Sandra Brown
Grand Central Publishing 2011
480 pages Hardcover

Sandra Brown’s new suspense thriller Lethal, is set in Tambour Louisiana, where crime and corruption run amok, and lines blur between guilt and innocence, lawlessness and honour.

Lethal hits the ground running, when precocious 4 year-old Emily summons her mother to rescue a man sprawled face down in their yard.  Instead of finding him sick or injured, a terrified Honor Gillette is suddenly attacked by Leo Coburn, a menacing multiple murderer eluding pursuit.  She is locked in fear when she realizes she has been targeted, and Coburn tears up her home in search of critical evidence, likely hidden by Eddie Gillette, Honor’s policeman husband who was killed in a tragic car accident.

Coburn convinces Honor that she and Emily are in grave danger, especially if information falls into the hands of The Bookkeeper, a feared and ruthless crime lord involved in homicide, and the trafficking of drugs, and human beings.   Many within and outside of the law are in his employ, so who can be trusted?

The three go on the run to keep Honor and Emily safe, and to discover Eddie’s secret.  The nightmare that follows is a chilling shocker, which blindsides with big unexpected twists.  The ending of Lethal by Sandra Brown is, however, is a little hard to swallow.

Generally, Lethal by Sandra Brown is a good read and a complex and intriguing mystery. This reader definitely wanted more of Sandra Brown’s excellent writing until the book skidded off into Harlequinland, where the predictability of that type of formulaic novel becomes particularly irksome when it dramatically alters the tone and to some extent the genre of what is otherwise a well-written, highly enjoyable and entertaining book.