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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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-06-28
- Reviewer: Staff
Introduced in 2009's Smash Cut, Atlanta PI Dodge Hanley makes this entertaining, if slightly talky romantic thriller from bestseller Brown a must-read for anyone who appreciates a tough guy hero with a heart of gold. Late one night Dodge receives a phone call from his lost love, Houston realtor Caroline King, who asks him to come to Texas to help catch Oren Starks, a creepy over-the-top stalker who's out to kill Dodge and Caroline's 30-year-old daughter, Berry Malone. Dodge hasn't seen Berry since the day she was born. When Starks takes a shot at Berry in Caroline's house, hitting a work associate of Berry's instead, Dodge rushes to the rescue. While Merritt County deputy sheriff Ski Nyland, who falls for the equally smitten Berry, is no slouch on the case, the relentlessly ruthless Dodge plays the most crucial role in the effort to stop the bad guy. Brown fans will want to see more of the irresistible Dodge. (Aug.)
Old and new loves combine in Brown's pulse-pounding thriller
“Even when the bad is staring a woman in the face, she wants to believe her man is good.” Dodge Hanley knows that better than most, and when Caroline King reaches out to him after years of separation, he seizes the opportunity to redeem himself in her eyes. He’s been waiting his baby’s lifetime for just such a call. That baby, Berry Malone, is all grown up now, but Dodge and Caroline’s daughter is in a jam she can’t talk her way out of: A stalker has a twisted plan to punish her for rejecting him in her climb up the ladder at a Texas marketing agency in Sandra Brown’s hot new thriller, Tough Customer.
Caroline calls Dodge after an intruder breaks into her home intent on killing Berry. Instead, Berry’s work partner, Ben Lofland, is shot and left for dead. Calling Dodge was reflexive; the ex-cop turned investigator may have broken Caroline’s heart when Berry was born, but he has the talent and hard-edged drive to catch the shooter. Small-town sheriff Ski Nyland teams up with the battle-scarred veteran of law enforcement—and he’s as susceptible to seductive allure of the daughter as Dodge is to that of her mother.
From the sophisticated realm of the Houston business world to the swampy heat of East Texas’ brambly Big Thicket, the killer leads them on a chase against the time as he targets his next victim. But the romantic pursuit of Berry and Caroline presents even greater dangers to Ski and Dodge.
Brown masterfully weaves a tapestry of two romances with the pulse-pounding suspense of a deadly stalker intent on avenging a lifetime’s worth of wrongs. Dodge may be the “Tough Customer” of the title, but he meets his match in the tenacious Caroline and the strong-willed daughter born of their long-ago love. Readers will meet a story that delivers, with fast pacing, breathless action and twists right up to the very last page.
Sandy Huseby writes from South Dakota and lakeside in Northern Minnesota.