Sandra Brown

The Alibi

I read The Alibi by Sandra Brown.  This is the first book by her that I’ve read, though she’s a pretty popular mystery author.  I actually read an excerpt of it in a magazine many years ago, and it stuck in my head-so when I saw it on the recreational reading shelf, I knew I had to check it out! It’s set in a very sultry Charleston, South Carolina and opens with the murder of wealthy, sleazy real estate magnate, Lute Pettijohn.  Hammond Cross is the young attorney of sterling character and pedigree, who hopes to use the case to cement his ascent to lead prosecutor.  (We learn that in South Carolina, “County Solicitor” is the correct term, in place of “District Attorney”).  Brown weaves together a tangled web of over-the-top Southern characters.  There are intersecting love triangles involving Hammond Cross, his cut-throat professional rival, Pettijohn’s drunken socialite widow, and the obsessive investigating detective.  But the story’s real tension revolves around “the alibi”-Hammond’s rendezvous with a mysterious stranger, who becomes the prime suspect in the Pettijohn case.  And neither she nor he, are about to reveal their relationship.  It’s a legal ethics minefield and probably pretty far-fetched, but I still found The Alibi to be absorbing and exciting. Pick it up to enjoy over the last weekend of summer!