With a “knack for romantic tension and page-turning suspense, this one is a winner.” The year 1920 comes in with a roar in this rousing and suspenseful New York Times bestselling novel by Sandra Brown. Prohibition is the new law of the land, but murder, mayhem, lust, and greed are already institutions in the Moonshine Capitol of Texas (Booklist, starred review).
Thatcher Hutton, a war-weary soldier on the way back to his cowboy life, jumps from a moving freight train to avoid trouble . . . and lands in more than he bargained for. On the day he arrives in Foley, Texas, a local woman goes missing. Thatcher, the only stranger in town, is suspected of her abduction, and worse. Standing between him and exoneration are a corrupt mayor, a crooked sheriff, a notorious cathouse madam, a sly bootlegger, feuding moonshiners . . . and a young widow whose soft features conceal an iron will.
What was supposed to be a fresh start for Laurel Plummer turns to tragedy. Left destitute but determined to dictate her own future, Laurel plunges into the lucrative regional industry, much to the dislike of the good ol’ boys, who have ruled supreme. Her success quickly makes her a target for cutthroat competitors, whose only code of law is reprisal. As violence erupts, Laurel and—now deputy—Thatcher find themselves on opposite sides of a moonshine war, where blood flows as freely as whiskey.
Includes a Reading Group Guide.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The dusty streets of small-town Texas are full of romance, moonshine, and murder in this gripping historical thriller. Thatcher Hutton, a World War I veteran, jumps off a moving train to escape a car full of unhinged poker players. But once he sets foot in a town full of crime and corruption, the handsome stranger becomes the perfect candidate for a frame job involving a missing woman. We loved the gritty period details as Thatcher tries to disentangle himself from the web of graft surrounding him, and as he pursues a slow-burn romance with feisty local widow Laurel Plummer. Sandra Brown is a master of steamy, red-hot thrillers, and her extensive research into the Prohibition era adds a fascinating historical layer to this one. From the delightful Southern idioms to the vivid images of moonshiners’ trucks on a bumpy road, this is one journey you don’t want to miss.
Set in 1920, this superior thriller from bestseller Brown (Thick as Thieves) firmly anchors all the action in the plot. Laurel Plummer, the mother of an infant, is stuck in a remote shack with her father-in-law near the little town of Foley, Tex., after the sudden death of her WWI vet husband. Thatcher Hutton, a discharged soldier who's just leapt off a boxcar, turns up at the Plummer place, asking for water and directions to the nearest town. His first night in a Foley boarding house, Thatcher is awakened "by a gun barrel jammed against his cheekbone" and an accusation that he kidnapped and possibly murdered Mila Driscoll, the local doctor's missing wife. After Thatcher is released from jail for lack of evidence, the sheriff makes him a part-time deputy and he sets out to find the truth behind Mila's disappearance. Meanwhile, Laurel, who's in dire financial straits, helps her father-in-law expand his moonshining business. Conflict ensues as the two wind up on opposite sides of the law. Laurel and Thatcher are strong and inventive characters, and their surprising decisions and evolving relationship will keep readers engaged. Brown shows why she remains in the top rank of her field.
I learned a lot
About bootleggers thanks to Sandra Brown ‘s research. I am about to start another one of her fabulous stories.
Really enjoyed the plot and characters!
I also had a trying getting into the book, my least favorite off all her books and I’ve read them all.