Sandra Brown's new romantic suspense thriller has everything her readers want. She delivers an interesting murder case, a boiling love affair, and enough surprises to satisfy the "I want something new" crowd. When you have all those things in a novel such as FRICTION then you know it is going to be a best seller.
The focus of the story is on Crawford Hunt, a Texas Ranger who is going through a child custody case. It is being heard by Judge Holly Spencer. Before a decision can be handed down a masked man enters the courtroom and starts shooting. Hunt springs into action by throwing himself atop Spencer. This saves her life and starts their relationship.
The rest of the book concerns the search for the identity of the shooter and the cause of the crime. Brown does a masterful job of balancing the scenes of the investigation and the scenes of the relationship(s). As good as the smoldering relationship between Hunt and Holly is, the personal relationship between Hunt and his little girl is the one that will tear at your heart.
One flaw in the book is the opening scene. It describes what happens at a shootout at the end of the book. By opening the book this way, Brown removes a lot of the suspense of the story. In a mystery/thriller I want as little revealed in advance as is possible.
Otherwise this is one of Brown's best books. It moves its story along at just the right pace. There is no padding of the plot in order to draw the story out. There are enough subplots to make the story feel complete, especially the one about the hero's quest to regain custody of his daughter. The scenes regarding this issue are among the best in the book.
Brown also knows how to heat up the pages with her love scenes. The romance between Holly and Hunt is sure to satisfy Brown's fans. She knows just how to describe the passion between these two, as well as their physical and mental connections. She also tackles the issue of career versus relationships. Holly has a bright career ahead of her and a relationship with Hunt could put that on hold.
Romantic thriller fans can get in line now for one of the hottest Sandra Brown books ever. This lady knows what her fans like and this time out she delivers on every requirement and need.
FRICTION is published by Grand Central Publishing. It contains 416 pages and sells for $26.00.
Jackie K Cooper