Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher/Publication Date: Grand Central Publishing; August 18, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense; Mystery; Thriller
Source/Format: Purchased; Hardcover
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction...
A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?
I am having almost too much fun with thrillers/mysteries lately—i.e. Map of Bones by James Rollins. So, when I saw Friction by Sandra Brown at the book store, I immediately wanted to read it just based off the synopsis alone. I haven’t read anything else by Brown yet; however, Friction turned out to be a very good start.
I was impressed by Brown’s ability to establish a credible conflict so early on in the novel, one which the main characters were immediately thrown into the center of amidst more personal issues. Plus, these were characters I could root for since page one. I wanted things to work out for them, really I did, but the majority of the book had them in some pretty bad situations, which as far as mystery/thrillers go, was pretty entertaining.
Friction was definitely a page-turner. I sped through the book in a couple of days. As I mentioned above, there was a lot going on. With Crawford Hunt dealing with a custody case concerning his daughter, Georgia—a case that put him on the opposite side of the courtroom from his in-laws—so he didn’t need anything more to complicate his life. However, that’s exactly what he got when a tragedy occurs at the courthouse. I think Brown handled the conflict well. She also left room to explore the consequences of strained relationships between family members, and the ethical expectations of certain occupations—like being a judge or a lawyer, and even a detective.
The mystery aspect was really good, and there was a generous amount of suspense in the story. There was some romance, but it didn’t really take the focus away from the mystery.
Crawford Hunt made some mistakes in his life, and multiple characters throughout the story state this fact. He was described as reckless and prone to acting without fully judging the situation. Brown showed this too, but managed to give a plausible reason for his reactions to certain situations. Holly Spencer has issues of her own to deal with—such as keeping her position as judge out of the hands of her rival—she had a lot she needed to focus on. I liked their interactions despite the circumstances.
The conclusion was somber but nicely wrapped up the story. So, in terms of endings, it was a good one. So, at the end of the day, Friction was an unexpected favorite.