[527]: Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Grand Central Publishing | Paperback, 535 pp. | March 25, 2014 | Adult Fiction | Romantic Suspense | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Prosecutor, Alexandra Gaither has an axe to grind with the people of Purcell County. The murder of her mother twenty years ago may have been a solved case, but she knows in her heart of hearts that they punished the wrong man. Buddy Hicks was a mentally disabled man who took the fall for Celina’s death. He was found with the murder weapon covered with Celina’s blood. It was an open and shut case, but Alex knew there was conspiracy involved.

Her grandmother has held her mother in the highest regard, but Alexandra’s unexpected birth brought all her grandmother’s dreams of grandeur for her own daughter Celina to a crashing halt. Years of being blamed for her mother’s failures was what led to her curiosity about her death. Determined to get to the real truth about her murder, Alexandra wasn’t prepared for what she’ll discover.

Her arrival at Purcell County will wake up rivalries decades in the making. She will reopen wounds that had been left pestering for years. Amidst the storm she’s bringing to the place that held all the secrets of her mother’s former life, Alex is determined to find the real killer. At least, before the killer finds her first.

This book is a bit longer than normal, it seems. But it still only took me a couple of days to read it. That’s the beauty of Sandra’s work. It has that immersive quality that makes you want to shut the world out if only to devour her novel. She wasn’t very forthcoming with her clues as well. You will either be encumbered with frustration or be in awe with the intricacy of her mystery. I wasn’t annoyed by any means, not even impatient. I was completely vested in the novel.

I’ve always found that characterization is one of Sandra’s strengths. From the major players right down to the troublesome bar fly, I feel like she’s able to give them life even in not so many words.

What is Sandra’s book without romance? This is also one of her strengths. I don’t think I’ve ever read any of her books where she recycles story arches. This time around, the romance is a bit intriguing. There was quite an age gap between them. Also the man has a history with her mom. So some may find this a bit icky, like I did at first. Somehow, Sandra found a way to convince me otherwise. And boy, did she ever make me wait for it! But heck, it was worth it.

Best Kept Secrets is a signature Sandra Brown: romantic, suspensful, provocative. Reading this one makes me glad that  I’m working through a magnificent back list of her novels. And seriously glad this woman is a writing machine.