on September 20, 2002
Sandra Brown's THE ALIBI is a nice change-of-pace for the author in that it's the rare instance in which her main character is male rather than the bordering-on-cookie-cutter female protagonists that have littered some of her recent work. Set in Charleston, the novel focuses on ADA Hammond Cross, who is brought a murder case involving one of the city's most prominent figures. It doesn't help that the victim wasn't particularly liked--by anyone--which leaves a laundry list of potential suspects. Unfortunately for Cross, the prime suspect is someone who has a fairly airtight alibi--him. You can pretty much see where this is going, which is fine because Brown has never exactly trafficked in brain surgery. But it's not helped along by Brown's cheesy, overly florid writing style when it comes to the "romantic" detours the book takes throughout. Nevertheless, this remains one of Brown's best, along with EXCLUSIVE, and should ease the pain of those who read the really awful STANDOFF before they got their hands on this.
on April 6, 2002
With this book, Sandra Brown has made the jump from romance to ace mystery writer--there's no turning back now.
"The Alibi" is a fast-paced, terrific mystery with more plot twists, red herrings, mysterious would-be murderers, and all-around interesting characters than the law allows. It follows the story of urbane, charming, and gorgeous wunderkind Hammond Cross, whose Charleston, South Carolina family is one of the oldest and most respected in the tight-knit upper-class world he calls his own. He's in line to be the next DA, and rightly so. Then, in one fateful night, his world falls apart.
A woman he knows intimately may or may not have murdered the town's wealthiest and most hated citizen, Lute Pettijohn. Even the reader is not sure whether sophisticated psychologist Alex Ladd has done the deed. There are so many other suspects: the un-grieving widow Davee, whose friendship with Cross goes back to their privileged childhoods; most of Pettijohn's business associates, all of whom hated him--and Cross's own upper-class father.
Cross is in this murder up to his neck. If he successfully prosecutes the cops' key suspect, he is a shoe-in for the DA spot. If he doesn't, he may be brought up on charges of obstruction of justice. Along the way, he has to contend with his own tangled and uncharacteristically personal feelings about the case; his jealous and ambitious partner, the acerbic and unlikeable Steffi Mundell; his longtime nemesis, supercop Rory Smilow; and his own cold, judgmental father.
I thought I guessed the murderer after the first 100 pages. After the next 100, I was positive I was right, and had a smug "I knew it" attitude, just wondering how Brown was going to unravel the plot. Then I wasn't so sure. Then I was turning pages almost faster than I could read. Then I was positively racing to the end. I was wrong about the murderer, wrong about the end, and blown away by the ingenious plot twists that all came about effortlessly in the end. And it even ended with a cliff-hanger that made total and perfect sense.
You want a good read? You want a book that keeps you off the computer and the TV and has you walking into walls? This is it.
on September 5, 2000
This was another 5 star read, hands down for Sandra Brown. The characters were great. Rory Smilow is a heartless detective, whom plays his role to a T. Alex is a perfect citizen, shes a psychologist, with a admirable list credentials. Hammond Cross is a district attorney with a excellent track record and good moral standards. I think my favorit was Davee Pettijohn, shes a straight shooter, not caring what anyone thinks of her, and tells things as they are. The plot was strong, just when I thought I knew who the murderer was I changed my mind ... I did that several times.
Detective Rory Smilow is called to the Charles Towne Plaza when a maid finds the dead body of Lute Pettijohn in his penthouse suite. Whe the murder scene leaves hardly any evidence, every one that doesn't like Pettijohn is now a suspect. And that list is a never ending one, for Lute Pettijohn is a tycoon business man and he didn't get there by playing nice.
This novel was fast and great. Sandra Brown is a wonderful writter and this novel is no exception.
on January 24, 2000
The truth is out there! Sandra Brown is not just a writer, she's a ROUNDER. She not only plays the cards, like the pros she plays the people -the reader - page after suspenseful page. The Alibi proves her prowess, and whets her growing fan base for another steamy fast paced read. South Carolina's ambiance is a perfect backdrop for the seedy intrigues of the legal profession. Enter the hero, dignity intact. Enter the heroine whose background is as colorful as Jacob's coat. One night. Sex. Sweaty sheets. Hero's dignity down the toilet. Fingers point to his clandestine lover. Murder! Who pulled the trigger? He can't get her out of his mind. Now she is the prime suspect in Charleston's most nefarious homicide. Everyone wanted Lute Pettyjohn dead. Alex Ladd is in the hot seat, so is the prosecutor, Hammond Cross. Prosecute her? Not what he has in mind. Fully rounded, sympathetic characters leave you wondering. Hold on to your hat. Wild ride included in the cover price. Thank you, Ms. Brown.
