White Hot by Sandra Brown

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Sluggish plot hemmed in by too much backstory and going-through-the-motions prose. Not Brown’s best.


When she hears that her younger brother Danny has committed suicide, Sayre Lynch relents from her vow never to return to Destiny, the small Louisiana town in which she grew up. She plans to leave immediately after the funeral, but instead soon finds herself drawn into the web cast by Huff Hoyle, her controlling and tyrannical father, the man who owns the town’s sole industry, an iron foundry, and in effect runs the lives of everyone who lives there.

As she feared, Sayre learns that nothing has changed. Her father and older brother, Chris, are as devious as ever, and now they have a new partner-in-crime, a canny and disarming lawyer named Beck Merchant, who appears to be their equal in corruption.

Soon, Sayre is thrown in closer contact with Beck and becomes convinced that something more sinister is at play than her father’s usual need to dominate people and events. As she sets out to learn just what did happen to Danny, she comes to realize that there are many secrets in Destiny—secrets that hide decades of pain and anger, and that threaten at any moment to erupt and destroy not only her father and brother, but perhaps Sayre herself.

Underneath the rigid control that the Hoyles exert over the town, trouble is brewing. Old hatreds foster plans for revenge, past crimes resurface, and a maverick deputy sheriff determines that Danny Hoyle’s death was not suicide, but murder.

As tensions mount, threatening to ignite a powder keg of long-held hostility, Sayre finds herself inextricably drawn into a struggle with striking laborers, her unscrupulous father, and her own emotions over the love/hate relationship that is growing with Beck, a man apparently with his own agenda, and mysteries of his own.

As she has shown in the dozens of bestselling novels in which she has combined hard-edged suspense with intense emotion, Sandra Brown is a master storyteller, and in her new novel she is at her very best.

About Sandra Brown

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Sandra Brown is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers - including most recently Smash Cut, Smoke Screen, Play Dirty, Ricochet, Chill Factor, White Hot, Hello, Darkness, The Crush, and Envy. She is the recipient of the 2008 Thriller Master Award from International Thriller Writers, Inc. She and her husband live in Arlington, Texas.
Published August 31, 2004 by Simon & Schuster. 611 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for White Hot
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1


Above average

Sluggish plot hemmed in by too much backstory and going-through-the-motions prose. Not Brown’s best.

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Publishers Weekly


Brown makes up in pace and intensity what she lacks in prose style, guaranteeing readers a brain vacation in print, much like watching a favorite movie: an exciting yet familiar experience, the satisfactory resolution never in doubt.

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Book Reporter

on Jan 24 2011

Emotions run rampant as unforgiven acts from the past draw all the players into a heart-pounding climax...Sandra Brown always manages to provide page-turning suspense that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. WHITE HOT is no exception.

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RT Book Reviews

on Jan 07 2012

Atmospheric and darkly intense, this twisted family saga crackles with anger and passion. Brown has a real gift for creating characters and situations that are alive with mystery and intrigue.

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