Sandra Brown’s suspense-filled thriller “Smash Cut” (2009) is nothing short of a smash hit. This New York bestselling author’s novel definitely lives up to its name. Smash Cut, by definition, moves the reader unexpectedly from scene-to-scene to provide startling twists and turns in a story. The author achieved her goal while managing to interweave murder and suspense with intrigue and romance.
This book begins with the murder of a well-known wealthy businessman, Paul Wheeler, witnessed by several people. One witness included his mistress, Julie Rutledge, owner of Chez Jean, an art gallery. Over the course of the investigation, what was thought to be a robbery was actually murder.
Julie becomes the prime suspect; however, she believes Wheeler’s nephew, Creighton, is the guilty party. Wheeler’s family hires defense attorney, Derek Mitchell, to represent the nephew who has a solid alibi. Julie goes on a mission to prove Creighton’s guilt, leading her to a brief and anonymous romantic interlude with Derek. She is determined to do anything, even ruin Derek’s career.
Once Derek learns who the anonymous woman is, he finds himself in an awkward position where his previous meet with Julie has created a conflict of interest. Therefore, by all rights, he cannot jeopardize his career by representing the Wheelers.
Julie enlightens Derek about Creighton’s abnormal and violent behavior. Derek has difficulty believing that Creighton is as sinister as Julie describes. At the same time, all evidence regarding the murder points to Julie. Over time, the more Derek interacts with and learns about Creighton, even his peculiar fascination with movie quotes and murders and distorted self-image and importance, his opinion soon corresponds with Julie’s.
Derek and Julie come together, while fighting their strong attraction to each other, to search for the real mastermind. In their quest, they soon dig up other gruesome facts about Creighton and his true violent nature. With the help of his private investigator, Dodge Hanley, their search yields shocking results. Somehow, they must convince police detectives, Sandford and Kimball, of the same to help prevent further tragedy.
Although this novel is 489 pages, it was a fast-paced, quick, one-day read! You suspect who devised the murder from the beginning. Midway through, you know the culprit. The remainder of the story takes you on exciting journey to piece everything together to prove the guilty party.
If you are a Sandra Brown fan, you are in for a treat – many surprises and many twists, especially towards the end! This novel is an excellent example of Brown’s brilliant writing and story-telling ability. On the other hand, this book is quite intense. If you have not read any of her books, you may want to read some of her older books first. Other Sandra Brown novels offering the same excitement can be found at her web site: www.sandrabrown.net. Visit our community book stores and retailers where books are sold to purchase a copy of this book.