on September 10, 1999
Though I never connected with "Unspeakable," I found "The Alibi" very enjoyable reading indeed. I was too busy gobbling up the story to figure out the killer's identity and motivation too soon. I got caught up in the magnetic pull between the two main characters. Ms. Brown made me care about them. Hammond's struggle with issues of integrity and Alex's battle against her dark past were compelling, believable reading. The interaction between these two crackled. It was steamy, in part because there wasn't that much of it. [This is a mystery after all, not erotic fiction.] The author let me use my imagination to fill in details. She later expanded on what I thought I knew, which made it even better. Ms. Brown introduced several intriguing subplots and characters that I would have liked to get to know better, like Davee. Sadly, some of these were left dangling at the book's conclusion, prompting me to ask, "what happened to them?" There were a number of clever plot devises. I liked how the story skipped back and forth between past and present. If Ms. Brown did this to keep me guessing and paying attention, it worked. In general, I am fond of the author and enjoy most of her growing body of work - from early romances like "The Tiger Prince" and "Long Time Coming" to her early mystery efforts. If you want to read a terrific book, do yourself a favor and pick up "Mirror Image." That story has something for anyone who calls himself or herself a Sandra Brown fan. There is dramatic suspense, a romantic element, sex, politics, sleazy characters, and a surprise ending.
on August 11, 2000
I have been a long standing fan of Sandra Brown since she first started writting for the romance lines almost 18 years ago. The Alibi stands as one of her unforgettable works. The supense builds page after page right up to the end of the book. It's impossible to put down. The laundry remains unwashed, the kitchen needs cleaning, but nothing can interfer with finding out how Hammond and Alex are going to over come the physical and integrity barriers that Ms. Brown has created for them in her latest book. I didn't want it to end, and what an ending it was! Would have loved to have had an epilogue of what happened to Hammond and Alex and if Rory and Davee managed to bridge their wounds. Now I will wonder.......hmmmmmmm. This one stands as one to keep and re-read over and over again when you want to believe in love at first sight, and an ending that leaves you wanting more.
on January 27, 2000
Sandra Brown's The Alibi has all the components of a great book-mystery, romance, and caracters that you love to love and love to hate. Since getting the book, I've read it five times, and each time it gets better! I didn't want to put it down, reading well past bedtime. To readers: If you want a good book if you're snowed in, or for anytime of the year, The Alibi is the book to get. Sandra Brown is a very talented writer, and she will become a favorite, especially if this is your first book of hers. I read her previous book, Unspeakable, and I will make all her books part of my collection. In other words-I'm hooked! :)
on August 16, 2000
One word can describe this novel: Fascinating. Because that is exactly what The Alibi is. It starts out with the murder of real-estate tycoon Lute Pettijorn. Almost every character in the book has a motive of killing Lute including the police chief, his wife, his close friend, and other lawyers. It ends up that Lute is a powerful and evil man because he will hurt people in order to get them to sell their land. So which one had the guts to go out with their murderous plan. Could it be his sexy wife, a police officer, or a district attorney fed up with Lute? Read it and find out! This is Sandra Brown at her best!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When Lute Pettijohn is found murdered, not many in Charleston mourn his passing. That doesn't mean to say that his death doesn't have an effect.......it does......it loosens up enough dirt in the town's upper social circles to shake its foundations.
And caught in the centre, as Assistant District Attorney, is Hammond Cross. Of course it doesn't help that the night of the murder he had the most amazing encounter with a beautiful woman, who turned out to be his number one suspect.
Dr. Alex Ladd hadn't intended for things to go this far. All she had hoped to accomplish was to stop her past from creeping up on her and threatening her carefully built, respectable life. She should never have allowed her feelings to weigh in on the decision to spend the night with the handsome man from the county fair.
Now Hammond and Alex each have dangerous secrets that can mean the other's salvation or their downfall........
Perched on the edge of my seat until the very last page!!!!
I have always loved Sandra Brown's books, great suspense with just enough romance to keep it interesting.
THE ALIBI is a prime example of her excellence. A story set in a city steeped in history, old families, social circles, old boy politics and golf course nepotism, and the one man who chooses to stand for his moral and ethical convictions instead.
The build up of the protagonists' characters was slow, but oh so effective. The pace of getting to know the main characters was imperative to the building tension in the story line. Each little snippet of information I learned, gave me an opportunity to work out a possible scenario for myself and thus keep me engaged the entire span of the book.
Every turn of the page awarded me with a piece to the puzzle and at times I flipped back a few pages to check my previously gained information. I love it when stories allow you, as reader, to become so engaged, that you don't just swallow whole what the author feeds you, you take the snippets, and try to run off with them on your own! The best part is when, on the last few pages, you discover that you miscalculated, and the author had one last twist up the sleeve, one you will be unable to discount......once all the evidence is laid out.
THE ALIBI is an intricately woven tale of deceit, ambition, envy, love, jealousy, justice and morality.
✨A brilliantly stimulating read!!!✨
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in return for an honest review.**
on September 28, 1999
Totally artless writing, but she entertains. Nobody suggested these blood&gutsers are expected to be Gertrude Stein. Brown stays right on, new and viable with each foray, her characters as fresh and interesting as those of the novice efforts WHITE OLEANDER and A CAT'S FULL NINE, albeit within a less literate forum.
The interplay is exciting. Some of these series dispensers occasionally reprise their formats and situations but Brown does manage to pull something new out of the hat every time. My guess is there's a still abundant store clever stuff yet to come.