12 June 2012

Review: Tough Customer by Sandra Brown

Author: Sandra Brown

Title: Tough Customer

Series: Mitchell and Associates #2

From acclaimed bestselling author Sandra Brown, "Tough Customer" is a heart-pounding tale about obsession and murder, the fragile nature of relationships, and, possibly, second chances.
Colleagues, friends, and lovers know Dodge Hanley as a private investigator who doesn't let rules get in his way -- in his private life as well as his professional one. If he breaks a heart, or bends the law in order to catch a criminal, he does so without hesitation or apology.That's why he's the first person Caroline King asks for help when a deranged stalker attempts to murder their daughter . . . the daughter Dodge has never met. He has a whole bagful of grudging excuses for wishing to ignore Caroline's call, and one compelling reason to drop everything and fly down to Texas: guilt.
Dodge joins forces with local deputy sheriff Ski Nyland, but the alarming situation goes from bad to worse when the stalker begins to claim other victims and leaves an ominous trail of clues as he lethally works his way toward Berry. Sensing the killer drawing nearer, Dodge, who's survived vicious criminals and his own self-destructive impulses, realizes that this time he's in for the fight of his life.

My Thoughts:

Rating: Somewhere between "Good" and "Excellent."

I won this book from a GoodReads Giveaway - my first time ever to win any book! - and I really enjoyed it. Berry Malone's coworker is stalking her and now he's escalated to violence.

Caroline King, Berry's mother, calls in Dodge Hanley, a private investigator to ask him to help. she's been estranged from dodge for thirty years. Beery is their daughter, but Dodge has never met her.

Although I didn't feel it was very suspenseful, I will say that this novel is more of a suspense novel than most of the suspense novels I've been reading lately. Those were more romances with suspensful elements; this one was more of a suspense with romantic elements. I liked the change. I think it was a solid mystery and a solid chase to find the killer before he got to Berry.

The reason why I didn't find it too suspenseful was because I was totally focused on the relationship dynamics between Caroline and Dodge. Even though it occupied only a minor space in the book, their history was so rich and fraught with - everything: joy, sadness, love, anger, pain, hurt, hope... it was wonderful to read about. I thought it was genius that Ms. Brown managed to weave the flashbacks of the days when Caroline and Dodge were young seamlessly intot the main storyline of the present-day issues: Berry and her stalker. I liked the scruffy irreverent Dodge, and was glad he and Caroline got an HEA after 30 years, can you imagine!!

What I didn't like was the twist. I didn't see that coming, but when it happened, my reaction was more "What the heck?" as opposed to "oh wow, what a cool twist!" But anyway, by then, I was more interested in Dodge and Caroline than I was in the whole stalker issue.

In her acknowledgements at the end, Ms. Brown stated that Dodge was a compelling character and she hoped she did him justice. In my eyes, at least, she did him justice and did it very well.

*My thanks to Sandra Brown and GoodReads.*

1. Smash Cut


  1. The author's name sounds familiar. I'm sure I've read her before, just don't remember what title. Anyway, this sounds like a pretty good read.

    1. Yeah, it wasn't bad at all. You're right, you've probably read her books at some point in time. She has a huge backlist in genre romance before she moved on to writing suspense.


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