As a surgeon, Dr. Rennie Newton is the consummate professional. When she's summoned to jury duty, she brings to the courtroom the same level of competence and composure that she displays in the operating room. It is this commitment to precision that compels her to deliver a not guilty verdict in the murder case against notorious contract killer Ricky Lozada. It will be the most regrettable decision of her life... because Rennie's trial with Lozada doesn't end with his acquittal. Her carefully structured life begins to crumble when a rival colleague is brutally slain. Lozada's menacing shadow looms over the murder, but it's Rennie the investigators focus on as the prime suspect. The privacy she has cultivated and protected at all costs is violated by the police as well as Lozada. And when he begins an earnest courtship, insinuating himself into every aspect of her life, it becomes terrifyingly clear that he is obsessed with having her. Wick Threadgill is a detective on indefinite leave from the Fort Worth PD, who has his own personal agenda for the contract killer. Temperamental, bitter, and driven by loyalty and love, Wick is determined to destroy Lozada...as determined as Lozada is to possess Rennie Newton. In order to defeat Lozada-and save their lives-Rennie and Wick form an uneasy alliance. Mistrustful of each other, they know only one thing with absolute certainty-like one of Lozada's prize scorpions, when this killer strikes, they won't see it coming. The Crush will take you on a tortuous path through a twisted sociopath's eerie obsession, a haunted man's fragile hopes for redemption, and a woman's heart as she struggles to face her greatest fear-to open herself to love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Imagine the gnarliest stalking story, then make the stalker a known murderer, and then add a second stalker to the mix—and you’d just be getting started. Packed with the many layers and twists that Sandra Brown’s fans expect, The Crush is especially intriguing due to its protagonist, Dr. Rennie Brown. A prominent surgeon, she’s composed, confident, and fearless—and wholly uninterested in finding a man. Both steamy and disturbing, Brown’s romantic thriller will give you chills of multiple varieties.
Brown's latest thriller pits the infamous Ricky Lozada, an unscrupulous killer for hire, against Wick Threadgill, a wily, disgruntled detective on leave from the force. Threadgill's former partner, Oren Wesley, lures him back with the news that Lozada against whom Threadgill has a personal vendetta has murdered a respected doctor. The author ups the stakes by giving Threadgill and the killer the same love interest: Dr. Rennie Newton, a no-nonsense surgeon who unwittingly attracts Lozada's obsessive attention while serving on a jury that acquits him for murder. Newton's secret past raises doubts about where exactly her loyalties lie, and Brown deftly builds suspense around the romantic aspect of her story. She also scores points for her insight into the sociopath's mind, despite a rather facile explanation of how he went bad. (Not everyone with a handicapped younger sibling who gets all the parents' attention ends up a ruthless killer.) Similarly, the underlying reason for Dr. Newton's startling transformation from a young adult who lived on the wild side to a cold, controlled professional is too pat. Worst of all, Brown's prose seems aimed at an audience of eighth-graders, padded throughout with a slew of adjectives, useless descriptions and catch phrases ("Is that your final answer?"). But once things get rolling, the plot crackles with tension moving toward the final showdown between Lozada and Wick. Brown fans will not be disappointed.