Author: Sandra Brown
Subject: Contemporary; Suspense; Fiction; Trials (Murder); Legal; Crime; Public Prosecutors
Publisher: Leo-commerce (1999-01-01)
Sandra Brown's two previous novels, Unspeakable and Fat Tuesday, earned her a loyal band of romantic suspense fans and The Alibi is sure to increase the following. Mixing a little murder, some corruption, and a good bit of illicit romance, this novel makes the golf courses of Charleston, South Carolina, seem as seedy and fascinating as the back alleys of Chinatown.
Hammond Cross wants to be the district attorney, and for years he has proven himself to be a man of high principles and irreproachable character. When his investigations turn up evidence of the corruption of local tycoon Lute Pettijohn, Hammond has no doubt about what is the right thing to do--even when his own father is under suspicion. However, this simple debate becomes complicated when Pettijohn is murdered and Hammond's alibi is a night of forbidden passion with the suspected murderess, Dr. Alex Ladd.
Brown's quick dialogue, character quirks, and plot twists help give a modern bent to the classic detective tale. While some of the characters prance across the pages with a predictability that would make Dashiell Hammett proud (the drunk-makes-good assistant, the light-hair-dark-history socialite) most of the characters show refreshing individuality. As Hammond's internal conflict intensifies--and the passion and danger do, too--readers will find all criticisms vanishing as they blast their way through this suspenseful page-turner. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien
From Publishers Weekly
The prolific Brown (Unspeakable) undoubtedly has another bestseller in her latest suspense novel, which catches its protagonist in a tricky ethical situation. When Charleston real estate developer Lute Pettijohn is murdered in the penthouse suite of the posh hotel he recently built, there is no shortage of likely suspects; Pettijohn is one of the most hated men in town. On the same night that the murder occurs, assistant district attorney Hammond Cross attends a county fair, where he meets a mysterious woman who refuses to tell him her name. But Cross is so smitten he cajoles her into spending the night with him in his country cabin. Later, when a witness places the woman, now identified as respected psychologist Dr. Alex Ladd, at the scene of the crime, she becomes the number one suspect. Hammond, the prosecutor on the case, finds himself furious at, suspicious of and in love with the beautiful Ladd. Her alibi, obviously, is that she was with him when the crime was committed, but it turns out that she could have shot Pettijohn and still managed to turn up at the fair. Hammond believes her innocent, however, and in spite of his ambitions for higher office, he risks his career to find the real killer. Brown's gift for taut pacing compresses the time frame of the book into one short week, and she mixes the suspense with steamy romance. A web of labyrinthine relationships becomes ever more intricate until the identity of the killer is revealed, a shock that would be implausible in a less carefully constructed tale. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.