Friday, January 6, 2012

Lethal; Sandra Brown

Title: Lethal
Author:  Sandra Brown
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Hachette
Edition: audio
Reader: Victor Slezak (excellent)
Source: Library
Setting: Louisiana
Date Completed: 1/5/2012
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes

Honor Gillette is a widow.  Her husband Eddie was a police officer, who was killed in a suspicious  automobile accident.  Two years later, Honor is trying to resume some since of normalcy in her life. Her little girl Emily is now 4 years-old.  As the story opens, Honor and Emily have been baking cupcakes at their isolated home located somewhere near the Louisiana Bayou.   Emily tells her mother that she sees a sick man in their yard. When Honor goes outside to check it out, she finds a dirty and injured man lying on the ground in the bushes.  When she tries to help, he grabs her at gunpoint and forces her into the house, holding her and little Emily as hostages.

The man is Lee Coburn and he is wanted by the police and suspected of killing seven people the night before where he worked.  Coburn didn't just show up at Honor's house by chance either. He seems to believe that her late husband Eddie, hid something in the house which he is desperate to find.  While carefully watching Honor's every move, he begins to tear the house apart in search of that "something".  Honor has no idea what her husband might have hidden or why Coburn is so insistent about finding it.  At the same time, there is a manhunt going on for Coburn.

Initially, Coburn comes across as a man you wouldn't want to cross or try to escape from. However, towards the end of the book, he seems to soften a bit and there is some romantic tension in the air as well.  Little Emily is so sweet and innocent. She offers Coburn cupcakes and begins to ask him lots of questions, which seemed perfect pitched for a precocious 4 year-old.  The audio version was excellent as the reader, Victor Slezak was terrific and he did a great job with the voices, including capturing a perfect-pitch, believable voice of  little Emily.

Without giving away too much about the plot, I'll just say this suspense thriller has a little bit of everything in it. There is corruption, bad cops, good cops and plot twists along the way. There's more to Coburn than what we are first led to believe as well, and before long it seems as if Coburn may be the only person Honor and her daughter can really trust.

I liked this audio book a lot, especially since the reader was so good, but I was let down by the way the story ended.  Despite that, it's still a fast paced story and fun to listen to as well.


  1. I heard Brown speak at SIBA so I've been anxious to read this. I wonder if any of her humor comes through in the book.

  2. sounds right up my alley, although I am not a huge fan of audiobooks..

  3. I think I've seen this reviewed somewhere else, with about the same level of likeness about it. I may have to get this one. Thanks for the review.

  4. I loved this, especially the relationship between Coburn and Emily! But I'm wondering what disappointed you about the ending!

  5. I got the chance to hear Sandra Brown speak at an event last year, and she is a really fun and funny orator, but I am not sure her books are for me. This one sounds like it has a very interesting plot, but I am worried that it would be a little predictable, and that would annoy me. I do have one of her books on my shelf, and will have to grab one down and see what I think of it. Great review today!

  6. I have never read a Sandra Brown novel but I keep hearing good things about her writing and think perhaps I'm missing something I would like.

  7. I love Sandra Brown. This sounds like an excellent story and fun, like you say.
    Mike Draper

  8. I found the ending of this book to be very frustrating as well. The book itself was a good read but it wasn't my favorite by this author. I'm glad that you enjoyed the audio version so much!

  9. I actually checked out an audio book today! And I just downloaded Emma on my iTouch so I can listen while I'm walking. If I were to read this one it would be audio for sure!

  10. I have my name on the list for this one at the library - on audio. I truly enjoy Sandra Brown's stories. After reading your review, I'm really anxious for it to get to me.

  11. I've decided these types of thrillers are the best for audios and keeping me company when I walk. They make me get out there to find out what happens next.

  12. Sounds like a good read. I have it on my wish list.

    Happy new year to you, Diane! Hope you guys had a nice holiday!

  13. Hi Diane,

    This is the second review of a Sandra Brown book that I have come across this week, and by co-incidence, although they are different books, they are both audio editions.

    I have quite a few Sandra Brown books in my TBR pile and I may have read one, although it will have been some time ago, pre blogging days, and I can't for the life of me remember which one.

    I am not a great fan of audio books personally, but I shall definitely be on the look out for this one either in hard copy, or as a download, as I know that I don't have this title already and crime/thrillers are my favourite genre.

    Thanks for the recommendation.


  14. I read over half of this and though it was interesting I grew bored. Mind you, it was during my weird slump when I couldn't get into anything. I found her to be a pretty good writer, I guess it was just the wrong time.

  15. I like Sandra Brown but a few years ago I read a few duds and took her off my must read list. It's probably time to give her another chance!


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