Sandra Brown’s Lethal


Lethal by Sandra Brown | LibraryThing

Brown, S., Slezak, V., & Hachette Audio (Firm). (2011). Lethal. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781609419172

Reasons for Reading : Since I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading Sandra Brown books, I requested her latest through HCPL. I read both the hardcover and audiobook version of Lethal.

Summary : Widow Honor Gillette lives with her four year old daughter, Emily, on a remote property outside a small Louisiana town. When Emily tells Honor there’s a sick man in their yard, Honor goes out to offer aid to the ill man, she discovers Lee Coburn. Coburn is on the run under the suspicion of killing seven people the previous night. He swears to Honor that she and Emily will not be hurt provided that Honor does as Coburn tells her. Beyond this point, Honor questions the trustworthiness of all in her life.

Review : Before I delve into the negatives, let me mention a few things I truly appreciated in this book. 1) Brown notes at the end of the novel that much of the action involved cell phones. I enjoyed what she expressed about this and since it’s post-novel, I’m not saying anymore. 2) Not always, but often, Brown spoke of her characters “cursing profusely” (Brown, 2011) rather than reveal what choice words characters employed. 3) Brown shines when it comes to dialogue. I believe she has an ear for it.

However, this wasn’t my favorite Sandra Brown book. She had some really nasty characters in Lethal. Also, I found some of the answers to the mysteries with rather unlikely. Lastly, the following comment isn’t about Brown but rather about the narrator. This guy didn’t read the female dialogue in falsetto but I dreaded each time little Emily spoke. He shouldn’t ever do child voices.  

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song : Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou – YouTube

Setting  : Louisiana

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Sandra Brown’s Smoke Screen


Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown | LibraryThing

Brown, S. (2008). Smoke screen. Waterville, Me: Thorndike Press. 9781410405630

When I desperately needed a book, I spied a Sandra Brown book on the large print shelf at HCPL – one I hadn’t read. So, I took the book home and read it within days.

Charleston, South Carolina broadcast journalist Britt Shelley wakes up in bed with the dead body of police detective Jay Burgess. Britt doesn’t remember how she got there or how Jay died. While recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, Britt looks suspect.   

Just five years ago, Jay’s former best friend, ex-fireman Raley Gannon, experienced something similar, waking up next to a dead party girl after one of Jay’s wild parties. At the time, Raley was investigating the big fire at the police headquarters. This fire resulted in seven deaths even though Jay and three others heroically saved many. Britt and Raley team up to investigate what really happened with the fire. They also seek vindication.

While I’ve read many Sandra Brown books, Smoke Screen is the first one I’ve reviewed. She bundles explosive chemistry between Britt and Raley with sleuthing. I continue to read Brown’s books due to excellent dialogue, characterization, and description. Smoke Screen meets this criteria. I liked this novel better than a few others by Brown simply because she offered up not one but two characters seeking exoneration. She’s wickedly good at conjuring the thoughts of some rather icky characters and I was relieved Smoke Screen wasn’t one of those – see Unspeakable or Fat Tuesday for these nasty villains.

This wasn’t my favorite Brown book but I didn’t feel I wasted my time reading it. I saw that it was made into a Lifetime Movie. Maybe I’ll see it at some point.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – ‪Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water w/ lyrics‬‏

Places : Charleston, South Carolina

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