“Even when the bad is staring a woman in the face, she wants to believe her man is good.” Dodge Hanley knows that better than most, and when Caroline King reaches out to him after years of separation, he seizes the opportunity to redeem himself in her eyes. He’s been waiting his baby’s lifetime for just such a call. That baby, Berry Malone, is all grown up now, but Dodge and Caroline’s daughter is in a jam she can’t talk her way out of: A stalker has a twisted plan to punish her for rejecting him in her climb up the ladder at a Texas marketing agency in Sandra Brown’s hot new thriller, Tough Customer.
Caroline calls Dodge after an intruder breaks into her home intent on killing Berry. Instead, Berry’s work partner, Ben Lofland, is shot and left for dead. Calling Dodge was reflexive; the ex-cop turned investigator may have broken Caroline’s heart when Berry was born, but he has the talent and hard-edged drive to catch the shooter. Small-town sheriff Ski Nyland teams up with the battle-scarred veteran of law enforcement—and he’s as susceptible to seductive allure of the daughter as Dodge is to that of her mother.
From the sophisticated realm of the Houston business world to the swampy heat of East Texas’ brambly Big Thicket, the killer leads them on a chase against the time as he targets his next victim. But the romantic pursuit of Berry and Caroline presents even greater dangers to Ski and Dodge.
Brown masterfully weaves a tapestry of two romances with the pulse-pounding suspense of a deadly stalker intent on avenging a lifetime’s worth of wrongs. Dodge may be the “Tough Customer” of the title, but he meets his match in the tenacious Caroline and the strong-willed daughter born of their long-ago love. Readers will meet a story that delivers, with fast pacing, breathless action and twists right up to the very last page.
Sandy Huseby writes from South Dakota and lakeside in Northern Minnesota.