Author: Sandra Brown
Published on: August 15, 2006
Genre: Mystery, suspense
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Format: E-book, hardcover, paperback
From the bestselling author of Hello, Darkness and Smash Cut comes another steamy thriller of murder, love, and betrayal featuring a Savannah homicide detective fighting attraction in the heat of the South.
When Detective Sergeant Duncan Hatcher is summoned to the home of Judge Cato Laird in the middle of the night to investigate a fatal shooting, he knows discretion and kid-glove treatment will be key to staying in the judge’s good graces and keeping his job. It’s an open-and-shut case: Elise, the judge’s beautiful trophy wife, interrupted a burglary and killed the intruder in self-defense. Yet Duncan is suspicious of the beautiful woman’s story of innocence and his gut tells him her account of the shooting is only partially true.
Determined to learn the dead man’s connection to the Lairds, Duncan investigates further but soon finds his career, and integrity, in jeopardy. Despite his suspicions, Duncan is increasingly drawn to Elise―even if she is a married woman, a proven liar, and a murder suspect. When Elise seeks Duncan out privately, he initially dismisses her incredible allegation as the manipulative lie of a guilty woman. But if she’s telling the truth, then that single fatal gunshot at her home takes on even more sinister significance, possibly involving Duncan’s nemesis, the brutal crime lord Robert Savich.
And then Elise goes missing…
With plot twists and palpable suspense as only Sandra Brown can write, Ricochet is a gripping thriller of a decent cop’s worst enemy may be his own conscience, and placing trust in the wrong person could mean the difference between life and death.
This is a book where appearances can be misleading. Ricochet is a romantic suspense/mystery centering on homicide detective Duncan Hatcher and wealthy socialite Elise Laird. The pair meets after the latter is found at a crime scene in her house. She lives with her husband Cato Laird, a judge. Elise shot and killed a man in self-defense when she found him rummaging through drawers. At first glance, it looks like a burglary. Initial questioning makes it look more and more like an open-and-shut case. As Hatcher finds out more about the case, he starts to feel that the crime may not be as simple as he thought. It doesn’t help that Hatcher finds a strong attraction toward Elise, even though she’s married.
Hatcher is drawn deeper into the case when Elise asks to meet him in private. He refuses because that’s not what a reputable police officer is supposed to do. So Elise has to set out to meet with him covertly. What she tells Hatcher puts a new, unexpected twist on the case. He initially doesn’t believe Elise, though, much to her chagrin. Elise’s word doesn’t normally hold much weight due to her less-than-stellar reputation. It doesn’t help that her story doesn’t make much sense. Elise claims that her husband placed a hit on her. Hatcher doesn’t believe her not only because Judge Laird is well respected, but because her story seems far-fetched. No husband would want to rid himself of such a beautiful wife. And if he wanted to, he wouldn’t pick a two-star criminal for the job. When you have massive resources, you hire the best.
One thing catches Hatcher’s interest in the case, though. His nemesis, crime lord Robert Savich, may have something to do with the apparent burglary. Hatcher has been after Savich for a long time. He came very close to earning a conviction, but Savich managed to walk. Despite the risk to his job—and his life–, Hatcher sets out to investigate. Eventually, he gives in to his desire for Elise. He doesn’t know that she wants him in her side, to believe her. When she goes missing, Hatcher regrets the way he treated Elise.
Ricochet is one of those books that will keep you guessing. Even though you’re told whodunit, you feel just as skeptical as Hatcher. Like him, I had a hard time believing Elise. That is one enigmatic woman, and she pulls a curveball near the end. Is she good, or is she bad? I had a hard time figuring that out. The author did a great job weaving the plot threads of this book. I didn’t come across any mistakes, but then, Sandra Brown is an experienced author. Hatcher and his partner, DeeDee Brown, were well-developed. Unfortunately, the same can’t really be said for Elise. Due to the role she plays, the author had to keep her partially in the shadows. Elise isn’t your typical romance/mystery heroine, though. Cato Laird also worked finely as a villain. He had a clear motivation, although he was quite too prim sometimes. Savich was good as a secondary villain.
Overall, I was really satisfied with this book. If you’re looking for a mystery that will keep you guessing, look no further than Ricochet. Like its title suggest, the book will take you on a rollercoaster ride.
This book is intended for mature audiences only due to sexual content, plus some violence and language.
A stunning page turner!
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