PLAY DIRTY by Sandra Brown


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Fallen gridiron great, fresh out of prison, reluctantly agrees to impregnate the wife of a disabled millionaire.

After doing five years for throwing a game to settle a gambling debt with a crime syndicate, former Dallas Cowboy Griff Burkett knows his employment options are limited. A social pariah, the one-time hero quarterback is despised by the very public that once worshipped him. Still, he understandably balks when wheelchair-bound airline mogul Foster Speakman taps the ex-con for a most indecent proposal: knock-up his wife Laura; keep the baby’s real paternity a secret; walk away with millions. The gig sounds too good to be true, and the fact that Speakman insists on a “natural” conception rather than artificial means that something is not quite right. For his part, Griff does need the money, and Mrs. Speakman, while not exactly his usual type, is certainly easy on the eyes. The two have several meetings, and devoted wife Laura immediately finds herself torn with guilt over the infidelity, but also stirred by the feelings hunky Griff brings out in her. Meanwhile, Griff is being tailed by Detective Rodarte, a twisted cop who will stop at nothing (rape, murder) to see Griff back in jail or dead. After an especially passionate interlude with Griff, Laura conceives, but her joy is short-lived as her husband meets a sudden grisly end, with Griff implicated in his death. Griff is then forced to go on the run to find a witness to clear his name—before Rodarte does. He abducts the only slightly unwilling Laura to aid him in his plan, and is amazed when he realizes that staying off death row doesn’t seem to matter as much as protecting her and their unborn child. He’s a changed man, and Griff and Laura’s psychologically complex grown-up relationship is a pleasant surprise that sets the stage for the bloody finish.

Solid, satisfying thriller from the prolific Brown (Ricochet, 2006 etc.).

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7432-8935-1
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2007


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