THE CRUSH by Sandra Brown


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Contract killer falls in love with a surgeon.

Dr. Rennie Newton was the forewoman of the jury that acquitted Ricky Lozada of a murder charge—and he shows his undying gratitude by killing her distinguished colleague Dr. Lee Howell, knowing that Rennie will be next in line as Chief of Surgery at Fort Worth hospital. Lozada is a cold-blooded psychopath whose homicidal inclinations showed up early: he once attempted to suffocate his retarded brother by stuffing a foam baseball into his mouth. A few more murderous experiments convinced him he’d found his calling, though he runs a TV repair business as a cover. Enter Wick Threadgill, the FWPD cop who’s obsessed with bringing his brother Joe’s killer—Lozada—to justice. Wick has been placed on indefinite leave, owing to his explosive temper and anxiety disorder, but he still stalks Lozada, who’s now stalking Rennie (when he’s not collecting scorpions and shaving all his body hair). Curious about the preternaturally calm, cool, and collected surgeon, Wick finds out that this isn’t the first time she’s been the object of obsessive lust. In fact, she used to be famous as a local Lolita who seduced her father’s business partner (her father shot him). As Lozada increases his unwanted attention on Rennie, Wick observes her ever more closely, noting her daredevil equestrian skills and other risk-taking behavior. What does it all mean? There’s not much time to figure it out as the two men spy on each other, Wick bribes a hooker for information about Lozada, then finds the hooker in his motel room, dead, and is himself stabbed with a screwdriver as he looks at the body. Wick is rushed to the hospital, where he survives (barely) thanks to Rennie’s skill, and a capably constructed climax ties all up, leaving Wick and Rennie free to trade romantic banter over platefuls of pancakes.

Pretty good suspenser from the hugely popular Brown (Envy, 2001, etc.).

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-446-52704-1
Page count: 496pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002


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