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Thick as Thieves

Review

Thick as Thieves

Secrets --- we all have them. But when four people have the same secret, will it remain a secret? Sandra Brown’s latest novel, THICK AS THIEVES, delves into this phenomenon. Surprisingly, this particular secret withstood the test of time, but Brown reveals all of the riveting details with vivid, captivating suspense anticipated by her fans worldwide.

Twenty years ago, a canvas bag of stolen cash --- half a million dollars --- and a high school bully named Rusty orchestrated a daring nighttime heist on a small-town store in Caddo Lake, Texas. Brown has created the nastiest, creepiest character in Rusty. From the time we meet him huddled in a ditch giving orders to his accomplices, to his many illegal and salacious threats, he makes our skin crawl --- and that is just the beginning. He stalks, he blackmails, he murders...and more.

"The suspense makes for a dynamic page-turner.... THICK AS THIEVES is one of Sandra Brown’s best novels."

Brown craftily weaves the reader through a cast of characters who all have secrets surrounding that fateful night. Not only was the store robbed, someone dies a shocking death in the swamp, someone ends up in the hospital, someone lands in jail, and someone who the reader never suspects gets away with the money. The town drunk is blamed after he disappears the same night and abandons his two young daughters. It’s a purely low-class, small-town trashy story, complete with a local town bar and a beauty salon run by a woman named Crystal. Rusty, of course, has now taken his crooked father’s place as the new crooked sheriff: “He gave off sinister vibes.”

Why, oh why, would Arden Maxwell return to this godforsaken town 20 years later? It is Arden’s father who supposedly ran off with the money, and she keeps hoping he will still turn up out of the blue. Her now wealthy older sister, Lisa, begs her to leave their dilapidated childhood home and come live with her, but Arden is determined to renovate the old house and settle down in Caddo Lake. It isn’t long before Rusty starts stalking her, driving by her house every night after dark and scaring her into buying a gun. He thinks she knows where the stolen cash is.

Ledge Burnet, a local handyman and decorated soldier who is part of the heist pack, is another rival and target of Rusty. Arden talks to Ledge about renovating the old house, but soon finds out through the grapevine his connection to the night her father disappeared and the nasty rivalry between Ledge and Rusty. Her antennae are up; the people around her are as thick as thieves, whispering and wondering why she is back in town. She doesn’t know where the stolen money is, but by the second half of the novel, the reader is taken on a frightening and revealing journey person by person, scene by scene, like a movie script describing what happened that night. The suspense makes for a dynamic page-turner.

As Ledge helps Arden get closer to the truth, the chemistry between them ignites: “He had a warrior’s body.” Without Ledge, Arden never would have found the truth, unlocked the secrets this town held, or been able to get justice for her father. THICK AS THIEVES is one of Sandra Brown’s best novels.

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on August 28, 2020

Thick as Thieves
by Sandra Brown

  • Publication Date: August 25, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1538751941
  • ISBN-13: 9781538751947