now has vowed to kill her.Dodge joins forces with local deputy sheriff Ski Nyland, but the alarming situation goes from bad to worse when the stalker begins to claim other victims and leaves an ominous trail of clues as he lethally works his way toward Berry. Sensing the killer drawing nearer, Dodge, who’s survived vicious criminals and his own self-destructive impulses, realizes that this time he’s in for the fight of his life.  From acclaimed best-selling author Sandra Brown, Tough Customer is a heart-pounding tale about obsession and murder, the fragile nature of relationships, and, possibly, second chances. 


catierhodes said...

Thanks for reviewing this. I have only read one Sandra Brown novel (Play Dirty). I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe I need to pick this one up? :D

Anonymous said...

Test: to see if Anonymous comments are posted. Fingers crossed.....

Rhonda Hopkins said...

Thanks for the recommendation Jayne. I usually like Sandra Brown's books. I'll have to give this one a try, too. :-)

Patricia said...

I hope this works. I am giving it a try.

Liz said...

Hi, Jayne--Serendipitous review! Thanks--I have this one fairly high on the TBR pile. I've always been a Sandra Brown fan--I feel she is a reliable read. Now about that time thing...