In this suspenseful Southern thriller and #1 New York Times bestseller, an ambitious prosecutor investigates a high-stakes case after Charleston's most powerful real estate magnate is murdered.
The sensational murder of powerful tycoon Lute Pettijohn has rocked Charleston. Prosecutor Hammond Cross sees his chance to become the city's next district attorney . . . but only if he can put a killer behind bars.
Hammond's investigation turns up more than one person who wants Pettijohn dead. But when the prime suspect turns out to be a mysterious woman who holds a secret that could shatter Hammond's ambitions, he faces a moral dilemma and a haunting question: Was he set up to be the perfect alibi?
The prolific Brown (Unspeakable) undoubtedly has another bestseller in her latest suspense novel, which catches its protagonist in a tricky ethical situation. When Charleston real estate developer Lute Pettijohn is murdered in the penthouse suite of the posh hotel he recently built, there is no shortage of likely suspects; Pettijohn is one of the most hated men in town. On the same night that the murder occurs, assistant district attorney Hammond Cross attends a county fair, where he meets a mysterious woman who refuses to tell him her name. But Cross is so smitten he cajoles her into spending the night with him in his country cabin. Later, when a witness places the woman, now identified as respected psychologist Dr. Alex Ladd, at the scene of the crime, she becomes the number one suspect. Hammond, the prosecutor on the case, finds himself furious at, suspicious of and in love with the beautiful Ladd. Her alibi, obviously, is that she was with him when the crime was committed, but it turns out that she could have shot Pettijohn and still managed to turn up at the fair. Hammond believes her innocent, however, and in spite of his ambitions for higher office, he risks his career to find the real killer. Brown's gift for taut pacing compresses the time frame of the book into one short week, and she mixes the suspense with steamy romance. A web of labyrinthine relationships becomes ever more intricate until the identity of the killer is revealed, a shock that would be implausible in a less carefully constructed tale. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections.