Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sandra Brown - Fat Tuesday

Burke Basile is a cop with nothing left to lose. Haunted by his partner's death, his marriage and his career over, he focuses on his nemesis, Pinkie Duvall, a flamboyant attorney who helps killers evade justice. Burke's shocking revenge centers around kidnapping Remy, the lawyer's trophy wife. But Burke hasn't planned on the electric attraction he'll feel for this desperate woman, who rose from the slums of New Orleans to marry a man she can never love. Nor can he predict the fierce duel that will explode as the clock ticks toward midnight on Fat Tuesday when all masks will be stripped away--and Burke must confront his own terrifying secret.

Comment: Another book by Sandra Brown, an author whose work I've enjoyed a lot in the past and still like to keep track of. This is one of her older romantic suspense titles I hadn't read yet. Somehow the plot never "seduced" me that much but since her style if one I usually love, I decided to give it a try.

In this novel we have the story of cop Burke Basile, one of the remaining few uncorrupted cops in New Orleans. When the story begins he is feeling guilty over the death of his partner Kevin during a mission going bad. The guy who used his partner as a shield still escapes conviction of the crimes committed while the mission was going on and that only exacerbates Burke's desire for revenge. The problem in his way is Pinkie Duvall, a defense attorney who everybody knows does things against law even if for the main public he appears kind and generous.
One day Burke decides to quit the police and do things his own way, and a weak point of Duvall is his much younger trophy wife Remy, who always has a bodyguard while in public. Kidnapping Remy should only be a means to an end but what about Remy's secrets and what that means to a still caring heart like Burke's?

As a whole, this story didn't feel as successfully done for me as other by the author have been. I still think the usual expectations: a couple sharing chemistry, a villain capable of despicable things, strong willed characters, tense but active scenes moving the plot forward, were all met in this book as they have in previous books I've read by this author. But I felt the main character was little too centered in revenge that some what made him a good guy was overseen and the romance despite having a great HEA didn't fully convince me while it was developing.

Burke is a very typical hero if one has read mrs Brown's work. He wants goodness to be done by people and he is angry when corruption eats up people's time and intentions. In a way, he can be the portrayal of all of us who would wish we wouldn't have to play by the rules. In real life, doing something bad has a consequence and when it doesn't we feel justice wasn't done so I can understand the appeal of a man going against his own personal conduct to try to do some good out of bad things. 
However, Burke does compromise his values here and there and I didn't really appreciate it. I wish the author would have included some safe way for the hero to not compromise himself that much. I know this wasn't written at this time of "politically correct" and "equality for fair decisions" but it's also fiction so a tool to have the bad guy really punished in a way that wouldn't interfere with the hero's conscience... although this is the point, I know.

The romance, like I said, wasn't the best the author created. Of course it's reassuring that people in bad moments of their lives can still find love and someone to understand them, which is clearly the goal with Remy and Burke being put together but we see all them discussing the reasons why they can be each other's other half, we see them being attracted but they don't really talk seriously about the future, we just know they will be a couple. This is mrs Brown's trademark but in some other novels this aspect seemed to be more obvious somehow.

Once again, as it usually happens with suspense I think we spend too much time inside the villain's head. I know it's supposed to let us know why some things happen, why some things are but for me it's annoying because I like when the plots center on the hero's actions. Bad always exists, we know there are bad things, why do we have to know about them by the villain's thoughts?
The end of the villain was too easy. Why can't good guys find a more clever way to punish someone?

All things considered, this was a good enough read, except for the bad guy's POV, but the story didn't feel as smooth in some scenes, the romance wasn't as strong as I imagined and corruption is always a complicated theme: we know it exists and it's not easy to eradicate but the solution is so simple, why can't people be clever and honest? Oh well...
Grade: 7/10

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